Minturn annexes planned ski resort
Aspen, CO Colorado
MINTURN, Colo. ” A proposed private ski resort development will be part of the town of Minturn, the Town Council agreed unanimously Wednesday after almost three years of consideration.
Town Council members voted to annex land owned by the Ginn Development Co. into the town of Minturn. Ginn wants to build 1,700 homes and condominiums and a private ski resort and golf course south of Minturn. The town is just southwest of Vail.
Last week, council members also voted to unanimously approve the annexation, but their second vote Wednesday night made the decision final.
The council will vote again, possibly later this year, to finally approve or deny the project. But Wednesday’s vote is viewed as a major step toward letting Ginn proceed with its plans.
“I would like to welcome the Ginn property as a part of the town,” Mayor Gordon “Hawkeye” Flaherty said.
Council members said they voted yes because they wanted Minturn to have control over a development that Town Councilwoman Shelley Bellm called “inevitable.”
Town Councilman Tom Sullivan said if Ginn could “disappear” and Minturn could stay the way it is, “I’d like that.”
However, another government could have annexed Ginn’s land if Minturn had failed to do so, Sullivan said. Red Cliff, another small community whose boundaries border Ginn’s property, had “made it pretty clear” it would annex Ginn’s property if Minturn didn’t, Sullivan said.
“I don’t see that we have that many options,” Sullivan said. “Considering that, I believe we’ve struck an unbelievable deal.”
“Only Minturn can take care of Minturn,” said Councilwoman Kelly Brinkerhoff said.
Funding from Ginn will provide sidewalks on both sides of U.S. Highway 24 through Minturn; a paved bike path; a scholarship fund for Minturn residents; employee housing for Minturn, Red Cliff and Ginn employees; a recreation center; and a clean-up of contaminated mine waste in the abandoned town of Gilman and Bolts Lake, Town Councilman George Brodin noted.
Minturn will receive $6 million in tax revenue the second year after the council approves the project and $6 to $10 million each year after five years, Ginn has said.
Minturn residents will be stuck with the construction traffic from the development whether or not Minturn had annexed Ginn’s land, Brinkerhoff said. However, Brinkerhoff said the council will make sure Ginn does not exceed its traffic projections.
Minturn’s traffic is expected increase even without the development, Ginn’s and the town’s traffic engineers have said.
Minturn resident Frank Lorenti asked citizens to sign a petition calling for a vote by residents on the annexation. Go to minturntimes.com for information on how to sign the petition, Lorenti said.
“We need to stand up for our right to vote,” Lorenti said.
Bellm said town council members sat through “eight to 10-hour” meetings and they know the annexation the best.
The council did not give residents the chance to vote on the annexation, but some said they supported a vote by referendum.
“If the people want to vote, they should vote,” Brinkerhoff said. “I’m all for that.”
If there’s a referendum, Sullivan said he hoped Minturn residents would vote to approve Ginn.
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