Basalt-area briefs: Town to buy housing lots; planning director hired; CPW hosting fishery management event |

Basalt-area briefs: Town to buy housing lots; planning director hired; CPW hosting fishery management event

Basalt to purchase four housing lots

Basalt town government decided to jump on an opportunity to purchase four vacant lots in a new development project called Stott’s Mill.

The Town Council endorsed a staff recommendation to buy the lots for construction of affordable housing. Stott’s Mill is being developed along South Side Drive near Basalt High School. When the project was approved in 2017, Basalt included a condition that allowed the town or nonprofit entities it approved to buy up to four lots.

The town government decided to buy the lots itself. It will be determined at a later date if it builds housing for town government employees, builds housing and holds a lottery for any Basalt workers, or offers some or all of the units to nonprofits.

“We don’t have to make a decision right now what to do with the lots, we just need to decide if we want to purchase the lots,” Councilman Gary Tennenbaum said at Tuesday’s meeting.

If the town had acted immediately, the price would have been $175,000 per lot. The approval allowed a 3% annual escalator starting one year after the project got the green light. That boosts the price to $202,872 per lot.

“It’s significantly discounted from what they’re selling for on the free market,” said assistant planning director James Lindt.

Town Manager Ryan Mahoney said one lot was recently purchased on the free market and flipped for more than $500,000.

The seven-member board unanimously approved the purchase. The funds will come from an affordable housing fund that was created when voters approved bonding for various projects in November.

Basalt hires planning director

Basalt has hired Michelle Bonfils Thibeault as its new planning director, according to Town Manager Ryan Mahoney. Bonfils Thibeault will take her post April 25.

She is currently a land-use planner II and project manager II for the city of Aspen. She served on the Pitkin County Planning and Zoning Commission from 2013 to 2016 and she has been on the Basalt Planning and Zoning Commission since 2000. She will leave that board now that she is taking over as planning director.

She received her bachelors of arts degree in urban politics from Mount Holyoke College. She earned her masters of planning from the University of Southern California.

Susan Philp retired as planning director Feb. 4 after 24 years with the Basalt planning department, mostly as the director.

CPW hopes to hook anglers

Colorado Parks and Wildlife will host a meeting in the Roaring Fork Valley on April 20 to discuss fishery management in its Northwest Region.

The meeting will be held at the Eagle County community building in El Jebel from 6 to 8 p.m. Anglers and anyone interested in aquatic issues is encouraged to attend.

The meeting will include “an overview of CPW’s fisheries management, potential statewide aquatic regulation changes as well as other important news,” CPW said in a news release. CPW staff will be available to answer questions from the public.