True Value becomes victim of RFSD expansion |

True Value becomes victim of RFSD expansion

The year 2005 was a difficult one for both the employees of Glenwood True Value and two members of the Roaring Fork School District Re-1 board who survived a controversial recall effort. RFSD board members approved in early 2005 a plan to expand Glenwood Springs High School onto adjacent private property using eminent domain. The result: More than 30 True Value employees would be unemployed by January, and the Glenwood Gymnastic Academy, Defiance Thrift Store, Valley Refrigeration and Jeff’s ItalianIces would be forced to either relocate or close. But despite pleas from many Glenwood residents for the expanded high school to be built on the school’s current footprint, the school board insisted the acquisition of the True Value and gymnastics studio properties was the best choice for students. Undeterred, some opponents of the plan called for school board members Susan Hakanson and Bruce Wampler to be recalled in the hope that new board members in their stead would influence the board to reverse its decision. In September, Garfield County Clerk Mildred Alsdorf determined that those who submitted petitions for the recall failed to gather enough valid signatures. More than 1,000 signatures on both board members’ recall petitions were declared invalid. In October, RFSD officials began the process of acquiring or seizing the land adjacent to Glenwood High School, and soon, True Value posted “Going Out of Business” signs. Rob Jones, owner of Glenwood Gymnastic Academy, said RFSD officials failed to do enough to help him relocate, a claim echoed by Jeff Isaacson of Jeff’s Italian Ices and True Value owner Denny Swanson, whose business was slated for demolition in January. Defiance Thrift Store reopened at 2518 S. GlenAve., and Valley Refrigeration moved to Silt. Swanson and Jones – both of whom rented the properties they occupied – found few options. In Swanson’s case, True Value rented from a renter and had little control over the fate of the property.

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