Campaign for Aspen community center scores $15,000 donation | AspenTimes.com

Campaign for Aspen community center scores $15,000 donation

The campaign championing the conversion of Aspen City Hall into a community center recently got a five-figure boost from one of its chief supporters.

Bruce Etkin contributed $15,000 to Citizens for Aspen's Community Center on Oct. 22, according to the issue group's campaign finance report submitted with the City Clerk's Office on Tuesday.

That's the second largest single contribution in Aspen's fall campaign season. Developer Mark Hunt's $50,000 donation to the group supporting his Base2 Lodge campaign is the biggest so far.

Etkin, who was traveling Wednesday and couldn't be reached for comment, already has committed $100,000 to help fund a feasibility study concerning the conversion of City Hall — also known as Armory Hall — to a community center.

Question 2B is advisory only, meaning the City Council isn't bound to its results. It asks: Which use for the Aspen Site (currently City Hall) do you prefer for a long-range, 50-year plan? The options are either "community use" or "city offices."

The community center idea is purely conceptual at this time. But should the project come to fruition, the entire Armory Hall, which was built in 1892 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, would be gutted to return the building to its original use as a community center for social gatherings, dances and meetings, among other functions. The building was converted to City Hall in 1957.

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Citizens for Aspen Community Center's most recent campaign finance report covered the period of Oct. 9 through Oct. 22.

Etkin's donation, along with $350 in other contributions, has almost been spent, the report shows.

The group gave $10,486 to the Darnauer Group, an Aspen-based public relations agency that has been promoting the campaign.

Former Aspen Mayor Mick Ireland also received $4,300 for his consulting services, the report shows.

Another $36.13 went to Aspen Reprographics for poster printing, leaving the campaign with a balance of $527.04.

There is no issues group advocating the defeat of 2B.

County: don't mail ballots now

In related news, the Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder's Office issued a statement Tuesday encouraging voters to hand-deliver their mail ballots to its offices at 530 E. Main St. or the Chabad Jewish Community Center at 435 W. Main St.

The statement said it might be too late to mail the ballots.

"There is concern that ballots sent through the mail at this late date may not arrive at the Clerk's Office by the deadline on Nov. 3," the statement said.

Voters also can cast their ballots in person at the Chabad center from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. this week through Friday, or from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Tuesday is Election Day, with the polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Chabad center.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com

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