Basalt council will honor Dick Merritt for his service |

Basalt council will honor Dick Merritt for his service

Longtime resident has helped veterans and worked with emergency management group

Staff report
Lt. Col. Dick Merritt, center, shakes hands with Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo at the Veterans Memorial Park in Aspen on Nov. 11, 2019, while Don Stuber, left, looks on.

The Basalt Town Council used to regularly honor residents who have made a big contribution to community service. Then the pandemic hit and in-person meetings stopped.

The council will revive the practice with special recognition tonight for Richard “Dick” Merritt, a longtime town resident who served 15 years on the Basalt Emergency Management Committee. He is retiring from service on the committee.

Merritt is probably best known for his efforts to organize Veterans Day and Memorial Day events in the Roaring Fork Valley and his dedication to helping veterans with various issues. He is a retired lieutenant colonel who served in the Marine Corps and is a veteran of the Vietnam War.

In a less visible but important role, he served on the Basalt Emergency Management Committee since its inception and promoted use of the Incident Management Command System.

“Dick Merritt has put forth great effort in our community by selflessly volunteering and undertaking a leadership role in the many local projects with which he has been involved, including serving as chairman and citizen member of the Basalt Emergency Management Committee,” says a proclamation that will be read at the council meeting.

While the council isn’t holding in-person sessions yet, Merritt said he would be able to “Zoom in” by videoconference.

The recognition is scheduled for 6:25 p.m.