Terwilliger: We didn’t vote for that
A letter in the April 13 Aspen Times (“Support for Basalt project”) by the Basalt Sanitation District Board claims that 71% of the voters are in favor of the Midland streetscape project, and another letter writer claims she voted for the project.
Nobody voted for the project. The only vote was for the continuation of the mil levy for the bonds that had been previously issued and would have to be paid back soon if not passed.
What the voters approved was for Basalt to keep the money to invest in capital projects. These projects were narrowed to four: building a new Town Hall, installation of solar PVs, a new police
department headquarters and improvements to Midland Avenue.
I was part of a committee that was tasked with selecting which project the
money would be spent on. It was a difficult task. None of the projects had
even an elementary design.
If you were to vote for one, what actually were you voting for? What would a new Town Hall look like? Where would the PVs be located?
Is the new police headquarters going to be built from scratch and where?
What kind of Midland Avenue improvements are being visualized?
One of the committee members told me he thought the whole thing was a sham.
Finally, with very subtle nudging and meeting fatigue we voted for the Midland Avenue improvements even though we had no idea what they were.
To circle back to the support of the Sanitation District, I was once sat on that board and I don’t ever remember it being political.
I understand, though, that the infrastructure needs replacing on Midland Avenue and if the town of Basalt is going to be digging up the street, the district would save a lot of money replacing the sewer lines at the same time.