Development conflict could prompt Carbondale trustee Foulkrod to resign
CARBONDALE – A Carbondale Town Council member, who also is the developer of a major real estate project currently wending its way through the town’s planning process, may resign his seat.
John Foulkrod walked out of Tuesday night’s Carbondale Board of Trustees meeting during a rather heated, late-night discussion about a proposed assessment on new development in town to pay for a planned water/wastewater system master plan update.
The assessment would add an extra expense to several large development projects being considered by the town, including the Overlook Neighborhood, for which Foulkrod is a partner and project manager.
Foulkrod has recused himself from any direct board discussions regarding the Overlook. A public hearing on his proposal to rezone the former Mine Services industrial site for a mixed-use residential and commercial development will resume on July 28.
However, as Foulkrod was questioning the purpose and need for the water/sewer tap assessment near the end of Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Michael Hassig confronted him, asking whether he was commenting as a town trustee or a developer.
Foulkrod responded that he was speaking as a trustee. He then left the meeting, which at that point had run beyond four hours, remarking as he walked out of the meeting room that he’d had enough and would resign from the board.
Foulkrod could not be reached for comment Wednesday on whether he would indeed follow through on his stated intention. Hassig also did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Foulkrod is in his second consecutive term as an elected town trustee, having been elected in 2004 and again in 2006. His current term ends in April 2010. Foulkrod also served a separate stint on the town board in the 1980s and early ’90s.
The proposed new assessment would pay for a planned $23,870 update to the town’s water/wastewater collection and distribution system model. The study would help determine when system upgrades, including a possible new wastewater treatment plant, will be needed to accommodate future growth.
The town would front the cost for the study, but recoup it through the proposed assessment on new development.
Following a work session with water/wastewater department officials two weeks ago, trustees tentatively agreed to impose the assessment on new water and sewer taps for each new EQR (single-family residence or equivalent) that comes on line.
The Overlook is among four major development projects – along with Thompson Park, the Village at Crystal River and an affordable teacher housing project on school district property – which together could add another 2,000 residential units to the town over the next several years if approved.
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