Time to bury the hatchets in Bonedale | PostIndependent.com

Time to bury the hatchets in Bonedale

A display of American democracy at its best was apparent in the small town of Carbondale, Colorado, on Tuesday night. Approximately 50 percent of the town’s voters participated in a special election involving the proposed Crystal River Marketplace.

When the final tally was announced, 787 voted against the big-box retail center and 601 voted in favor of the development. The 252,000-square-foot project was defeated by 186 votes.

For the opponents, the victory ignited a celebration. There was dancing in the streets just outside the Town Mothers’ small headquarters. Across the way, developer Brian Huster’s entourage, understandably, was more subdued.

Unfortunately, the campaign had turned bitter and, at times, came close to ugly.

Now that the dust has settled a bit, it should be clear to the people of Carbondale that there is much work to be done. The land in question, located alongside Highway 133 and Main Street, is zoned commercial and will be developed.

The town needs to generate more revenue to cover expenses. Carbondale’s population has grown 80 percent in the past 10 years and continues to expand. Lackadaisical sales tax dollars and weak fees from slumping construction activity will eventually put the squeeze on the budget.

Opponents of the proposed Marketplace, especially, must remain involved and offer meaningful suggestions and workable solutions in planning for the town’s future.

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