Basalt Town Council won’t sit idle on unwelcoming entrance signs |

Basalt Town Council won’t sit idle on unwelcoming entrance signs

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT ” The Basalt Town Council wants some official “welcome” signs at the town’s entrances changed because they aren’t so welcoming.

The signs, erected last week, are actually two signs hung together. The top sign says, “Welcome to Basalt” while another attention-grabber just below says, “Warning” with ominous white lettering on a red background. The lower sign goes on to notify people that Basalt has an ordinance that prohibits motorists from letting their vehicles idle for more than two minutes.

Councilwoman Amy Capron said at a Town Council meeting Tuesday night that she has received “a lot” of complaints from Basalt residents about the sign. People don’t like it, and she concurred.

“It’s sort of big and daunting and not so welcoming,” Capron said.

The signs are located at the town’s east and west entrances. The west sign is on Two Rivers Road, just past the intersection with Highway 82.

Councilman Gary Tennenbaum said he received more comments about the signs than he did about recent big policy decisions, such as the passage of strict new affordable housing requirements. He said the criticism is valid.

“You usually don’t want ” ‘Welcome to Basalt: Warning,'” he said.

Several council members said there is too much writing on the signs for a passing motorist to read.

Mayor Leroy Duroux suggested the staff separate the idling signs from the welcome signs. Capron explained that the town’s “Green Team,” an environmental board that she sits on, wanted to place the signs in visible spots so motorists would know not to let their cars idle. But the current level of visibility is a bit too “harsh,” she said. “I just don’t think it’s the right place.”

Councilman Chris Seldin said the signs should be placed in areas where there is typically an issue with idling.

Town Manager Bill Kane took the council’s criticism of the placement of the signs in stride. He quipped that maybe the “warning” on the entrance signs could be about public hangings every Wednesday. Jokes aside, the staff got the message. The signs will be relocated, and Basalt will polish its image as a welcoming town.