Basalt’s two ballot questions link park-improvement funds with land purchase
While Basalt voters will face two questions on the Pan and Fork site in the November election, they are linked in a way that could make one of them invalid.
No ballot-question wording was approved, but the Town Council gave direction to its staff and bond adviser. The proposed wording will go back to the council Tuesday for final review.
As it stands now, the first question will ask whether voters will fund the town’s purchase of the 2.3 acres owned by the Roaring Fork Community Development Corp. for $3 million.
“The second question would seek authorization to finance improvements to the river park only in the event the voters approved the acquisition of the (Community Development Corp.) property,” Town Planner Susan Philp said Wednesday.
The second question will seek approval for about $4 million in park improvements. Some of those improvements would be on property the town is proposing to purchase.
So voters could approve buying the 2.3 acres but reject paying for about $4 million in proposed park improvements.
But if voters reject the purchase of the property in the first question, the town government won’t seek any bonding ability to pay for park improvements. That would make the result of the vote on the second question meaningless.
The council discussed numerous ballot-question options Tuesday evening with its bond adviser and staff. It wasn’t immediately clear to some observers and even staff members that the second question would be linked to the outcome of question one.
The purchase of the 2.3 acres is being eyed as a way to gain additional land for the park and allow for some commercial development. About half of the land will go to park and half to development if voters approve the acquisition.
If voters reject the acquisition of the land, the town will use existing revenue streams to add park amenities on the land it already owns along the Roaring Fork River.
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