City: You can keep your road
Thanks, but no thanks, was Aspen’s response Monday to a request from Pitkin County to take over another stretch of Maroon Creek Road.
The city has already annexed the road from the roundabout at Highway 82 to Iselin Park. County officials were hoping the city would take another stretch off Pitco’s hands – from Iselin to Aspen Highlands, but the City Council unanimously rejected the annexation petition.
The Highlands base area, which was annexed into the city several years ago, is producing about one-third of the sales tax revenues the city projected at the time, noted Randy Barwick, assistant city manager.
At best, the city hoped to break even at Highlands – that the cost of providing police service, for example, would be offset by additional revenues. That has not been the case, said Barwick.
Council members expressed fear that erosion of the steep slopes bordering the road would leave the city with a major repair job at some point. In addition, annexing the road up to Highlands would put parking enforcement headaches in the city’s lap when skier parking at Highlands is maxed out, staffers noted.