News briefs: Housing authority makes changes to income categories for affordable units | AspenTimes.com

News briefs: Housing authority makes changes to income categories for affordable units

Music Fest Locals Pass now on sale at Harris Hall

The Aspen Music Festival and School's box office at Harris Concert Hall will open for the summer season today. It will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays through the summer.

The festival's Locals Pass is now on sale at the box office. The $60 pass makes available deeply discounted tickets for up to six concerts through the season: Sunday Aspen Festival Orchestra concerts for $30 (a $52 savings off the regular price), Friday Aspen Chamber Symphony concerts for $20 ($60 off) or any other regularly scheduled concert or Opera Scenes Master Class for $15 (up to $50 off).

The pass also offers free admission to four dress rehearsals or instrumental master classes. Opera tickets are also available with the Locals Pass this year for Bernstein's "Trouble in Tahiti" concert performance (Aug. 2) for $15 and/or the fully staged opera production of Offenbach's "Les contes d'Hoffmann" (Aug. 14, 16, or 18) for $20. The Final Sunday Aspen Festival Orchestra performance of Berlioz's "Symphonie fantastique" at the discounted price of $50 (regularly $90).

Locals must present a valid Colorado driver's license or state-issued identification with a Roaring Fork Valley address to purchase Locals Pass.

Season schedule and more information at http://www.aspenmusicfestival.com.

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Income categories change for affordable housing

Income categories to qualify for units under the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority have changed to align qualifications between sales and rental processes. The Housing Authority also is now using Area Median Income (AMI) to set income maximums.

Sales qualifications had measured households by number of dependents in the household and had seven categories, plus resident occupied. Rental qualifications measured by number of adults in the household and only had four categories, plus resident occupied.

Also, the figures used for the maximums in each category were outdated and no longer support the program, according to an APCHA press release.

Some households in both the APCHA sales and rental programs may see an adjustment to their current categories based on the changes. The changes took effect May 14.

The changes are as follows: Both sales and rental households will be measured by number of persons in the household; both sales and rental categories will be categories one through five, plus resident occupied; maximum incomes for each category will be set using the Pitkin County AMI and will be adjusted on an annual basis.

For more information, go to http://www.apcha.org

City of Aspen in 'stage one' water shortage

The city of Aspen has enacted a "stage one" water shortage due to low snowpack and drought conditions in the area.

The goal is to decrease community-wide water use. This means the city government will take mandatory conservation measures, while Aspen water customers are asked to take voluntary conservation measures. Stage one also includes a temporary rate increase for city customers with high water use.

A specific focus during drought condition is irrigation as it represents the most intensive use of water for all Aspen customers.

"We invite the community to take part in our irrigation efficiency programs," Ryland French, resource efficiency administrator said in a press release. "We want to help homeowners and landscapers understand that you can water the right amount so your yard is beautiful without being wasteful."

In an effort to help curtail water use in Aspen's restaurants, the city is offering a high-efficiency dish sprayer installation program to commercial kitchens from May 29 until June 1. This program is offered free to the first 30 participants. Kitchens may reserve their free high-efficiency dish sprayer installation by emailing eh@cityofaspen.com

More buses added for Castle Creek Bridge project

Two additional buses have been added to daily service between the Brush Creek Intercept Lot and Rubey Park.

The additional service is to encourage commuters to use mass transit during the Castle Creek Bridge and Hallam Street improvement project. Officials also hope more buses help reduce wait times and accommodate additional riders during peak travel times. In town, there are four free bus and shuttle routes connecting popular destinations in the city and the Downtowner shuttle with free door-to-door service in the core.

RFTA bus service is free from the Brush Creek Intercept Lot through Aspen. Parking at all RFTA park and ride locations, including the Intercept Lot and Buttermilk, is free.

The city also offers a free carpool matching service through commuterconnect.net. Carpools of two or more adults can pick up a daily carpool permit at the airport parking information kiosk, allowing for free parking in designated carpool or residential spaces in Aspen.

The project team invites the community to participate in the next monthly project update meeting occurring at 4 p.m. on Wednesday in the Sister Cities room at City Hall. The meeting will cover upcoming work schedules, traffic impacts and will begin looking at impacts for August and September. Following the meeting, there will also be a conference call recap at 5 p.m. Conference call information is available on the project website, castlecreekbridge.com.