Wednesday letters: Light rail, freight rail, Silt election, preps thoughts, the deal with Manchin
Countering light rail thoughts
I am responding to David Hauter’s guest column (Feb. 25 Post Independent) on light rail transit by 2050, I have two issues about his proposal. First, that funding for a rail system is no longer out of reach. Second, that locations of high-density housing should be within 10-12 minutes of the transit stations for the rail. I have a lot of respect for David because of his contributions and involvement with the city. I just happen to disagree with him on this issue for the future.
The city did an EIS study around 2002 as a requirement from CDOT to justify re-locating Highway 82. The cost of relocation along the river corridor was around $98 million, and to build a light rail system was an unattainable cost. My objection to the possibility of a light rail system 28 years from now is that it would not solve our present or future traffic problems.
One of the three locations mentioned for high-density is the old Safeway store, and this location on Grand Avenue (Highway 82) CDOT rates “red,” unsafe, and close to grid lock. Developing this area for anything other than a grocery store or similar use would most definitely increase the red zone even more.
The other locations mentioned need to stay retail and not turned into mixed use. In all the studies that I have seen since I moved here in 1975, the residents want a small town feeling when people visit Glenwood and for their own quality of life. Nowhere have I seen a study that shows the residents want Glenwood to be a bedroom community.
The article left out that increased housing will require increased demand for water; water that we may not have in the future! The only way to solve affordable housing is through government-funded projects. The city’s services (police, firefighters, parks, electric and infrastructure) cannot keep up with our present growth.
Don “Hooner” Gillespie
Classen makes case for Silt
My name is Chris Classen and I’m running for a seat on the Silt Board of Trustees. I am currently the chair of the Silt P&Z Commission. I have been on P&Z since 2017 and was appointed to my second term last year. Experience on P&Z will be beneficial to me as trustee as I am familiar with the community development aspect of Silt.
I also serve as vice chair of Silt’s VALE board and have worked in both the town’s public works and water/wastewater departments. I have a thorough knowledge of Silt’s infrastructure and understand the needs of those departments.
I’m very dedicated to Silt. As trustee, I’ll work to represent the best interests of Silt and its citizens, and be fiscally responsible. The town isn’t here to make a profit, the taxes and fees paid by its citizens and businesses need to go back to them in the form of town maintenance, improvements and enhancements.
The more attractive Silt is, the more residents and businesses we’ll attract and retain. That, in turn, will increase sales/property tax revenues for essential services like police officers. I’m not talking rapid growth, 3-4% is a good pace where Silt can keep up with needs such as public safety and infrastructure. All aspects of a town are interwoven in some form or fashion that one thing can positively or negatively affect everything else. You have to think how one thing affects another.
I support such projects as affordable housing, new I-70 interchange/pedestrian overpass, new senior housing, rebuild/repave deteriorating streets and trails. I support parks/recreation/culture for kids and adults alike. I also support conservation of our most precious resource, water.
Western Colorado and the Town of Silt is a great place to live! We have great views, the landscape is wide open, no confining valleys, plenty of winter sun and down to earth people always willing to give a hand in this Simply Irresistible Little Town!
Supporting Silt’s past, present and future.
Halt Uinta rail plans
I’m writing today to address a potential catastrophic environmental disaster. The Uinta Basin Railway is planning to send trains carrying massive amounts of crude oil through Colorado every day, endangering our cherished and valuable waterways with risk of irreversible contamination.
Obviously, this will cause enormous amounts of permanent damage to our waterways and wildlife habitats across the state. It endangers native fish, migratory animals, birds and their habitats and food sources. Furthermore, there is a danger of chemical exposure and air pollution to humans, animals and the environment. Moreover, it can cause costly destruction of property from fire or accident.
Most importantly, areas these trains will travel are often remote and inaccessible. We do not have the funding for the emergency response required in a catastrophic event.
All Coloradans deserve to have clean water, healthy ecosystems and safe communities.
Keep West Slope preps competitive
Draining the Colorado High School Activities Association’s competitive swamp is long overdue. There are enough schools in the Roaring Fork Valley to make a competitive district basketball tournament. The 48- or 32-team field for basketball tournaments is ridiculous.
During the early 1990s I was honored to serve as Glenwood Springs high school’s equipment manager for Demons athletics. Whether we won or lost at either the old district tournament or at regionals, I was responsible for checking out equipment for fall, winter and spring sports, then at the end of the season uniforms are checked back in and then inventory for the year.
Districts and regional tournaments are the way to go. This current postseason state tournament is a boondoggle for Front Range teams and there really is no time for Roaring Fork Valley coaches to put in the work needed to make these basketball games competitive, and more importantly actually educating our students.
Roaring Fork Valley basketball teams have worked long enough to fulfill the obligation to participate in this system. I support coach Vidakovich’s effort here (March 9 Sports column) in order to continue keeping athletics competitive. Coaches need competitive games so they can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their programs and encourage students to remain involved in school activities.
The final argument I’m going to make is that Roaring Fork Valley schools no longer need to send athletic teams all over the state of Colorado just for a ballgame. Blue ribbons don’t need to be handed out to everyone just for participation in sports.
Sports is dominating our current culture and the word competitive means almost zero. Coach Vidakovich is the best basketball coach in Colorado, thank you.
Cut Manchin a deal
Now that the Broncos are getting top quarterback Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers stays in Green Bay for $50 million per year. Bang, it hit me — now I know what the problem is with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia. We are only paying him $174,000 per year! Plus free parking. Peanuts!
No wonder he “can’t” vote for the new bills. (“I’ve tried everything”, he says.) He even sat with Republicans at the State of the Union. Embarrassing!
The fossil fuels companies are setting Manchin up with at least a million dollars a year. What are we thinking? We have to pay more, a lot more.
I say we make it a nice round $5 million a year (and repaint his yacht). The darn “Build Back Better Bill” is a cool $1.7 trillion — after Manchin trimmed it down from twice that. Look at the return on investment.
Hey, for just $5 million, we tax the billionaires, child care is subsidized, more preschool, another year of tax credit for kids in low-income families, more health care, family leave, lower drug costs, hearing aids (What’s that you say?), and lots of “green tax credits” like for electric cars.
Now if the big corporations come back with a higher offer, we go right to $10 million, two parking spaces, and double his pension. Cheap at twice the price!
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