Letter: Fraser, Winter Park need each other. Why not marry?
Ryan Summerlin March 13, 2014
To the Editor:
Ron Jones deserves our thanks for supporting the consolidation of the towns of Fraser and Winter Park in your interview with him last week. Problems created by the artificial division of a single community come to light currently during weekend mornings as traffic backs up at the new Kings Crossing stoplight. I am sure if you went down the crawling row of vehicles stretching toward Tabernash to interview drivers you would find more than a few Valley visitors who would swear they would never return to this traffic-clogged community. Next summer we get two more stoplights in this short stretch of shared Fraser/Winter Park highway.
We should either be one town with one administrative staff and one voice or we will be two communities with snarled traffic and a reputation as a poor place to visit or live.
Witness with alarm Winter Park’s serious discussion about a full-sized grocery store on the old Sitzmark/James Peak property; imagine visitors going to a new City Market in Winter Park instead of the Fraser Safeway. Fraser sans Safeway sales tax would literally wither on the vine; Winter Park controls nearly all the visitor spent sales tax outside food purchases. I am not sure where Winter Park workers would live without a viable Fraser.
Winter Park certainly brings excellent sales tax revenues to consolidation negotiations. Fraser, trusting they continue to push a hard bargain with the developers of Byers Peak Meadows, brings strong water rights to the table. Winter Park’s surface water source was threatened in the past (2002) with shut-off by downstream senior water rights holders. Winter Park not only needs support from Fraser’s senior rights, they need access to ground water which is not available in a town that sits on bedrock. Fraser has the groundwater to feed new Winter Park wells.
Transportation, consolidation, water, developer negotiations – these are but a few of the topics needing support from new Fraser trustees we hope voters elect on April 1.
Candidate, Fraser Trustee