Letter: Funds from ballot questions A and B will also replace utilities
The passage of Glenwood Springs ballot questions A and B will rebuild and replace the obvious deficiencies of 43 miles of roadways, and also includes utilities that are out of sight, but should not be out of mind. Included is the replacement of over nine miles of water distribution lines and almost five miles of sewer main. These line replacements are an expensive, significant task when considering all the necessary service line connections and challenges of other buried utilities. An additional “hidden” benefit will be the installation of over nine miles of broadband conduit. Many residents and business already connected tout and depend on this speedy technology.
A recent break of a water main on 13th Street disrupted supply over a couple of days to that neighborhood. Often seen in the Denver area are similar failures of aging, critical infrastructure causing sinkholes and flooding. It can happen here. Band-Aid repairs to infrastructure above or below ground without comprehensive planning and adequate funding for replacement/rebuild can be futile and ineffective, both practically and fiscally. Chip seal treatments or asphalt patching of streets and digging and fixing leaks (or ignoring them completely) are treating the symptoms, not addressing the literally underlying problems. Current funding has not kept up with need and further delay will result in more deterioration and expense.
This well-detailed, prioritized plan is funded by sales taxes on purchases made within the city by both residents and non-residents. Property taxes or utility rate increases could be alternate mechanisms to fund these overdue improvements, but witness what happened when water and sewer rates were increased to pay for the new wastewater treatment facility. With these higher rates, many chose to let lawns and gardens dry and die.
Should the burden fall on those solely within the city limits, or should these investments be funded with the additional revenue of those, including us, on the outside the boundary? We value and believe in the future of Glenwood Springs and are unable to vote. We encourage those who can to vote “Yes” on A and B to fund these critical infrastructure needs.
Greg and Sean Jeung
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