To the Editor:
It is only a matter of time before Fort Collins and Larimer County double in population again. We can easily imagine much of the vacant land in the county covered in low-density sprawl covering the foothills and plains. Fortunately we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to save our scenic vistas and open spaces. By extending the current Fort Collins Open Space tax extension we can insure the future of our unique and irreplaceable western landscape.
The current funding made a major impact and allowed us to set aside superb urban escape recreational areas such as the recently expanded Pine Ridge Open Space, 1,000 acre Coyote Ridge (that will link with other foothill trails), 1,000 acre Cathy Fromme Prairie, two that protect access to the Poudre River, 1,300 acres at Fossil Creek Reservoir and 1,600 acres to set aside open space between Fort Collins and Loveland.
Why should we extend the open space tax? What is left of the money is now being set-aside for operations and maintenance. More funds are needed to actually buy more land from willing sellers. Land prices have already significantly increased and will eventually become unaffordable.
Now is the time to make the investments that will provide us with areas that we can use for walking, hiking, biking, viewing wildlife and fishing. The funds made it possible for us to partner with Great Outdoors Colorado and Larimer County and make a greater impact.
Continuing the funding will mean we can continue to work cooperatively to set aside the scenic vistas that surround us. Without this funding much of the county will develop into large lot subdivisions, closing off public access forever and scaring the landscape.
Groceries and prescription drugs are not taxed and low-income people are eligible for tax rebates. It is not a new tax or tax increase, and will continue the Building Community Choices Tax of one penny on $4.
Please vote yes!
Fort Collins resident