Voters in Bayfield will decide this fall whether to lift the ban on marijuana dispensaries within the town’s limits, which was put in place soon after Colorado voters in 2014 made retail sales possible.
We hope that voters vote NO and retain the ban.
Bayfield has cultivated a family-friendly environment, which has been effective. Quantifying “family friendly” is difficult, but anecdotally, plenty of La Plata County residents say that is one of the reasons why they live in Bayfield, or would like to. A ban on medical and retail outlets plays into that atmosphere and image.
Lifting the ban would permit only three outlets at most, and a second question would add a tax on transactions. Estimates are from $100,000 to $200,000 in tax revenues, offset by a range of $60,000 to $100,000 in additional costs, primarily for law enforcement. The net amount would be positive.
But we believe the added revenue is not worth weakening “family friendly.” More will be gained in Bayfield’s livability by being marijuana outlet-free.
We vote NO on Bayfield pot shops.
Pine River Valley Library DistrictBayfield’s already excellent library has been dipping into reserves in the past few years to offset declining natural gas tax revenues, a familiar fiscal position across Southwest Colorado, while the district has seen growth in population and library usage.
To slow that revenue slide, the library district – which covers the same geographical area as the Bayfield School District – is asking voters to approve an additional 2 mills in property taxes to increase the total to 4.5 mills. In the first full year, the additional revenue is expected to bring in about $454,000. That would be $43 annually for a residence valued at $300,000. Current mill levy revenue is about $541,000. It has been 19 years since the district asked for a mill levy increase.
The increase, which is a large percentage bump, will allow the district to provide newly needed services and to build back its reserves. Among the items on the needed list are new technological and research materials, after-school programs and additional services for the elderly. Library staff expect that Bayfield’s new intermediate school, located within walking distance, will continue to add to library usage. Libraries are at the core of a community, and serving students is the most important task.
A good library identifies a community which cares about its residents of all ages. We vote YES vote on the library’s mill levy increase.
Ft. Lewis Mesa Fire Protection DistrictOn the west side of La Plata County, the Ft. Lewis Mesa Fire Protection District is struggling against the state-wide Gallagher Amendment, which has reduced residential tax revenues. Another 2.5 mills, which is approximately $54 on a $300,000 home, will go a long way toward covering the small payroll and additional expenses. In making its request, the district points to the number of vehicle calls it is having to make and its need to respond to wildlands fires.
Volunteers heavily staff rural fire districts, and they deserve taxpayer support. We vote YES on this mill levy request.