The Art Base Executive Director Skye Skinner shows off the ongoing remodeling at their new location. Photo by Roberta McGowan.

At their regular meeting on Feb. 9, Basalt Town Council pledged more financial assistance for the Art Base (AB) move to Midland Avenue and also approved lease relief.
Skye Skinner, AB executive director, requested an extension of their lease agreement and rent relief. The organization purchased the Three Bears Building on Midland Avenue and is currently working on renovations.
Council unanimously approved the lease extension at their present location, 99 Midland Ave., through September for up to two one-year terms. Additionally, Council approved forgiveness and relief from all base rent payments retroactive to December. The monthly mortgage payment for the new site is $8,700. Skinner explained that the relief would be very important. She added, “We already have a new tenant there paying rent.”
“I want to salute you,” said Mayor Bill Kane, “for your incredible fundraising efforts and for remaining in Basalt.”
Council Member David Knight added, “You’ve made the best decision in the long term. You provide so much value to the town.”
Skinner also felt good about the move, even though AB was initially looking at being part of the Basalt River Park. One benefit is that the project will be finished by May rather than wait longer for totally new construction.
Skinner said, “COVID made us take a long look at our fundraising. We then had to operate with a 20% budget decrease. We were fortunate to get support to weather that rocky passage.” She added, “We would have been irresponsible to not look at the opportunity when the building went up for sale. For us it is like a small miracle.”
“We are so excited to be on Midland,” she noted, adding that anyone who wants a “walk through” is invited to contact her at or 970-927-4123.
In response to a question about the benefits to the community, Skinner reported that AB distributed free art kits to go in 2020, offers robust programming to support local artists, and is always looking to expand offerings.
In other business, the council approved the submission of a grant application by Pitkin County to the State of Colorado Department of Local Affairs. Council also approved mineral impact assistance funds for the Roaring Fork Broadband Middle Mile Fiber project.
Town Manager Ryan Mahoney explained that the project will be paid for by Holy Cross Energy and Pitkin County. The town will have to provide infrastructure which may total approximately $100,000. The new broadband internet project will remain open access, meaning that different providers can use the infrastructure to provide services.
Mahoney also reported on the CARES Act funding report recently completed and sent to the state. The Town received a total of $307,000. Staff is waiting to hear on the next funding opportunity.