Pan and Fork needs more scrutiny
December 27, 2017
I have seen some letters encouraging the town of Basalt to purchase the remaining portion of the Pan and Fork property. As that question is considered, I would like to see this question examined from another objective financial point of view.
I understand that some proponents of the town's purchase have advanced the idea that there are funds available which with some ingenuity would accomplish that desired end. What I have not seen is a longer range picture which juxtaposes cost versus lost revenue. What I would like to see in the public discussion are some high and low estimates of assessed valuation and sales projections flowing from potential private development on the land.
Then one could compare those figures to the cost in purchasing, improving and maintaining the property. I think the difference between potential lost tax revenue and the expenditures in buying and maintaining the property are important to the discussion.
Acknowledging that this analysis requires some fact-based speculation, the difference would still inform the ultimate decision as to whether we are better off with the property being held publicly or held privately and developed. It also may be advisable that if such a projection and analysis is done, it not be done by either identified proponents or opponents lest it be said that one side or the other is merely advancing their own case.