Letters to the Editor – July 4, 2013
Why Rifle does not need a rec center
It was quite a shock to listen to Shelly Aibner say Rifle has needed a place to recreate for a long time. This area has many places to recreate.
We have a great swimming pool with a water slide, a tennis court with lights, a skateboard park, a dirt track for bikes, a nice park with a covered area for parties, a great water park with a concert area and a covered area for parties, concrete walking and bike paths.
We have a great bowling alley. We have many parks with lots of great areas for family use. We have a great shooting range, thanks to the Sportsman Club. We have two lakes for fishing, boating, camping, picnics and swim beaches. We have the Colorado River for rafting and fishing. We have Rifle Mountain Park for camping, fishing, picnics, hiking trails, climbing walls. We have the JQS area for hiking, biking, dirt biking, ATV trails and four-wheeling.
We live a short drive from the Flattops area, the Grand Mesa, the Book Cliffs (Roan Plateau for you new folks); we have Mamm Peak and Beaver Creek.
We have some of the best hunting areas in the state right here around Rifle. Then we have all the great winter places to recreate for snow machines, cross country skiing, snow shoeing and ice fishing. We are an hour away from two great ski areas at Sunlight and Powderhorn.
The great part is that it is not inside a $21 million building that we will be paying for over the next 30 years.
Jake and Becky Mall
Rec center builds a better Rifle
I am writing to seek your support and that of our citizens for the Rifle Recreation and Community Center. This center will truly build a better Rifle.
A recreation and community center would benefit all of our citizens, young and old. It would provide everything from exercise classes for my elderly parents to swimming lessons for my elementary-age children.
Apparently, the city already spends several hundred thousand dollars each year to maintain the current outdoor pool and the fitness center, which in my view are not meeting the needs of our community. A new recreation and community center would not cost much more than the city is currently spending, but would provide our citizens with so many more benefits, including a boost to our economy. Other community centers in our region are nearly paying for themselves by attracting visitors from outside their communities.
Let’s give Rifle the amenities we all want and need. I, for one, am willing to spend 74 cents on every $100 in order to provide this benefit to my family and yours.
We’re against taxes, not the rec center
When the Rifle Regional Economic Development Corp. president announced at the State of Community luncheon in February that a committee was forming to propose a tax increase to fund a new Rifle recreation center, it was all I could do not to stand up and shout, “Oh, hell no! We just had a tax increase last year!”
But, no, no, I refrained. I’m a professional after all, and this is a small town.
Thankfully, in March, the Rifle No More TAXES group was formed. And yes, I am a member. You may have heard of it, read their Citizen Telegram column, or perused their Facebook site. They aren’t opposed to rec centers; they are opposed to being taxed for them.
Discovered very quickly they were the anti-taxers, anti-frivolous spenders, pro-budget, personal responsibility, and hard-working folks who make up the silent majority of Rifle. They spend hundreds of hours volunteering each year for the various groups, causes and events they are passionate about.
Another thing discovered was, generally speaking, people don’t like confrontation, and they worry about the repercussions of standing up to the opposition in a small town. There was no formal opposition to the Vote a Penny or the water tax hike. We’ve been too busy commuting and working to keep our families above water during this continued rough economic period to notice what has slowly and quietly been happening in the town we love so much.
If this ballot issue passes, our total tax will be 8.89 percent and Rifle will be another $21 million in debt. Just 15 percent of Glenwood Springs residents have annual passes to their rec center. Tax all for the benefit of the few? Illogical and inequitable!
We have a chance to stop this unnecessary tax hike. Let your voice be heard Sept. 10 by voting NO.
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Fans, players and coaches on both sides of Stubler Memorial Field seemed to know it would come down just the way it did, regardless of who had the ball at the end.