Judge sides with city of Aspen on bag fees
A Pitkin County judge ruled in the city of Aspen’s favor Monday concerning a lawsuit filed in 2012 over an ordinance that set up Aspen’s 20-cent supermarket bag fee.
An exact ruling from Judge John F. Neiley wasn’t immediately available, but Mayor Steve Skadron briefly mentioned the item Monday evening during the Aspen City Council’s regular meeting.
The city’s 2011 ordinance bans plastic-bag distribution at Clark’s Market and City Market, and the city collects a 20-cent fee on each paper bag shoppers purchase in lieu of using reusable bags. The lawsuit, filed by the Colorado Union of Taxpayers Foundation, argued unsuccessfully that the fee is unconstitutional because local voters weren’t given the opportunity to decide the issue.
The city has collected approximately $88,000 from the fee since May 2012, when the program was implemented, according Aspen’s Environmental Health Department.
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There is a lot of pent up energy among hikers and bikers to get into the high country, but snow fields, avalanche debris and high stream crossings are presenting challenges later than usual. Forest rangers with the Aspen-Sopris District provide trail condition reports that are updated each week so hikers and backpackers aren’t caught unaware.