Putting Fraser in charge of sanitation district would be more efficient
October 20, 2009
To the Editor:
Should Fraser voters streamline their government? I believe so.
Many moons ago I formed a short-lived committee advocating the unification of Fraser and Winter Park. I am still not sure exactly how the effort fizzled, but it did. I backed this because I believe having two complete town staffs two miles apart is not a good use of taxpayers’ hard earned dollars.
For the same reason I believe it is not a good use of our dollars to manage both a sanitation district and a town government with separate organizations. Many may argue the district is doing a bang-up job, and its functions should not be taken over by the Fraser town government. Others may argue the district is dysfunctional, and the town should straighten it out.
Melanie Zwick’s excellent letter last week outlined many mistakes she felt the town was about to make in running the sanitation district. All these arguments, no matter how well founded, miss the essential point of this election.
If we focus on planning for the future, and work to make that future function as smoothly as possible, it becomes very difficult to argue against the efficiency of having one organization run all the essential services of the Town of Fraser. If you honestly believe the town is not capable of running the Sanitation District (or is about to manage it incorrectly), I urge you to become involved and help improve Fraser town government so it continues to ensure we all have a place to go (quoth the sign hanging on the wall of Grand Lake Plumbing).
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One other point demands attention. Those opposing the consolidation of the District and Town have noted the District remains above political issues through it’s focus on sanitation issues. Zwick notes the district is so focused on ensuring the quality of our new sewer lines it keeps an engineer on site while all new lines are being installed.
This protection is offered in a more economical fashion by both the Winter Park Ranch Water and Sanitation District and the Grand County Water and Sanitation District No. 1 (Winter Park) through the use of periodic inspections during construction by district staff. I have heard of no cases of questions involving the quality of newly installed lines in these districts. Although most of the cost of this very expensive review of lines installed in Fraser is borne by the developer, the cost is eventually passed on to new residents of these subdivisions, i.e. new Fraser town citizens.
Political questions spill over from this practice. Increased inspection costs could cause a developer like those in Rendezvous to choose to annex to the town of Winter Park instead of Fraser. This could cause a loss of sales tax and property tax revenue for the Town of Fraser. Town citizens and their Trustees gain from a more direct involvement in these important sanitation/political issues.
Vote to improve both our Fraser town government and the operation of our sanitation district. Make the improvement of both easier by ensuring we will only have to go to one meeting to make this dream a reality.