Letter: Cut the cord on the Hahnewald Barn
We heartily endorse the recommendation regarding the Hanewald Barn that any further effort to “Save the Barn” — whether by moving, dismantling, remodeling, etc. — be taken up by a civic group interested in converting the barn to another purpose, with appropriate town oversight, but with no further expenditure of taxpayer funds.
We have lived in Avon full-time for nearly 20 years and have owned property here for over 25 years. With significant contact with town council over that time, we don’t recall any discussion about, or even mention of, the Hahnewald Barn. Unlike a similar structure in Steamboat Springs that has become an iconic symbol of that town, Avon’s Hahnewald Barn simply is not a significant part of life in Avon, nor in its history, except to a relatively few residents. Regrettably, we have concluded that instead of being an asset for the town, the Barn has become a liability.
Shifting responsibility to a community action group for any further financial backing for the barn has a great deal of precedent in our valley. For example, Jack’s Place at the Shaw Cancer Center was built entirely through such efforts, as was the Walking Mountains Science Center. And a significant amount of funding for the Castle Peak Senior Care project in Eagle was contributed by those who were convinced that the project was very much needed by our community. Those efforts prove one thing, which should be the sole determinant for further action on the Hahnewald Barn — “If there’s a will, there’s a way!” Failing that initiative — by those in favor of saving the barn — we would urge town council to stop spending funds on this effort.
With mayor Sarah Smith-Hymes concluding that the people of Avon “would never vote approval of the town’s funding the barn,” why is the town council prolonging the discussion? It’s time to cut the cord and recognize that this bit of Avon history is not important to the overwhelming majority of the town’s residents. This will free the town council’s ability to consider better use of taxpayer funds as well as alternative uses of the former Town Hall and police station site. As one recent letter writer urged: “More Fireworks, Less Barn!”
Jack and Greer Gardner