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“Do Or Mildew”

To The Editor:

Please don’t be selfish when you vote on Ballot issue 1B which would approve the sale of Lot 4 which is behind the Safeway. Vote yes. Does anyone in town really believe we don’t have enough open space or that the elk don’t have enough space considering that we are bordered by a National Park and a National Forrest? The flood was a huge blow to our town, and we need some new development or things will just continue to go downhill. We need to move forward and allow the Anschutz Wellness Center to be built on Lot 4.

We need the new jobs the Wellness Center will provide, plain and simple, or we will just continue to become a retirement town. My children graduated from Estes Park High School, and I feel that they had many great teachers and got a really good education in a safe and nurturing atmosphere. I am shocked to see how the enrollment has declined so sharply in a short amount of time. The median age of our population has also increased sharply.

Many retirees and the rest of citizens in town find it very attractive to have access to good medical care in Estes Park. The hospital will also benefit greatly from this project. Without it, services will have to be cut back as reimbursements for medical care from Medicare and Medicaid are being reduced. I am so happy for all the people who can enjoy their retirement here and have sufficient incomes to live comfortably in such a beautiful town. Please think of many of the rest of the people in town who are young or raising a family or getting by working several jobs. We have to ask ourselves what we care about, what kind of community do we want to be? Will we make decisions that benefit a few at a cost to many?

Please vote no on Ballot issue 2. We simply do not need more open space. Lot 4 behind Safeway is not a good location for Open Space. I have never seen anyone picnicking or hiking in the area. Who want to sit and look at the back of Safeway? We have a couple hundred thousand acres of open space surrounding us. I think that’s plenty.

Please vote Yes on Ballot issue 1A for a 1% increase in sales tax to fund many critical needs such as roads, public trails and a community Recreation Center. I think we can all agree that these are important things, especially if you drive and are hitting the numerous potholes in town, and missing all the trails you used to walk on before the flood. A community Recreation Center would benefit all citizens in our town. We cannot all afford to join a health club. This one percent is a very small increase and without it the Town will not have enough funds to fix roads and trails. Additionally this small tax increase will also addresses the very serious need for emergency response improvements. Keep in mind that we have very low property tax rates. I own two businesses in town and rarely in 15 years of business have I had a complaint regarding sales tax. If you vote on 1A, please don’t turn around and complain about the roads and trails that won’t be fixed.

We can vote for the future or we can vote for stagnation and decline. One thing is for sure though, if these issues don’t pass we will be sending a message loud and clear that Estes Park is not open to development and not interested in moving forward toward a better future. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from a dining hall at Cheley Camp, “Do or Mildew.”

Ann Wilcocks

Estes Park

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