A new red barn not enough?
It’s not often that a tin box can turn a county budget-approval meeting into an emotional experience, with hurt feelings and even tears. Especially when the majority of the commissioners adopting the next year’s budget are committed to the project.But it was quite the spectacle Tuesday in the county Board of Commissioners’ chambers as the debate went on for hours over the inclusion of $1.9 million for a 24,000-square-foot livestock facility and events center at the county fairgrounds. Four-H kids lobbied, fair officials huffed and puffed, and some sniping between commissioners livened up what usually is, and should probably always be, a dull day. This year was a little different. The board will change dramatically in the new year with Michael Gallagher’s departure. Commissioner-elect Peter Runyon is unlikely to work in lockstep with anyone, although his views appear to be more in line with Commissioner Arn Menconi’s than Commissioner Tom Stone’s. We’re hopeful, even confident, that Runyon will at the least bring much-needed adult influence to this board.As for the pavilion that simply must be built right now, well, it seems this specific plan was a surprise just a month ago to enough people that cooler heads should recognize this merits a bit more discussion before flying headlong into construction – with no bidding process, no accounting for operating costs, and perhaps not even the right replacement for the vintage Red Barn. Why not simply a nice, new, um, red barn? Or maybe a more extensive, and aesthetic, structure if there’s so much potential to be had in such things? It’s worth talking about just a little longer. For all the tears, the gnashing of teeth, the blustering, there’s no good reason to rush. D.R.Vail, Colorado