County’s gesture to Bair Ranch and pool is the right one | PostIndependent.com

County’s gesture to Bair Ranch and pool is the right one

Bair Ranch is worth saving and the new Glenwood Springs Community Center pool is an amenity the area has long been lacking.

And now Garfield County is on board with both projects.

The Garfield County Commissioners last week allocated $35,000 to the pool and $25,000 to the Bair Ranch conservation easement from the county’s lottery funds.

While the amount of money is a drop in the bucket ” the price tag for the pool is $3.5 million and for the Bair Ranch conservation easement is $5 million ” the county commissioners should be commended for backing the two projects with the symbolic gesture.

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Opponents of spending lottery funds on the projects worry that the expenditure benefits those in the eastern part of the county ” and Glenwood Springs in particular ” but both endeavors will make the county stronger as a whole.

The Bair Ranch property, which is in both Garfield and Eagle counties, has the potential to offer Garfield County residents another option for outdoor recreation. The key to making it a solid investment for hikers and anglers is to ensure plenty of river and trail access as part of the easement.

Obviously, with more money, Garfield County would have more leverage when these decisions are made. But without a designated open space tax the county is limited in its ability to give.

The commitment to the pool project could set a precedent for future funding, as other Garfield County communities have plans for community centers.

On the surface the aid to the pool may seem like it’s just underwriting a pool for Glenwood Springs residents. But another Garfield County town may find itself asking for similar financial assistance in the near future.

It would be nice to see the county commissioners give those projects the same consideration given to Glenwood Springs.


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