Letter: Support historical societies
I’m writing to ask for support in preserving Garfield County history. Ballot issue 1A in this fall’s election is asking for a .45 mill increase in your property tax ($3.24/$100,000 assessed property valuation). This modest increase will raise $1 million a year and will go to support seven historical societies in Garfield County. The societies are the Mount Sopris Historical Society, Glenwood Springs Historical Society, Glenwood Springs Railroad Museum, New Castle Historical Society, Silt Historic Park, Rifle Heritage Center and Museum and the Grand Valley Historical Society.
These societies are dependent on donations through memberships and special events. All depend on volunteers to manage day-to-day operations. Some are in desperate straits and can barely keep the doors open. Many of the facilities are deficient, and after many years of delayed maintenance are in need of repair. There is a good possibility that some of the museums in the county will have to close and sell historical assets. I think we owe our forebears more than this. Without your help history will be lost.
The Citizens for Historic Garfield County have decided to change this course of history. They presented their case to the county commissioners in July. The commissioners agreed to put the question to the voters in November. If the ballot question passes, all seven societies/museums can prosper. The outlay to each society will be determined by a seven-member advisory board overseen by the county commissioners.
By funding the improvements in our societies, we increase our heritage tourism and have an increase in sales taxes — 1A will pay for itself.
For more information, visit http://www.historicgarfieldcounty.org.