News in Brief
City starts over on ABC housingAspen will go back to the drawing board to select a design for a small employee housing project it’s planning for city workers at the Aspen Business Center.After a couple of months of refining a proposal from Novy Architects to design and build what’s currently envisioned as a nine-unit complex, the council voted 3-2 Monday to scrap those plans and hold a design competition for the project.The housing is to be constructed at the current site of the Aspen-Pitkin County Animal Shelter; a new shelter is under construction across Highway 82 from the airport and should be finished this fall.The city had worked out a design/build contract with Novy Architects at a price not to exceed $2.38 million, but Councilman Tim Semrau, attending his final meeting before leaving office, argued again that the city would get a better price and more design options by holding a competition. He suggested a $6,000 award to each of three finalists who would be chosen to come up with conceptual plans.”We have a responsibility to get the best project and the best deal for the city,” he said.Mayor Helen Klanderud and Councilwoman Rachel Richards both balked at backing out of the design process with Novy, which was selected after the city put out a request for proposals.”I’m uncomfortable undoing this at this point,” Klanderud said.”How do you truly wipe the slate clean in order to have this competition fairly?” Richards added.Snowmass Creek Road sees workSnowmass Creek Road will be chip sealed, starting today, resulting in delays for motorists and loose gravel on the road for bicyclists.The project, scheduled for today through June 21, will extend from Watson Divide Road to the end of the pavement on Snowmass Creek Road. Motorists are asked to drive with caution in the vicinity of the road crew and to anticipate five- to 10-minute delays.For more information, call the county’s Road and Bridge Department at 920-5397.
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While the number of bears in Aspen has been manageable so far this summer, a lack of natural food sources could change that as fall approaches.