Friday letters: Vaccine clinic, Ascendigo development, and Kaup says thanks |

Friday letters: Vaccine clinic, Ascendigo development, and Kaup says thanks

Vaccine clinic thanks

A big thank-you to Garfield County Public Health staff for running an excellent and efficient COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle on March 19. 

Everything was very well thought out and organized so that people coming in for vaccine shots did not have to wait long. From the administrative staff who helped people with their paperwork to the medical professionals that administered the vaccine, they were supportive and professional and did it all with a smile on their face. 

It was great to be part of this team effort to help people get vaccinated.

Gina Waller

Glenwood Springs

Ascendigo camp a winner

I am a full-time homeowner in Missouri Heights. Upon learning of the proposed Ascendigo Ranch educational facility, I was highly concerned. My lengthy list of concerns were promptly addressed by CEO Peter Bell and COO Dan Richardson, who met with me at the site. 

Walking the property, having my questions answered and learning more of their “why” and vision was not only informative, but refreshing. They have selflessly been available to myself and all of my neighbors to take phone calls, emails and even meet personally. 

This meeting prompted my own countless hours of due diligence, and it is my opinion this educational facility should be approved.

Children with autism are deserving to have a place that fits their special needs versus a traditional camp. Missouri Heights is a safe and serene setting for them to thrive. This is a meaningful use of the land. The conceptual plan displays low-density use and blends well with the character of our neighborhood. There are existing nonresidential uses in Missouri Heights that our neighborhood enjoys, and I feel Ascendigo Ranch will enrich community spirit and gatherings. 

Like the other nonresidential uses that are already here, Ascendigo Ranch has taken great care in respecting our natural environment, limited resources and surrounding neighbors. Some improvements will be required, but roads, fire protection, water, etc., are already in place. 

This is not some big investment group coming into our community to destroy our rural way of life in Missouri Heights. Ascendigo has been in Carbondale for over a decade proving their commitment not only for autistic support but to our community as a whole. I highly respect the concerns of my neighbors; however, I feel it would be incredibly selfish to not welcome Ascendigo Ranch with open arms and see their vision become a reality. 

Investing in our youth and community is a win for all. 

Michelle Ferguson-Cook

Missouri Heights, Carbondale

No to Ascendigo development

As a resident of Missouri Heights, I would like to share key points why many of us are opposed to Ascendigo’s development. Not a single person here is against autism services or special camps for children. The problem is this is the wrong location, period. 

Our water supply is severely limited already. Ascendigo plans a recreational lake and needs water for up to 150 people daily. This is unsustainable. Traffic will increase by up to 450 cars/service vehicles a day on El Jebel Road, Fender Lane and Catherine Store Road. There will be negative impacts to wildlife, increased fire danger and construction noise. 

Should there be a wildfire, the evacuation would be a nightmare from their one-way-in dirt road. There is no second exit road access. 

Ascendigo would not be contributing to the county taxes that support roads/ambulance/fire services. This project would create a permanent long-term change in the character of this quiet, rural neighborhood. There would be little oversight to expansions, and their application lacks enforceable, transparent guidelines for future development.

Ascendigo’s development does not fit the established zoning rules and Garco Comprehensive Plan. 

In summary, everyone agrees that Ascendigo’s mission is worthwhile and their clients deserve a special facility. This is simply the wrong location for it.  

We believe finding a location on the valley floor with better access to water and all services, one protected from wind and with better egress is more appropriate as well as safer for everyone involved.

Michael P. Ballard

Missouri Heights, Carbondale

Kaup thanks voters

I am humbled and deeply appreciative to the voters of Glenwood Springs for reelecting me to City Council at-large in the April 6 election. It is a heartwarming affirmation of my service and of City Council’s overall policies.

I have many people to thank for supporting me in this campaign.

Topping the list are the 1,233 people who voted for me and all of the 1,854 voters who returned their mail ballots and participated in democracy at the local level.

My thanks also go out to the 160 people who publicly endorsed my campaign, to the many individuals who donated money for campaign expenses and to my campaign team, who joined me in walking neighborhoods to distribute door cards. 

I give a special thanks to Heather McGregor, who managed and coordinated a successful campaign.

I also wish to thank my opponent, Ricky Rodriguez, for running a positive campaign and for showing a sincere interest in the governance of our city.

We have vital projects to complete and new initiatives to pursue, all intended to improve our quality of life. I stand ready to represent all residents of the city as we move forward, and I hope to hear from you on important issues.

Shelley Kaup

Mayor pro tem

Glenwood Springs

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