So take care of kids now
It’s easy enough to wonder aloud about this end-of-the-year stampede to build a tin event center-livestock barn to replace the Red Barn, which was burned down this fall to make way for gravel mining. And to criticize county commissioners for not starting the process much earlier, knowing the barn would be going.But what of the 4-H kids who used the Red Barn to raise their animals, the kids who live in town and don’t have the advantages of the ever-shrinking pool of ranch and farm kids in Eagle County?It’s only becoming more clear that the county’s elected leaders need to hew close to the plan outlined in the county’s budget letter dated Dec. 14, 2004: — “… staff will work with a consultant to evaluate land use at the fairgrounds, including but not limited to overall master plan redesign and a multi-use event center.”– “Additionally, Fair and Rodeo staff will work, along with the 4-H, on the evaluation process of location site, design and construction of a new 4-H barn.”That’s a far cry from spending $1.9 million right now on a prefabricated structure whose design and construction sure look preordained from this vantage. Whoa, there, commissioners. Tempting as this might look, the rush hardly fits the reputation of the “Best Run” county to be found anywhere. Best stick to the script. Now, that actually makes sense. Whether the county needs a big ol’ event center is one thing. But the kids at the least need a new barn. While the leaders figure out how to do all that, surely they can come up with a temporary solution in the meantime that costs a lot less than $1.9 million. At least take care of that much. Vail, Colorado
In terms of area, it’s the county’s smallest conservation deal ever. In terms of location, it’s one of the county’s rarest acquisitions.