How about ‘Hello Dolly’? | AspenTimes.com
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How about ‘Hello Dolly’?

Some Basaltines aren’t asking for whom the bell tolls. They’re asking why it tolls.While the freshly remodeled Basalt Town Center building on Midland Avenue is drawing rave reviews, the chiming of its clock has produced more of a split decision.”I hear that clock every hour on the hour and I don’t like it,” said resident Karen Alleger, who lives in the hills above town. “For me it’s noise pollution.”She asked the Town Council Tuesday night to limit the chimes.Councilwoman Anne Freedman agreed that limits were necessary. She said she has “nightmares” of a visit to Switzerland when church bells rang every 15 minutes.Basalt’s clock isn’t nearly as active. It rings on the hour between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., according to building architect Raul Gawrys. The tower on the building doesn’t really house bells. The music comes from a sound system that includes speakers on the roof.The system is currently programmed to play the Big Ben song, then pause and strike the hour. After experimenting with volume, the operators seem to have it dialed in.Alleger noted that “they even played show tunes” at one time. The theme to “Oklahoma” was showcased. “I hope they put that at the end of their repertoire,” she quipped.”The Star Spangled Banner” played on the Fourth of July. Alleger acknowledged that seemed fitting.Gawrys said the sound console is capable of playing around 100 songs. It could even be programmed to play the Basalt High School fight song for homecoming parades, he noted.As for a permanent tune, Town Manager Bill Efting volunteered to talk to the building owner and operators and work out a compromise.Alleger said she thinks it would be reasonable to limit the bells to noon.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com


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