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Basalt Report: New logo approved

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On April 25, Basalt Town Council convened for its regular meeting to discuss Midland Avenue, approve a new logo and fill a final open committee open seat.

During the public comment period, Crown Mountain Board of Directors candidate Shelley Lundh introduced herself, asking for the Council’s vote in the upcoming May 2 board election. Freeman is an Aspen-born business owner and has lived in the Valley since 1988. If elected, she plans to maintain the quality of Crown Mountain’s facilities and possibly install pickleball courts adjacent to the tennis courts. Eagle County residents can vote in-person at the bike and tennis clubhouse at Crown Mountain Park. 

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Also during public comments, two citizens criticized the Midland Streetscape Project’s arrangement of parking, arguing that the rearrangement of spaces further away from businesses would disproportionately affect elderly patrons and reduce customer traffic, exacerbating an existing issue in Old Town Basalt. Public attendees also pressed the Town to enforce two-hour parking limits as designated.

During Council comments, David Knight spoke about a potential Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) regulation which would change opening dates of the State Wildlife Area near the Basalt Public Shooting Range. Originally closed to hikers from Dec. 1 to April 15, if signed the CPW closing period would extend until July 15. Knight encouraged citizens who use the area recreationally to read page 17 of updated chapter W-9 (which covers this potential change) and visit to comment by May 24.

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Councilor Elyse Hottel also offered an update. As a representative for the West Mountain Regional Housing Coalition, Hottel announced a survey for renters in the Roaring Fork Valley to assess housing difficulties and fill in gaps in understanding. The survey is available in English and Spanish and will be posted on Basalt’s official website. Although she has formally abstained from all Council actions related to the Midland Streetscape Project, as an employee of Connect One Design, Hottel stressed the climatological ramifications of the project. 

“I feel like I would be remiss to not mentioning that the conflict over parking is contrary to our stated desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in this city,” she stated, arguing that the first step toward making a dent in local emissions is looking for transportation alternatives.

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Moving onto the manager’s report, Ryan Mahoney gave a shoutout to Police Chief Greg Knott for presenting to the Healthy Rivers board in Carbondale and receiving a $4,000 grant to help pay for a stream gauge by the Pueblo Bridge. Additionally, Mahoney encouraged citizens to check out the renovations at Swinging Bridge, which now has permanent lighting fixtures.

Next was the Town’s 2022 fourth quarter financial report, which held good news. In the general fund, despite budgeting a $2 million loss for the fiscal year, revenue exceeded expenses by $2 million, largely caused by increased sales taxes and increased sale of building permits. Similarly, the restricted fund budgeted for a loss of $3.3 million, but revenue exceeded expenses by $1.4 million.

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The first in a short series of Council actions was the approval of Basalt’s new logo. Directed by Slate Communications, the process for the new logo has been in the works since the winter of 2022, employing local design groups as well as a brand committee which included Basalt High School students Owen Lambert and Holden Lahey. After a series of surveys and many discarded drafts, the Town unanimously settled on a modern design highlighting the confluence of the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers.

The next action was the interview and unanimous appointment of Basalt area resident Sara Garcia to the last open chair of the Basalt Affordable Housing Committee. Garcia works as an economic specialist for Eagle County and brings a professional understanding and Latina perspective to local housing issues. With her appointment, all of Basalt’s public committees are now full.

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Following was a second hearing for an amendment concerning affordable housing units at Basalt River Park set aside for Colorado Mountain College and the Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority. The amendment will waive asset restrictions and give priority to these parties for housing use and passed unanimously.

The final action was an unanimously approved easement agreement with Twin Rivers Condominium Association to install soil nails in order to support the new Midland Spur retaining wall, which is the first of many potential easement agreements to be signed as the Streetscape Project progresses.

Tags: #Basalt #Basalt report #Basalt Town Council #David Knight #Midland Avenue #Ryan Mahoney
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