Letter: Minturn … vote, please | VailDaily.com

Letter: Minturn … vote, please

During this extremely stressful time, I want to encourage the citizens of Minturn to please remember to get out and vote. Our town is making absentee ballots available online as well as available for pick up at Town Hall. We have an extremely important election coming up that will impact the future of our community.  

The town recently approved a capital improvement plan that began an $18 million dollar process to improve and replace our failing water system. We are currently dependent on a single source system that has been said to have up to a 60% water loss. I am unsure if this was clear to the public before, but we are now responsible for paying for the sins of the government from the 1980s through the 2000s that did not save up for this rainy day. 

We are all beginning to see our water bills increase and this is just a touch of things to come. The price tag is a burden of each household that will reflect in massive water bill increases over the near future without more homes in town. The success of the plan to improve our water system, and provide a secondary backup for water supply, hinges on growth. As a town, if we want to keep our water rights and protect our water supply we need to grow. However, let’s be clear, how that happens is entirely up to us.

In full disclosure, I am working on developing the railroad land that lies between Taylor Avenue and Minturn Road north of town.  So yes, I do believe growth is appropriate … smart growth.  I am not trying to bring 900 condominiums to this parcel, I am not trying to turn this into a single home builder, suburban sprawl atrocity, I am not trying to steal retail business from our downtown. What I am proposing is a community-informed extension of our town at a density that matches the current potential of Taylor Avenue and of our Old Town.

There are candidates who are running for council and mayor who don’t want development on this parcel, or might accept some development, but only with much less density than what Taylor is currently zoned for. This would be an unfair solution. I am asking all citizens of Minturn to please look into their candidates and ask questions related to growth and the future of Minturn. Please listen carefully to their responses. Are they focused on themselves as individuals, or on a healthy future for our town? Our current staff, commission, council and mayor have done a very good job of planning for the town’s future and fixing many of the historic problems they’ve inherited. Avoiding growth is not an option if we want to protect our water and our downtown small businesses. Smart growth is critical to our ability to retain our character and our individuality, two traits that make Minturn so special. 

I love this town. Let’s keep its funky charm growing stronger. Please get your ballots in Minturn.

Gregory Sparhawk


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