Basalt sales tax revenue up; council finalizes pool project and public works site purchase |

Basalt sales tax revenue up; council finalizes pool project and public works site purchase

Public sites approved for use in mural project

Basalt got a financial windfall during the pandemic year because of an unexpected consumer spending frenzy.

A preliminary year-end sales tax report shows sales tax revenue increased 14.3% over 2019, according to town of Basalt finance director Christy Chicoine. The December sales tax report, which reflects actual sales in November, was up 8%, she told Basalt Town Council at its meeting Tuesday night.

Exact year-end figures weren’t available yet because Chicoine is awaiting more information before finalizing the report. Basalt will reap more than $7 million in sales tax revenue for 2020.

The town ended up collecting about $200,000 more than anticipated for its general fund, Chicoine said. A separate sales tax dedicated for use for parks, open space and trails reaped about $90,000 more than forecast.

In other action at the Basalt Town Council meeting:

– The council selected Alpine Bank’s bid for an issuance of Certificates of Participation to raise funds for Arbaney Pool improvements. Alpine Bank’s bid included an interest rate of 1.35%. That was slightly higher than another bidder, Truist, which came in at 1.11%. That would equal about $19,616 more in interest costs for the project. However, Alpine Bank agreed to provide a $10,000 grant to the town to fund a portion of the energy savings improvements in the pool project. That narrowed the difference in bid interest costs to $9,616.

“It is staff’s recommendation to proceed with Alpine Bank due to their local presence in the community,” said a memo to council.

Basalt will raise $2.11 million from the Certificates of Participation. Arbaney Park will be the collateral. Basalt will pay off the financing between 2022 and 2026. The pool improvements will be finished by May.

-Town Council approved use of seven town-owned sites for possible use in a mural project being arranged by the Basalt Public Arts Commission. The commission asked the town for a two-year commitment to display the murals. The seven sites are the back of the Lions Park stage, the back of the bus shelter on the north side of Two Rivers Road, the side of town hall, the 99 Midland building, a chain link fence along East Valley Road east of the Willits roundabout, fencing along Willits Lane by the new performing arts center and Aspen Skiing Co. housing, and the fence and shed at the Willits rugby field. The arts commission’s request for proposal will allow artists to propose private sites where they have approval or use the public sites. The commission has $30,000 to $40,000 earmarked for the mural grant program.

-Town Council approved a supplemental appropriation for purchase of property near Willits for its public works department. In addition to the purchase of the property from Shelton Properties LLC for $1.6 million, the town will spend about $550,000 to “retool” the site and make it functional for a public works facility.

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