November 8, 2006
Basalt voters approved a 1 percent sales tax increase Tuesday to provide revenues for preservation of open space as well as parks and trails projects.
Unofficial results showed the measure won by 687 to 381. It was favored by voters in both Pitkin and Eagle counties.
The sales tax was anticipated to raise about $1 million in 2007, based on recent municipal receipts.
The Basalt Regional Library District’s proposal for a new facility won the second time around.
Unofficial results from Eagle and Pitkin counties showed that a property tax hike for a new library was approved 1,989 to 1,100.
A related proposal to raise property taxes for operation funds for the new facility was approved by a vote of 2,111 to 996.
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Voters rejected a different library plan in 2003 that would have placed the library in El Jebel.
This latest proposal was for a new library on vacant land currently owned by the town government between the Basalt Post Office and the skateboard park. The new library is expected to open in fall 2008.
Snowmass Town Council candidate Reed Lewis earned more votes than both the incumbents he was running against, and more than mayor Douglas Mercatoris who was running unopposed.
Town Councilman Arnie Mordkin will retain his seat, though unofficial ballot counts showed a slight 35 vote margin between him and fellow incumbent Boineau. Mercatoris received 566 votes in the election, compared with Reed Lewis’ 589.
The final tally for Mordkin was 473, while Boineau received 438 votes with all precincts reporting and absentee and early ballots counted.
The city’s parking garage and transportation funds won’t get the financial boost officials were hoping for after voters defeated Referendum 2B, which would have upped the city’s sales tax by .2 percent to .45 percent.
The money would have been used for repairs at the Rio Grande parking garage, which has a serious leak, and to maintain the current level of free public transportation.
Renewal of the Healthy Community Fund, a special tax that fills the coffers of Pitkin County health and human service agencies and non-profits, passed by a landslide vote of 4,473 votes in favor to 1,932 against.
The passage of Referendum 1A means the fund’s collection will be $1,250,000 each year for the next six years.
Voters also extended funding for the Open Space and Trails program. With a 4,518 to 1,784 outcome, county voters approved continued funding for Open Space and Trails through 2020. The vote authorizes the county to borrow up to $20 million to finance preservation efforts throughout the county.
Although it lost by a huge margin statewide, legalization of small amounts of marijuana won big in Pitkin County Tuesday.
Amendment 44, which would have legalized possession of up to an ounce of marijuana throughout Colorado, lost by a margin of two to one statewide.
According to the Associated Press, with 60 percent of precincts reporting by around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, the amendment polled nearly 647,000 “No” votes (61 percent) to 411,000 “Yes” votes (39 percent). Because of questions regarding the Denver vote, the results were still unknown as of press time.
In Pitkin County, however, the results were almost exactly reversed. According to the final, but unofficial results (provisional ballots had not yet been counted), Pitkin County favored legalization by a margin of 4,696 (72 percent) to 1,845 (28 percent).