Fight over Frisco peninsula nears climax
FRISCO – It’s down to the last week and both sides of the Colorado Mountain Colorado vote are passionately trying to sway voters. On one hand, there is the Neighbors United for Future Frisco, a group that emerged in support of the efforts to build a Colorado Mountain College campus in Frisco. On the other, there is the Save Our Peninsula – Again! citizens’ group fighting to keep the college off the recreation area.They both have drastically different opinions, but they are in agreement in their desire for residents to go out and vote. Tuesday, their efforts will come to an end as voters determine if Colorado Mountain Colorado will be consolidated on 20 acres of the Peninsula Recreation Area.
Bob Bloch, one of this group’s leaders, wants “to encourage people to get good information and not just succumb to emotional-based arguments,” he said.
“It’s either CMC on the peninsula or … we lose an incredible benefit that could be right here in our community,” Bloch said.No one on either side has ever questioned if the college would benefit the community, he added. What the other side has a problem with is the location.When asked what message the western Colorado community college wants to get out in the final days before the election, Dr. Leah Bornstein, the college’s dean, did not have a comment but rather referred to a letter written from the college to Frisco’s town council and staff. In it, CMC’s board of trustees said they look forward to working with the town, hospital, senior center, fire science training center, state patrol and recreational groups.
Mayor Bernie Zurbriggen, a well known supporter of the college, said he is looking at the issue from a broad perspective where he sees mixing recreation and education as positive for the town.”I think it will become part of the culture in this community,” he said.
The group’s goal is to get rid of “misinformation” like the idea that if the question passes commercial uses will be allowed on peninsula or that recreation will be lost, Bloch said. Also, there are no other options for the college to build in Frisco, he said.”If we lose CMC, shame on us to be so shortsighted and selfish and not see the greater good,” Bloch said.
“The message is the same one we’ve always had,” said Eileen Davies, co-chair of the group. “It’s not about the college at all. It’s about protecting open land.”Through letters, phone calls and door-to-door stops they are hoping to encourage enough voters who are against putting a college on the recreation area to hit the polls.”Every vote is so important in a small town,” Davies said.What the organization would like to see is more recreation options on the site selected for Colorado Mountain College. A plan that was being worked on before the CMC includes sledding, ski jumps and ice skating that fit in with the terrain in that area, Davies said.
“We want people to know there are other options,” she added.Doug Malkan, who is running for county commission, is also active with Save Our Peninsula – Again! He has made it one of the issues he is running on and he agrees with Davies that the college could be in Frisco without being on the peninsula.”I believe that the County Commons is a better location,” Malkan said, adding that having the college on the peninsula would degrade the Frisco Nordic Center.As a candidate he is speaking out with the hope that the college will not pass. It would “infringe on the most valuable open space,” he said.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado