Letter: Consider growth costs
Thanks to Charles Peterson for bringing up the concern of growth for Glenwood Springs (this applies to the whole valley, and beyond).
There are now 380 new rental units with more under consideration. This raises some very important questions.
Locally, what are the impacts of this growth on the local community? These new people will need the full slate of government services as well as create wear and tear on the existing infrastructure. What are these costs? What are the actual carrying capacities and what will need to be expanded?
One case in point is the condition of city streets. The city wants to raise money to fix them. Why isn’t the money already available? Shouldn’t there have been an ongoing accumulation of funds from all the growth over the years? Shouldn’t there be a sinking fund?
What about the rest of the infrastructure? Is there a backlog of projects without funding? It appears that additional growth is not providing the money for its own impacts.
There is a fundamental belief in this country that growth is both necessary and inevitable. The state demographer predicts large population increases. Why? Are these self-fulfilling prophesies? More growth means more stress on the environment. More growth means more stress on each other. Have you been to Denver lately? Climate change is reducing our fresh water supply. We are now short of water. Why add more water users?
Globally, we continue to add CO2 to the atmosphere at a record pace. Adding more population only adds more emissions. The effects of climate change will grow more severe. The upper Midwest is now under water in an unprecedented way from record rainfall; and spring runoff has yet to come. Wild fires are now year-round.
As Charlie said: “Growth is not a measure of success for our community.”
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