Believes Now Is The Time To End EPURA
To The Editor:
The purpose for which EPURA was mandated seems to have been lost. EPURA’s purpose was not to augment tourism but to restore a town that had been severely damaged by a flood caused by an earthen dam breaking. That dam had been reported as damaged several years earlier. It was therefore just that federal money would be granted to the town to initiate the process of restoration of the town. Inclusive in the Estes Park Urban Renewal project was that local entities would have tax money taken from them for a period of twenty-five years to pay for the complete restoration of the district that was declared “blighted.”
At this time, now 26 years after the flood, can we say that our town is blighted? I should say not. EPURA has not only restored the damage to the blighted area, but has truly made our town a show place-a thing of beauty. The town has been turned inside out, that is what was an unsightly storage area is now a beautiful river walkway that we all enjoy. Thank you EPURA for your many good works.
This fine work has come at a cost. Four entities have had to give up a portion of their property tax money to pay for these improvements. These four entities are the schools, library, recreation district and hospital. Votes taken in each entity have resulted in the unanimous decision-end EPURA. “We want the tax money that is legally ours. For twenty-five years we have been forced to give up our funding. Enough is enough.” In all EPURA collected 50 million, but only spent 18 million on projects. (Now, of course, the fire district will also have to contribute to EPURA.)
The town has recently established the LMD to increase tourism, which in turn, has paid $1,000,000 for a year’s study to bring more tourism, hence more sales tax. Tourism is not the job of EPURA. Nor was it ever EPURA’s purpose.
Vote YES on the absentee ballot you will be sent. Yes means abolish EPURA. Return property tax money to schools, library, hospital and rec. district.