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Basalt Report: Free money for Midland shopping

Locations: News Published

On Tuesday, July 25, the Basalt Town Council convened for a very brief meeting consisting mostly of a presentation updating both the council and the public on the status of the Midland Avenue Streetscape Project, as well as the new Midland Money program currently circulating the streets of Basalt.

In the public comments portion, the streetscape project was criticized for not increasing the amount of parking spaces on and around Midland Avenue, with one citizen arguing that there is already a significant lack of parking and the project won’t adequately address this issue.

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During councilors’ reports, Mayor Bill Kane stated that the Town has received a positive response hosting the Sunday markets in Basalt River Park, and that the Midland spur opening with 92 parking spaces will help support the market even further. Town Manager Ryan Mahoney agreed, but added there is still some streamlining to do, especially with safety and efficiency concerns with having some vendors on the other side of Two Rivers Road.

Returning to the point of parking on Midland, Councilor Elyse Hottel said that adding parking spaces would conflict with Basalt’s climate goals, and keeping the quantity of spaces limited will encourage citizens to use alternative forms of transportation. Hottel added a quick reminder about the Midland Money vouchers currently circulating.

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Distributed by the Town to encourage commerce this summer, these small tickets are worth $20 at participating businesses up and down Midland Avenue — essentially, a free appetizer at some of your favorite restaurants. Midland Money is distributed at the free Wednesday concerts, the Sunday Market, other public events this summer and even at Town Hall at any hour. Between now and September, a total of 2,500 vouchers will be distributed to citizens and visitors alike for use at over 20 businesses around Midland. A list of all the participating businesses and more information can be found at

Mahoney emphasized the long-term vision of Midland’s overhaul in his report, stating that there are necessary changes to be made beyond just updating utilities. “The idea has been: deliver a project that is going to last for 50 years plus, that addresses things that are important like ADA access,” Mahoney said, adding that he’d observed the challenges of navigating the street with a wheelchair, cane or walker. Mahoney also said the improved storm drainage system will help control the flow and contents of runoff into the rivers, as well as prevent pooling and safety issues from frozen water in the winter.

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Next up on the same topic, Dave Detwiler of Wember Inc. presented the monthly Midland Avenue Streetscape update. In terms of construction progress, the curb and gutter installation is still ongoing, but the spur should be open to public access by mid-August. Then, Phase II will begin — from the spur uphill to Xin Yu Massage. However, the waterline is the only part of Phase II to be installed this summer and should be complete before winter. The more controversial surface improvements in Phase II will begin in the early spring of 2024, according to the current schedule.

The timeline change was caused in part by a project team decision to order and install specialized valves and connectors in order to prevent a complete water shutoff along the north side of Midland. This installation added weeks to the schedule, and while shutoffs will still occur this summer, the change should allow project managers to limit water disruptions and keep commerce flowing above ground.

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An ordinance and a resolution formed the only two council actions for this evening. The first was a second reading and approval of an ordinance to disallow parking in the cul-de-sac at East Cody Lane so emergency services can turn around in case of an emergency situation. The second action was to allow a patio at CC’s Cafe to encroach upon the Town’s right-of-way on Midland, which has changed as part of the construction. With that approved, the meeting was adjourned.

Tags: #Basalt report #Midland
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