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Letters: Proposition 110

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RFTA serves many
Dear Editor:
This letter is in response to Bruno Kirchenwitz’s letter about RFTA being for the Aspen rich. This is about as far away from reality as a person can get, and is probably written by someone who never rides the bus.
As a senior in Carbondale, I ride RFTA for free whenever I can, to go to surrounding communities (Glenwood Springs, Basalt, Snowmass, Aspen, yes I’ve even ridden the bus to New Castle and Rifle) for whatever reason – soaking in the hot springs, going to a concert, working two days a week in the summer, enjoying a relaxing hassle-free ride, saving money on gas and wear and tear on my vehicle… you get the idea.
I can’t say thank you enough for being able to have an alternative to driving.
Perhaps Mr. Kirchenwitz should broaden his view and understand that RFTA serves many people in the valley for many different reasons, and I’m far from rich.
Karen Tafejian

We’ve crunched the numbers
Dear Editor:
RFTA has received questions about the extent to which the passage of Proposition 110 could affect its need to pursue a 2.65-mill property tax within the boundaries of its regional members. RFTA’s Destination 2040 financing plan assumes, if Proposition 110 passes, that RFTA could receive $15 million in capital funding, which would cover 50 percent of the $30 million Glenwood Springs’ maintenance facility expansion project cost.
Aside from that amount, which RFTA already is assuming in its financing plan, there does not appear to be any dedicated revenue for RFTA. Proposition 110 would provide approximately $11 million per year for statewide discretionary multimodal projects, for which RFTA would need to compete. RFTA also understands that the Intermountain Transportation Planning region would receive approximately $2.5 million per year from Proposition 110 to divide up among eight transit systems (including RFTA), trails, and other multimodal projects.
RFTA’s proposed 2.65 mill property tax will generate approximately $9 million. RFTA has 88 buses in its fleet that should be replaced every 14 years, costing between $500,000 and $750,000 each. RFTA’s Destination 2040 financing plan assumes that State and Federal grants will offset approximately 25 percent of the cost of fleet replacement.
In order to replace its aging fleet, maintain its existing services, and improve services and infrastructure in the future, RFTA will require significantly more revenue than it anticipates will be provided by Proposition 110 or other State and Federal discretionary grants. That is why RFTA is proposing ballot question 7A.
Dan Blankenship, CEO

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RFTA connects us
Dear Editor:
RFTA needs our thanks and our support!
During my tenure in the Roaring Fork Valley, I have watched 4 distinct communities (Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale, and Glenwood Springs), merge to become one Community from Rifle to Glenwood Springs to Aspen.
Each community provides a unique and special history, serves identifiable needs, and provides the distinct environments needed by its particular residents. This blending of opportunities within our communities adds to the excitement of our recreational demands; the fulfillment of our needs, commercial, domestic and medical; the availability of meaningful employment; the blending of opportunities for cultural and educational opportunities; and the mixture of participants in our area culture to enable us to live in this exciting and special place.
To take advantage of the various opportunities, one needs transportation options. If we want to move from one place to another, and if we do not want an eight-lane highway, and if we do not want more autos and more pollution, and if we wish to provide transportation opportunities for those without a car or who choose not to drive, we need RFTA.
RFTA was born out of a need to provide necessary, timely, meaningful, and appropriate travel opportunities. It has continued to meet the growing needs of our valley. We need, now, to continue to support its success and its need for funding to provide essential and desired services. RFTA has served our communities for years: it is time for our growing and changing communities to serve RFTA.
Vote yes for RFTA. Yes on 7A on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Dorothea Farris

RFTA just for Aspen
Dear Editor:
This election cycle has everyone and their cousin with their hands out asking for more hard-earned tax payer dollars. Perhaps the most ridiculous is RFTA’s beggary.
The Roaring Fork Transit Authority is an Aspen convenience whose purpose is to convey worker bees to the Kingdom of Glitz sans vehicles. Aspen abhors the bees’ tacky mobiles cluttering up their avenues of gold.
Aspen billionaires fund free bus rides for the upper valley elite. If they want less traffic and new buses, send the bill to Glitzburg’s super rich. Asking the worker bees to pay for a convenience for the rich is obscene.
Bruno Kirchenwitz

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RFTA or traffic
Dear Editor:
Congestion. It’s not just for Aspen anymore. You will find traffic backed up day and night at every stop light in the Roaring Fork Valley and west of Glenwood. And there’s no longer a quiet traffic time at off peak.
So yes, property taxes seem to be the main dish lately. And it hurts to face higher taxes. But it hurts more to have less than excellent schools, inadequate fire protection and less transit/trails when we need more.
How much worse would congestion be if RFTA lacked the financial support to keep up with this crazy growth? Or think about future degradation of our beautiful Rio Grande Trail if we lack proper maintenance and improvements.
Please check out the details at The site will show you costs and benefits and help you write a letter in support and make a donation of any size. We need your support and your vote. Say yes on 7A to keep our community a place we will always want to live and work.
Jacque Whitsitt

7A for the LoVa Trail
Dear Editor:
Imagine for a moment, riding your bike or walking through South Canyon on a safe, separated path next to the Colorado River.
Perhaps you are heading to the three miles of new flow trail built by the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association in South Canyon. Or maybe your family is headed to the Storm King Firefighter Memorial Trail in Canyon Creek. Or you are just out for a mind-clearing walk with your dog, taking in the sunset over the Grand Hogback. What a gift it would be to traverse this geologic gem at a slower pace than 65 miles per hour!
If you like this vision, then vote yes on 7A, which will provide dedicated funding for trails in our valley communities. If approved, RFTA will have the resources to provide the crucial local matching funds needed to leverage a large-scale federal grant to complete the LoVa Trail through South Canyon. The time is now to prepare for the upcoming 2020 federal grant cycle, and the LoVa Trail is on track to be shovel-ready and poised to compete for funding.
A vote for 7A is a vote for more safe, separated trails for your family and community. Get on board with RFTA.
Jeanne Golay
Glenwood Springs

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