Letter: The Fork needs fixin’ | AspenTimes.com

Letter: The Fork needs fixin’

The Fork needs fixin'

Opponents of Basalt's $5 million bond issue for the Pan & Fork redevelopment project contend that the town created the plan without community input or involvement. That argument couldn't be further from the truth.

In reality, the need to "Fix the Fork" was initially documented in Basalt's 1999 master plan. The River Stewardship Roundtable was formed, consisting of more than 25 citizen volunteers and 25 technical team members, to develop a community vision for the section of the Roaring Fork River that flows through Basalt.

This group held 14 public meetings from November 2000 to February 2002 to review floodplain studies and hydraulic analyses. They also addressed social and cultural interaction, recreational access and use, riparian habitat, fishery health, development and public infrastructure.

Finally, 14 years later, the "Fix the Fork" project is coming to fruition. On Nov. 5, Basalt voters have the opportunity to approve $5 million in bonds that will:

• Reduce the flood risk and make the Roaring Fork River safer.

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• Restore the river's natural beauty and enhance the riparian environment.

• Create a riverfront park that will contribute to the cultural and economic vitality of Basalt.

The town does not anticipate the need to raise property taxes to meet debt obligations.

It is time that Basalt lived up to its reputation as a river town. Voting in support of ballot question 2B will enable the Town to carry out our shared vision to "Fix the Fork" on a fast-paced timeline. The environmental and economic consequences of delaying this project any longer are too great.

Shayla Groves

Friends of the Fork, Basalt