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Disappointed In Town Vote

To The Editor:

Last Tuesday night, a very important vote went before the Town Board; A vote that would have drastically improved the lives of young preschoolers and mid-income families in the town of Estes Park. Unfortunately, this vote did not pass. It was proposed to have a preschool and nine attainable condo units (some which would have been deed-restricted) built on an empty lot near Lake Estes. While we could list numerous facts and statistics about the necessity of mid-income housing in Estes Park, we are writing today in support of the preschool.

Our children have been attending Lifelong Learning of Estes Valley (LLEV) for years. It is an outstanding preschool that offers topnotch early education, giving children an excellent headstart in life. With a bilingual teacher, scholarships, and tuition assistance, it is a preschool giving all types of children this very special headstart. The program is unique, and we are lucky to have such a school in Estes Park. LLEV has had a very successful, highly-attended program, and has thus outgrown its space in the Community Church of the Rockies. The kids have now been spread out over two church buildings, eagerly awaiting a new home for the school. The school has run into various problems in finding a new, permanent home. The parents of the students have stuck by the preschool’s side, and are just as eager to find a home for this exemplary school.

The owners of the lot of land that was the focus of the June 10th vote, generously offered to develop this land in such a way that it would meet two important needs in this town: mid-income housing and a home for a very popular preschool. By building the two together, they would share the costs of development, building and utilities to allow both to afford to be there.

It was heartbreaking and disappointing that the Town Board was not in support of this. A special thanks to Town Trustees Dorla Eisenlauer and Jerry Miller who did show their support of the young families of Estes Park with their votes in support of this project, and also a special thanks to the residents in the development area who were also in favor. We hope that we all can come together to work toward affordable solutions for spaces for LLEV and other preschools and childcare programs in Estes Park in similar situations.

Kristen Owen & Sherami Payne
Parents of LLEV students

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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