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News briefs

Basalt Assistant Town Manager and Chief Financial Officer Judi Tippetts, right, was honored Friday as the 2016 Assistant Manager of the Year by the Colorado City & County Management Association. Presenting were Bill Bell, president of the organization, and Torie Brazitis, a board member.
Courtesy photo |

Climate-change conversation

Eagle County will host the second in a series of community conversations Thursday when it tackles climate change in a group discussion from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Eagle County office building in El Jebel.

The county commissioners hosted a meeting in February on affordable housing. The climate discussion will feature a panel with Auden Schendler, vice president of sustainability at Aspen Skiing Co.; David Ellenberger, the Rocky Mountain regional outreach campaigns manager for the National Wildlife Federation in Denver; Mona Newton, executive director of the Community Office for Resource Efficiency; and Adam Palmer, environmental policy planning for Eagle County government.

The community conversations are designed to engage residents and business owners in discussions with elected officials. The public is invited to attend. Each conversation is held in the Eagle Valley and Roaring Fork Valley. The affordable-housing discussion attracted about 70 people to El Jebel.

Basalt candidates line up for forum

The forum for the candidates in the Basalt Town Council election will be held Wednesday at the Grace Community Church in Emma. Seating starts at 5:30 p.m. The forum begins at 6 p.m. It is being organized and presented by the Basalt Area Chamber of Commerce.

The April 5 election is for the mayor’s position and three council seats. Jacque Whitsitt and Rick Stevens are squaring off in the mayor’s race. The six candidates for the council seats are incumbents Rob Leavitt and Herschel Ross and challengers Leroy Duroux, Jenn Riffle, Auden Schendler and Katie Schwoerer.

The candidates will be asked questions and they will be interviewed individually. The videos will be posted online. The public is invited to submit questions to

Basalt’s Tippetts awarded

Basalt Assistant Town Manager and Chief Financial Officer Judi Tippetts was named the 2016 Assistant Manager of the Year on Friday by the Colorado City & County Management Association at its annual conference in Glenwood Springs.

The award recognizes outstanding leadership at the core of better communities and Tippetts was honored by her peers and managers throughout the state of Colorado for her accomplishments in 2015.

“Throughout my 30-year career I have had the good fortune to work with some very talented local government managers and assistants,” said Basalt Town Manager Mike Scanlon. “Every once in awhile you come across one that far exceeds your expectations and literally takes your breath away. I was lucky to find one of those people, Judi Tippetts, when I arrived in the Town of Basalt.”

He noted that Tippetts started her career as an emergency room nurse and possesses a rare combination of compassion, pragmatism and resiliency.

“She needed all of those skills to tackle the challenges we had for her,” Scanlon said.

Those challenges included relocating the Pan and Fork trailer park and its residents who were living in a dangerous floodplain, determining a method for financing the improvements along the river that would mitigate the floodplain, building a river park on the banks of the Roaring Fork River and preparing a portion of the site for redevelopment. In addition, she took care of the town’s administrative services.

Prescribed burn eyed in Crystal Valley

Federal land managers are planning a prescribed burn for late winter or the spring at Avalanche Creek and east of Filoha Meadows in the Crystal River Valley.

The sites are about 9 miles south of Carbondale on the east side of Highway 133. The project is a continuation of a prescribed burn undertaken last spring.

As many as 900 acres of mountain shrub, pinyon-juniper and aspen vegetation will be ignited. Operations will be conducted over three to five days spread across two to four weeks in March, April and May, according to a burn plan that needs specific weather and smoke dispersion conditions in order to proceed. Crews will be responsible for igniting vegetation, monitoring control and spread of fire and smoke, ensuring fire is held by control features, and monitoring fire behavior for meeting project objectives. Between 10 and 20 firefighters, three to five fire engines and a helicopter will be used for these functions.

The public is reminded not to call 911 or emergency services even though smoke may be visible from various locations along the Highway 133 corridor. Most of the smoke will dissipate during the day, although some nighttime smoke may remain in valley bottoms as temperatures drop. Any carry-over smoke is expected to be of short-term occurrence.

Additional information regarding this project and the objectives of the work is available at the Forest Service office at 620 Main St. in Carbondale or by calling 970-963-2266.

Aspen offers energy rebates for switching to LED bulbs

During the month of March, the Aspen Energy Challenge is offering rebates to all Aspen residents who replace their inefficient lights with LED light bulbs. Residents who upgrade their lighting will get cash-back rebates. For example, Aspen Electric customers can receive a rebate for 50 percent of their project cost, up to $1,000.

Why switch to LEDs? Compared with incandescent bulbs, LEDs use around 75 percent less energy and can last 25 times longer. If every Aspen resident replaced their five most-used light bulbs with LEDs, the city could collectively save the community approximately $500,000.

The Aspen Energy Challenge is the community’s effort to win the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize. Aspen is currently in second place among 50 communities across the nation competing through 2016 to save the most electricity and natural gas in their homes, schools and municipal buildings. Help Aspen get to first place by signing up for the LED Challenge at or by contacting Energy Smart Colorado at 970-925-9775 or the Energy Resource Center at 111 AABC, Suite M, in Aspen.

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