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What readers had to say this week about local stories, July 14-21

People weigh in on homelessness, lodgers tax allocations and pickleball locations

Each week we highlight some of the most insightful, passionate and witty comments shared on Facebook in response to stories in The Durango Herald.

This week, readers weighed in on Durango’s history and future regarding homelessness, the allocation of excess lodgers tax and proposed locations for pickleball courts.

We enjoy readers’ input and reactions to local stories: People can weigh in on our Facebook page, at the bottom of local news stories at www.durangoherald.com and by writing a letter to the editor.

Here are a few comments that stood out this week:

Story: Durango’s storied history with homelessness: Can we become a ‘model community’?
James Johnson, an on-and-off Purple Cliffs resident since the camp was established by La Plata County in 2018, makes his way to one of the camp’s community shelters on July 15 south of Durango along La Posta Road (County Road 213). La Plata County always intended for Purple Cliffs to be a temporary solution, though it has now been in place for nearly four years, said County Manager Chuck Stevens. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

“ALERT: A managed camp will ALWAYS be opposed if it is located close to residential and business areas. Has anyone considered adopting a farm model for the camp? Located on less expensive land outside of town, where residents can work the farm (grow food, keep animals) if they were able to, with the City/County providing transportation to/from town for services? A farm model would be much easier to manage, have less impact on residents, and would give the homeless a built-in place to work and contribute, instead of only ‘camping’ and then loitering or panhandling in town. NOTE To City/County Officials: Please stop searching for property in town for a managed camp, you have wasted everyone’s time on this for years.” – Liana Smith

“There should be a solution to this problem, and perhaps it is what one city has done (can’t recall the name). There, the city obtained some basic housing units (like at the Best Western here) and allowed the homeless to be homeless no more – but with conditions. After cleaning up, residents were required to get jobs. That shouldn’t be a problem here, as we are having the most drastic labor shortage I have seen anywhere. When residents got jobs, they were required to pay a percentage of their income for rent. It reportedly worked in at least one city.” – Richard Ruth

Story: Should excess lodgers tax go to residents or be saved for future use?
The city of Durango is considering whether to return excess lodgers tax to residents or ask voters to allow the city to keep the money for other purposes. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

“Parking parking parking!! We need to stop penalizing shoppers for spending money downtown and employees for trying to work! The fines are outrageous and people are driving around and around and around searching for a spot to park. By the time they get a few blocks of shopping in, they’re racing back to plug the meter, so often they just leave. Employees have a hard enough time trying to make ends meet, they shouldn’t have to pay ridiculous amounts of money to park! Get rid of the bump-outs and figure out even more parking!” – Stacy Hamer

“Affordable housing can best be helped by choosing the $135 residential utility bill credit. Residents have had to deal with increased gas prices, food prices, and restaurants (if you can get in), largely due to tourists. The State of Colorado is issuing refunds to citizens, the city of Colorado Springs is issuing refunds to citizens, Mesa County is issuing refunds to its citizens – Durango should take note. It looks bad for the city to be spending all this time and money trying to get the money back out of the citizens’ hands. At the end of 2020, the city had $72 million in unrestricted cash across all accounts – they likely are up around $90 million now. If a citizen doesn’t like the $135 dollar credit, they can write a check to the city.” – John Simpson

“The big problem here is that 55% of the revenue of the lodgers tax goes to the Visit Durango budget, used for marketing Durango to tourists. That’s right – 55%. Is there anyone here who really thinks that Durango needs to be marketed anymore? That revenue should have originally been allocated to other purposes, since Durango is doing just fine with tourist numbers. You can thank Rinderle, Bettin and the other previous tax & spend city councilors for this egregious waste of funds. And by the way, who cares what Sweetie Marbury thinks? She was part of the problem with the old council.” – Derek Thielin

Story: Pickleball needs a home. Durango has identified two possible locations
Bayfield residents Fred and Vivian Edwards compete in a mixed doubles pickleball tournament in 2017 at the Durango Community Recreation Center. (Durango Herald file)

“It’s not like there is a super highway located at Fort Lewis. It’s a sport complex. Kids cross the streets in the city all the time. Be fair and share. I support the pickleball courts. There should be room for all sports in Durango.” – Jackie Frederick

“Parking is already tough at Smith. Taking away spots and adding additional usage/traffic to that location doesn’t seem to be logical.” – RaeJean Elmore-Zoltowski

“LOL – I’m thinking Kansas ... that’d be a great place for lots of Pickleball Courts 🙂 Start with ground that’s already level 🙂 Get a laugh out of it people!!! Life’s too short...” – Bob N Zela

Reader Comments