Basalt ready to roll on long-awaited park work
Phase one constructions starts in August; council wants work on phase two to start as early as possible next year
Eight months after acquiring land to expand a park along the Roaring Fork River, Basalt town government is finally ready to start whipping it into shape.
The Basalt River Park has been billed as a signature feature for the town, but it’s been slow in coming. The town originally purchased property alongside the river in 2011. It acquired another acre near the intersection of Two Rivers Road and Midland Avenue in November for expansion of the park.
The park is largely open space for passive uses. Now, it will finally start taking shape for active uses, but construction will drag into next summer.
The Town Council voted 5-0 Tuesday night to award a contract for phase one of the park construction. Walters Co. Inc. submitted the only bid for the project. Nevertheless, its bid for $844,413 came in lower than what the town budgeted.
Walters Co. will start work in early August on park infrastructure — utility installation, grading, pouring of the concrete plaza and temporary erosion control for the winter.
Work will resume under a different contract in 2022 on water misting devices, a band shell, various play features, bathrooms, a bus stop and extensive landscaping.
Some members of the council gave not-so-subtle direction to the town staff Tuesday night to make sure phase two is put out to bid this winter and ready to roll as soon as possible next spring.
Councilman Gary Tennenbaum said landscaping materials should be ordered by December so that the park can be completed as soon as possible next year.
“If we can expedite it as early as possible — I don’t want to wait until late fall next year to landscape this,” Tennenbaum said.
Basalt planning director Susan Philp said the staff faces a “capacity issue” with so many other projects underway.
Tennenbaum responded that completion of the long-awaited park should get special attention.
“If we think this is a priority, I just want to make sure we prioritize the right things,” Tennenbaum said. “I think the community will not enjoy a whole summer of no landscaping.”
Mayor Bill Kane added, “I have to second that comment for sure.”
Roaring Fork Valley natives Emily Ridings and Nikki Ferry have come full circle when it comes to dance. Both studied dance with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB) as kids, continued their training with other prominent schools, and now return this weekend, as ASFB presents “The Nutcracker” at Aspen District Theater.