In Brief: Holy Cross Energy backs off rate changes, for a while; county explores tax hike for ballot |

In Brief: Holy Cross Energy backs off rate changes, for a while; county explores tax hike for ballot

Holy Cross Energy suspends rate changes

At the request of the Colorado Energy Office on behalf of Gov. Jared Polis, local rural electric cooperative Holy Cross Energy has agreed to temporarily suspend the proposed electric rate changes intended to take effect on Sept. 1.

Under Colorado law, Holy Cross members are credited at the energy rate for the electricity they export to the electric grid from a renewable generator, such as solar panels. The utility’s proposed rate changes included separating the current energy rate into two components: a new delivery charge intended to recover the costs of operating the HCE electric grid, and a reduced energy charge reflecting only the costs of the energy being delivered. Solar owners and installers have objected to the proposed rate changes based on the reduced energy charge they would receive for their exported energy.

“HCE remains committed to a responsible transition to a clean energy future that is equitable for all members of our cooperative,” said President and CEO Bryan Hannegan. “We appreciate the time our members have taken to review these proposed rate changes and offer their comments.”

The temporary suspension of the proposed rates will be in place at least through Jan. 1, 2024. To review the proposed rate changes, visit

County will assess support for affordable house, child-care tax

The Pitkin County commissioners this week decided to use a countywide survey to assess community backing for a dedicated tax and bonding authority to support affordable-housing and childcare programs in the county. The survey is slated to begin Wednesday, June 1.

“Housing is a significant challenge here in Pitkin County. It impacts our workforce, their families, and our local businesses and economy,” said Francie Jacober, chair of the BOCC. “Along with housing, access to childcare is also critically important for many of these same employees and employers. We believe these issues go hand-in-hand, and improving both will help maintain our community character, strengthen and support our workforce, bolster our local economy, and, overall, make Pitkin County a great place to live and raise a family.”

The survey will be administered through phone calls to mobile phones and landlines. The calls will come from the 970 area code. The public may also receive invitations to take the survey online through text messages and emails. The survey will be available online in English and Spanish for all community members to take.

The commissioners will have a presentation and analysis of the survey results at a public meeting later in June, county officials said. Then they’ll have until Sept. 8 to decide whether to place a question on the 2023 ballot.

New West KnifeWorks opens in Aspen

New West KnifeWorks will open its newest retail location on Thursday in downtown Aspen. The 1,000-square-foot space is located along the Aspen Pedestrian Mall at 413 E. Hyman Ave.

Shoppers will be able to browse the knives with colorful handles, throw a tomahawk, or watch the knife sharpening and laser engraving process. The space will also be available to rent after-hours for private events.

“Aspen is the Fifth Avenue of the Mountain West,” says New West KnifeWorks founder Corey Milligan. “Given the success of our store in Jackson Hole over the past 20 years, Aspen is a perfect fit for our American-made knife boutique.” 

New West KnifeWorks is no stranger to Aspen. Over the past several years, it has sponsored or collaborated with chefs during Aspen Food and Wine, and this year is no different. It will host several high-profile chefs and also plans to collaborate with local non-profits in the region and to donate products to support fundraising efforts of organizations working for the greater good, officials said.

Christy Sports opens Friday in St. Regis

Christy Sports will open a store in Aspen on Friday, just inside the St. Regis Aspen Resort and will provide year-round specialty outdoor rental and retail services, the company announced.

The store will offer a variety of hike, bike, and electric vehicle rental options, as well as a wide selection of high-end summer resort wear, active gear, and accessories. Throughout winter, guests will find equipment, outerwear and casual wear in the store.

Christy Sports will also offer ski and snowboard rental and demo equipment, bootftting, and tuning and repairs.

“We are very excited to continue our strategic growth, offering new and current guests the opportunity to experience our world-class service at the new Aspen location,” said Gary Montes de Oca, chief development and strategy officer at Christy Sports.

Senior Center closed for remodeling till September

The Pitkin County Senior Center is being remodeled and will be closed May 25 until early September. During the closure, Senior Services staff will continue to provide services and programs to older adults in the community at alternate locations. The lunch program will be operational four days a week starting June 5 at the Human Services building at 405 Castle Creek Road. No lunches and programming are available the week of Memorial Day.

Visit and check out the current Pitkin County Senior Newsletter for updated program and location information. Call (970) 920-5432

DanceAspen to offer first summer program

DanceAspen’s first-ever summer program, “Solstice,” will premiere on Aug. 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Wheeler Opera House. 

“‘Solstice’ will be DanceAspen’s most exciting program yet. It is an honor and privilege for the company to welcome the level of creative brilliance that Cayetano Soto and Matthew Neenan bring to the stage. I also look forward to bringing back one of our all-time favorite works by the iconic Danielle Rowe,” said Laurel Jenny Winton, executive director of DanceAspen.

The summer premiere will feature new creations from choreographers Matthew Neenan and Cayetano Soto. In addition to the piece by Neenan, and the two American premieres by Soto, DanceAspen will welcome back a return of “Everyone’s in St. Barth’s,” by choreographer Danielle Rowe.

Garfield County wants to sit down with state transportation leaders over traffic

Garfield County has sent CDOT a letter, requesting roundtable meetings with local governments to discuss forecasted growth in the area and the impact it will have on a congested road system.

The letter, which was addressed to CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew, cites increasing population projections and the need for a “safer, more efficient, and reliable multi-modal transportation system for the I-70 and State Highway 82 corridors.”

“According to population and employment forecasts, particularly along the I-70 corridor, Garfield County’s population is estimated to grow by 40%, from 62,000 residents in 2020, to 86,000 in 2040,” the county’s letter notes. “The number of jobs in Garfield County will increase by 40% over the same time period, from an estimated 36,000 jobs to 51,000.”

In recent years, local roadways have also experienced disruptions due to natural disasters, such as wildfire, debris flows, rockslides, and more, further impacting already heavy traffic flows. 

“It seems vital to us that CDOT, the most important transportation stakeholder in our region and the state, be involved in, and, ideally, facilitate a series of transportation roundtable meetings for local governments in Garfield County,” the letter states.

The letter was approved unanimously by the Board of County Commissioners, 3-0, and signed by the board, and is expected to be signed by the towns of Parachute, Silt, New Castle, and Carbondale, and the cities of Rifle and Glenwood Springs. The letter can be read on the county’s website.

Valley View adds urologist

Rocky Mountain Urology Center at Valley View announced the addition of board-certified Urologist Scott Castle, MD.

Joining board-certified urologists Aashish Kabra, MD; Jamie Lowe, MD; and nurse practitioner Ashley Gilley, ANP at Rocky Mountain Urology Center, Dr. Castle is a general urologist. He is also a leader in da Vinci surgery, a minimally-invasive treatment for benign and cancerous conditions. 

As the only full-time urology practice in the region from the Roaring Fork Valley and Vail to De Beque, Rocky Mountain Urology Center has locations in Aspen, Eagle, Rifle, and Glenwood Springs.

For more information at 970.928.0808.

Sound immersion event at Carbondale Library in June

Ildi Ingraham will present a Sound Immersion at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, at the Carbondale Branch Library.

Organizers explain the experience as deep peace and bliss a while listening to the healing sounds of crystal and metal singing bowls, gong, and chimes. Bring a mat, pillow, blanket, and anything else to be comfortable. This event is free and open to all. For more information, call the library at 970-963-2889.

Pace of auto thefts falls in first quarter

The first quarter of 2023 shows a 22% decline in auto theft versus 2022, the state police reported this past week. The Q1 numbers of auto theft occurrences resemble numbers from 2020.

“The noticeable decline of auto theft is a testament to the resiliency of our citizens and the collaborative effort of many law enforcement and key partners across the state,” said Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “However, now is no time to rest and relax your vehicle securities. CATPA and the Colorado State Patrol ask you to continue to stay in this fight to reduce auto theft and overall crime in your communities.”

Auto theft is a catalyst crime that often sets off a chain reaction of other crimes, according to the state police, citing as examples burglaries, smash-and-grab robberies, reckless driving, eluding, drug crimes, and weapons offenses.

Aspen Meadows Resort’s Juneteenth Celebration tickets on sale

Tickets are now on sale for the Aspen Meadows Resort’s Juneteenth Celebration on Sunday, June 18, from 1:30-4:30 p.m. 

Returning for the second year after a highly-successful inaugural celebration, this brunch-inspired event will celebrate the Juneteenth holiday and feature food from acclaimed chefs Erick Williams and JJ Johnson, wine curated by Tahiira Habibi, and a musical tribute to 50 years of hip hop. 

The uplifting gathering, which falls on the last day of the Food & Wine Classic, offers panoramic mountain views from Plato’s Restaurant and Deck and the Madeleine K. Albright Pavilion at the Walter Isaacson Center. 


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