I have lived in Old Town Steamboat Springs now for the past 38 years. In the 1980s and 1990s, I was active in securing open space for city parks and trails. I was chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission for five years. Following that, I worked to pass the funding for the Yampa River Core Trail and ended up chairing the Trails Commission for the first three or maybe four years.
I do not live in the Rita Valentine Park area nor do I have any real estate or personal interest in that part of town. My concern is for the preservation of parks, trails and open space that have been secured for those purposes — developed and funded for those purposes — being threatened. I am shocked, and honestly frightened, to think a “land grab” in the future could take designated open lands and have them be used for other purposes.
If, when the Rita Valentine Park was designated, there was some documentation that part of the land could be used in the future for other city purposes, then I would feel differently. This is something I do not know.
For the record, I am not opposed to a new police station, and I would express the same concerns if other parks or city open/recreational spaces were being considered. My feelings are not related to the Rita Valentine Park per se.
As the community continues to grow, we will need more open and recreational spaces. Please lean forward.
Holly (Hollis H.) Williams