Owens stumps for Republicans in Frisco | SummitDaily.com

Owens stumps for Republicans in Frisco

FRISCO – Election signs touting Republicans Web Sill and Gov. Bill Owens littered the ballroom at the Frisco Holiday Inn Thursday as Owens stopped in for an hour to stump for the party in next month’s election.

“There is one thing I have in common with George W. Bush,” Owens said. “Both of us would like one more Republican in our respective congresses.”

Owens proceeded to list accomplishments of which he is proud, including passing a series of bills that put growth decisions in the hands of local communities. He said he is also proud of Colorado’s status of having the best business climate in the country in the past four years.

He also addressed issues that directly affect Summit County, including transportation along Interstate 70, water and tourism.

Tourism, he said, is a major challenge, and ads that debuted at a recent tourism conference in Grand Junction will focus on getting Colorado residents to rediscover their own state.

“I can’t believe how many people there are who live on the Front Range who have never been to Delta or Steamboat or Aspen or Frisco,” he said. “Let’s get the 4 million people who live here to re-discover Colorado rather than go on a tour boat in the Caribbean.”

Owens said he believes Colorado has plenty of water to supply both urban and agricultural uses.

“Over-building is a local issue,” he said. “This 350-year drought we’re in won’t be with us forever. We’ll get back to good years some day.”

In the meantime, Owens wants to focus on water conservation and storage.

“Lake Dillon was probably controversial to some people when it was built,” he said. “Today, it’s a jewel. We need more reservoirs. We’ll be back next year with bills for local bonding for reservoirs.”

Sill agreed, saying water problems could be alleviated by conservation.

“Can we conserve our way out of this? Yes,” he said. “Will we? I don’t know, but we ought to.”

Lemon said she also believes it is important to remember to protect water quality for those at the headwaters as well as those downstream.

Owens said he feels problems along the interstate probably could be best solved by fixing the bottlenecks at Idaho Springs and Georgetown.

“I know the monorail is one of those issues that there was a lot of support for up here,” he said. “But you need to put a hard, cold pencil to any project that requires $5 billion to build.”

He said the technology hasn’t been developed to support a monorail, and it probably would take only 1 percent of the traffic off I-70. Most traffic is headed to other places, or is shipping freight across the country.

Sill, who is running for state senator, said he is running on a two-pronged platform of lower taxes and developing a “big, strong, powerful economy one decision at a time.”

Neither Owens nor Sill forgot they were stumping in a county that often sides with Democrats and Independents.

“We’re reaching out to all parties,” Owens said. “We want to get people to understand we have good people in our party who are running for all the right reasons.”

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or jstebbins@summitdaily.com.

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