This week, Basalt Town Council convened for a brief regular meeting to discuss items including the opening of the bandshell at Basalt River Park, as well as alignment with Colorado Communities for Climate Action (CC4CA) regarding new, environmentally-friendly policies.
During general public comments, the Midland Avenue Streetscape project was criticized for not following its schedule and exceeding its allotted budget. Additionally, Town Staff was criticized for not adequately corresponding with citizens long in advance for various downtown projects.
In response, Councilor Ryan Slack emphasized that these projects, including the Streetscape Project and developments at the Basalt River Park, were discussed and presented in public meetings and documents many months in advance. “I understand not everyone has time to be here, but this is all in our public notices, this is all on the website, it is put out the week before every meeting,” Slack said, speaking specifically to the River Park developments.
Weekly Manager’s Reports and advance agendas for Council Meetings are available on the Town of Basalt’s website: www.basalt.net
Town Council was excited to announce a ribbon-cutting of the new bandshell at River Park, designed to resemble a coke oven and featuring a small rock-climbing feature for children. By the time of publishing, the ribbon-cutting and inaugural summer concert will already have occurred, but citizens this summer can look forward to more free concerts every Wednesday, with music beginning at 5:30pm and the headliners performing at 7pm.
During the Manager’s Report, Ryan Mahoney discussed a letter from CC4CA asking the council to support the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) rule. The ACC II rule is a set of regulations designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions specifically from light-duty vehicles such as vans, SUVs and pickup trucks, which are especially common in Colorado. The rule would require an increased percentage of zero-emission vehicle sales. Additionally, ACC II would enhance emission standards for new gas vehicles, and its rules would apply only to new passenger vehicles with no impact on used cars or farm and construction equipment. The rule does not require the purchasing of electric vehicles, but instead establishes manufacturing sales requirements for automakers.
The State of Colorado already joined 14 other states in adopting the first Advance Clean Car standards, and ACC II would add to its existing rules. Basalt Town Council consented to writing a letter to CC4CA supporting ACC II.
Manager Mahoney also stated that the Community Recycling event will occur at Basalt High School on July 29 from 9am to 1pm. With help from Eagle County, this will be the third annual recycling event in which Basalt citizens can drop off various items, including electronic waste, old chemicals and tires.
Next, Senior Planner Sara Nadolny presented an update on CC4CA’s new policy statement which will guide the coalition’s efforts until the summer of 2025. CC4CA focuses generally on administrative action and policy at the local, state and federal levels. Vetted by 42 member communities across Colorado, the new policy statement supports statewide climate strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as local climate strategies empowering local governments to maximize deployment of clean energy and enact equitable policy.
Town Council had two more brief actions before adjourning. The first was to authorize a professional services agreement with Economic and Planning Systems (EPS) for a new housing needs assessment and the establishment of a legal nexus for a potential short-term rental impact fee which could be used to fund new affordable housing projects. EPS worked on the 2015 Basalt Housing Update, and will be assessing housing needs through a series of surveys and ongoing studies within a budget of $90,000. With unanimous approval of the agreement, EPS’s assessment will be available in the first quarter of 2024.
Last up was a first reading for an ordinance approving traffic code amendments specifically at East Cody Lane. At the request of the Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority, the new amendment would disallow parking completely at the East Cody Lane cul-de-sac so that emergency vehicles can turn around if necessary. A second reading was approved unanimously.