MidFirst outspent CVRG 9 to 1
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Call it big money vs. grass roots. David vs. Goliath. But however it’s characterized, the folks behind Community Voices for Responsible Growth in the campaign over Red Feather Ridge showed that a large bankroll doesn’t always translate into victory.
The final campaign spending reports in the election for Red Feather Ridge were recently released by the Glenwood Springs city clerk’s office. The reports show that during the course of the election, Neighbors for Responsible Planning – the pro-Red Feather Ridge group financed by MidFirst Bank of Oklahoma City – spent $66,000 on the campaign.
Aside from a $100 contribution by Red Feather Ridge attorney Lee Leavenworth, all the money came from MidFirst Bank.
In contrast, Community Voices for Responsible Growth, funded by contributions and in-kind donations from local residents, spent slightly more than $7,300 and won the election by more than 1,000 votes.
The final tally in the June 24 election was 1,886 “no” votes versus just 671 “yes” votes.
According to the contribution and expenditure reports, Neighbors for Responsible Planning spent $32,791 on the campaign between March 15 and May 30. That means the group spent more than half its total – $33,200 – between May 31 and the end of the campaign.
Throughout the entire campaign, Community Voices for Responsible Growth spent $7,362 – just 11 percent of the money spent by MidFirst Bank and its Neighbors for Responsible Planning.
Red Feather Ridge was a proposal that included a 149-house planned residential development located on approximately 132 acres of land on the east side of Four Mile Road. Of that land, approximately 90 acres would have been committed to open space, park and recreation and cemetery uses.
Developers also offered $400,000 to help fund the soon-to-be-built roundabout at Four Mile and Airport roads; $2,500 per house for transportation improvements; and $100,000 toward building a park. The development also would include 23 affordable lots on which affordable housing could be built and three lots for Habitat For Humanity to build houses.
Since losing the election, MidFirst Bank representative Guy Harrell said the bank’s plan is to sell the entire parcel of land at once.
“We’re just listing the property to sell it in bulk,” Harrell said. “If we’re not satisfied with the buyer or the price, we’ll go back to square one.”
But he insists square one doesn’t include any new proposals – or a so-called plan “C” – to get the property annexed by the city.
“There won’t be a plan C,” Harrell said. “We’re going to attempt to market it in bulk, but if we can’t, we’ll sell the 57 lots over whatever time period it takes – which is exactly what we should have done two years ago.”
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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