Empower Our Future

Joe McDonald: Hang in there on municipalization, Boulder

Letter to the Editor:

Recently, there appeared a story with a contemporary ring to it. The story told about how, back in the early ’60s, the city had to pursue condemnation to acquire a property for the public good (“‘Golden boy’ liberated Boulder’s Enchanted Mesa,” Daily Camera, Dec. 14). The owner of the property didn’t want to sell, so the city had to go to court.

This sounds very much like the current situation where Boulder has initiated condemnation proceedings against Xcel to acquire portions of the company’s electric distribution network, also for the public good, as a backbone of a future municipal utility.

What eventually happened back in the ’60s was that the court determined the city had to pay only about half of what the landowner was asking. And as a result of hard work by citizen activists and a forward-looking city council, Boulder was able to acquire the Enchanted Mesa, home to many beautiful trails south of Chautauqua, including a portion of our backbone Mesa Trail.

Hang in there, Boulder. In 50 years the county historian will be telling the story of how we municipalized, and everyone will be wondering how we ever could have gotten along without it.

Joe McDonald
Boulder

This letter to the editor was originally published by Boulder Daily Camera