Letter: Annexation opposition holds Fraser hostage
To the Editor:
Residents of Fraser, we are writing to ask you to vote yes on both the Byers Peak Annexation referenda. We know first-hand how the Town has championed open government. In fact, it may have been the most thorough and open process ever conducted by Fraser – with the Board approving the annexation in May 2013, after six years of exhaustive effort to make the best decision possible for the future of Fraser and its residents.
The issue was not whether Byers Peak Ranch would be developed — it was whether it would be developed in Fraser or the county. After years of public testimony and negotiations, the board reached an agreement requiring the development to pay for all costs, assume all risks and guarantee the provision of water storage for the entire town, protecting Fraser’s water rights and keep current residents from having to pay for it.
As mayors, we share a fiduciary responsibility to serve the people of Fraser fairly and honestly. Everyone that has participated in the town’s processes over the years has taken that responsibility seriously. It concerns us to see this be undermined by falsehoods and accusations made by people that have consistently opposed Fraser’s efforts to secure its future.
The people that oppose the annexation do so regardless of the consequences to Fraser. Some of these people have opposed previous efforts to improve the community.
a) They opposed the Fraser Sanitation District merger. The successful merger created efficiency in operations, reduced staff and board duplication.
b) They opposed the 2001 Rendezvous Plan. The approved Plan gives public access year-round to the Meadow; dedicating River Open Space to Fraser and implementing a trail system linking to Winter Park; and the developer fees paid for Fraser’s portion of the new wastewater treatment plant, bringing discharges into the Fraser River into regulatory compliance.
c) They continue to oppose the extension of the Fraser Valley Parkway. This has resulted in delays to the project, stopping flood controls and preventing creation of an alternate roadway to U.S. Highway 40 when closed.
Fraser cannot afford to be held hostage by people that don’t have a stake in the community and are afraid of change. If Byers Peak is not annexed, the loss will cost each of us dearly. We urge you to vote yes on the annexation – it’s in Fraser’s best interest.
Peggy Smith, mayor of Fraser,
and Jeff Johnston, Pat Howlett, Dennis Soles, Fran Cook,
former mayors of Fraser
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