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Urges People To Not Sign EPURA Petition

To The Editor:

One thing I enjoy is visiting with people about Estes Park, locals and guests alike-in the grocery store, on the river walk, lake trail, walking the streets or while they are waiting for a tour bus. I would say nine out of ten have great things to say for the community. Some live here; some have been coming to Estes Park for years; some have known us for only a few years and a lot are here for the first or second time. The most common comment from the long-timers is how nice the town looks; for the newcomers, they love the quaintness and uniqueness of the village.

Most did not know Estes Park before July 15, 1982, the back alley character of what is now Riverside Plaza; narrow sidewalks; no public rest rooms; the shoreline of Lake Estes, the old Army/Navy Surplus store, Bob’s Amoco station and no one visiting the west end of Elkhorn…and the list goes on. The Estes Park Urban Renewal Authority was established after the Lawn Lake Flood and has been vital in making Estes Park become the viable, unique destination resort. Improvements by EPRUA to the areas mentioned are the Streetscape, River Walk, the Conference Center, Performance Park, Tregent Park as we know them today. EPRUA continues to improve the community with the current project of expanding Stanley Park and replacing the grandstands. This upgrade is essential if we are to secure the many horse shows, Rodeo and other venues-Estes Park has a lot to offer but so do other resort communities. We must stay alive and well when facing the competition.

EPURA’s ability to bond for funding for major projects is important and is something the Town can not do. Also, ten or fifteen years down the road, maintenance is necessary and the Town alone can not keep up with that need.

We have owned property since 1967 and have been residents for thirty years and know what Estes Park was before EPURA. I believe continuance of EPURA is critical for the community for a number of reasons: the better the community, the higher our property values will be; the more inviting, people from around the world like to visit which in turn generates sales tax revenue which supports the infrastructures we all have come to enjoy and expect.

Larry Pesses and Bill Van Horn are filing a petition alleging the Estes Park Urban Renewal Authority is illegal and want the citizens of Estes Park to vote on the issue. Should they collect enough signatures to have it put on the ballot and it goes to a vote of the people, it will cost the Town $5,000 +. You may not know Bill Van Horn and Larry Pesses currently have a lawsuit against the Town which has cost the Town (you and me) $15,000-$20,000 to date.

Many times people do not know or understand the issue of a petition but sign it anyway because it is their right to do so, or just to be signing, or they just want the people to vote. The petition will be out for signatures to move forward on this action. If you believe Estes Park Urban Renewal Authority should be continued to improve our community I am asking you to NOT sign the petition thus preventing it going to a ballot.

I love Estes Park!…and know you do too.

Pat Newsom
Estes Park, CO

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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