City OKs fee hikes
Golfers and downvalley residents might like this year’s recreation fees, while gymnasts might not tumble for joy. And if you cause the police to respond to false alarms, look out.The Aspen City Council approved a variety of municipal fees Monday night. Overall, most fees increased by about 3 percent, though some remained the same and others skyrocketed.The Aspen Recreation Center simplified its fee structure to better accommodate people who work but don’t live in Aspen, said Paul Kulik, guest services director. Roaring Fork Valley residents won’t see a change in daily admission fees, but Aspen residents will pay 50 cents more a day. A few program costs increased significantly, such as gymnastics. Adult basketball and volleyball prices also increased to $5 each because the fees hadn’t been raised in 10 years, said Susan Arenella, the recreation department’s operations manager.Golfers who buy passes before April 1 will save $70 off last year’s $870 pass. Between April 2 and May 1, a season pass will cost $870, then jump to $950 after May 1. Early planners also get a break on a 20-punch pass if they buy before April 1; it costs $350, as opposed to $385 after April 1. A new option, a 10-punch pass, costs $225. Junior golf passes remain the same, at $100, as do greens fees.Outside of recreation, council members are cracking down on people who cause false alarms. The number of home alarms that have gone off – mostly because of user error – has almost doubled in the last four years, said Aspen Police Chief Loren Ryerson. From Jan. 1 to Oct. 31, 2005, police responded to 909 false alarms, Ryerson said. The department issued 773 alarm-user permits in 2005.Rather than a 2.7 percent to 4 percent increase in false-alarm fees, Councilman J.E. DeVilbiss proposed a more significant raise, and his fellow council members agreed. Alarm permits and the first false-alarm fee (per year) will increase to $100 each. A second false alarm will cost homeowners $200, and a third false alarm will cost $300.”After that, we take your alarm away,” joked Mayor Helen Klanderud.In the building department, after-hours inspection fees doubled, now costing $250 for a two-hour inspection.Kimberly Nicoletti’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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Friends of Colorado Avalanche Information Center has contributed to the state’s avalanche center for several years to help with forecasting for backcountry visitors. It cannot hold in-person fundraisers this year so its asking supporters to sign up for an annual membership.