Letter: What are you waiting for?
September 29, 2015
The letter to the editor from Jim DeFrancia, "A community center downtown," (Sept. 28, The Aspen Times) outlined a plan supported by locals, including DeFrancia, to convert the current Aspen City Hall into a community center if the City Hall offices are moved to a new building elsewhere in Aspen. What a great idea!
However, I have an even better idea: How about a community center in downtown Basalt between the new Rocky Mountain Institute building and the new Town Park. This space is available right now and Basalt has a developer already interested in this parcel, Lowe Enterprises (which just happens to be DeFrancia's business). Throw in the fact that Lowe Enterprises already has partnered with the nonprofit, social justice advocating Roaring Fork Community Development Corporation, which, in turn, has partnered with the town of Basalt and the business pieces are in place. With regard to the Basalt community, there are currently two similar petitions circulating in Basalt advocating some form of a community, events-oriented meeting center on the space between Rocky Mountain Institute and Town Park. The support among the majority of Basalt residents for such a facility is without question; the only question in play is size.
So, DeFrancia, I strongly urge you to bring your idea for a community center down to Basalt. You just might find a surprising level of support across the board — the town of Basalt government, the citizens of Basalt, local nonprofits and a developer, Lowe Enterprises. Sounds like a winner to me — what are you waiting for?