Letter: The future of Basalt’s Lions Park
December 22, 2014
The release of the Downtown Area Advisory Committee report Thursday night was highly anticipated by all of us who live in Old Town Basalt. However, I'm quite worried about this rethinking of the committee to use the western end of Lions Park in exchange for more green area on the eastern end of the old Pan and Fork development.
Here's my real question: How much of Lions Park is the town willing to trade? Hopefully only a small part so we can keep the Wyly Art Center and eastern half as a green space leading into the main business area.
There is nothing wrong with bold ideas if they parallel the public's vision. When the survey for "Our Town planning" was tallied, the vast majority said they would like to see Lions Park stay as a park and not be developed. Lions Park is the one place where the whole community gets together. A few weeks ago, Lions Park was alive with the Christmas-tree lighting, horse-drawn sleigh rides, live music and the Wyly open house art fest, where children could create their own ornaments. The whole park was packed with people. In the summer and fall, the Sunday Market, Wednesday Music in the Park events and many Wyly Art Center events bring in people from all over the valley.
Here are a few bold ideas that many would like to see: 1) Replace the four-way stop at Two Rivers Road and Midland Avenue with a beautifully landscaped roundabout. This could make the entrance to downtown stunning. 2) Take down Town Hall, and move the offices over to the police municipal building across town, making more green area at Lions Park. 3) Keep the Wyly, but move the city planning offices over to the police municipal building, thus making more room in the Wyly for art classes.
I understand that the Downtown Area Advisory Committee's proposal is just a vision for the town. However, is this really the vision of the people who live in Basalt? And will this lead down the slippery slope of trading away all of Lions Park to the highest bidder? I encourage every resident of Basalt to express their opinion to the Town Council, which will be the deciding voice as to our downtown's future.
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