News in Brief |

News in Brief

A fire early Saturday destroyed a trailer at the Sopris RV Park in Carbondale.

The mobile home, which was in the middle of the park, was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived around 2:15.

The homeowner called 911 after waking to fire and smoke. Seven people from surrounding residences were evacuated, and the fire was quickly extinguished, said Carl Smith, deputy fire chief at the Carbondale Fire Department. The trailer, which did not have a smoke detector, was a complete loss. No one was hurt.

Nineteen firefighters and two engines responded. Smith said the residence’s furnace may have started the blaze. The homeowner is staying with friends in the RV park, Smith said.

A man was arrested early Thursday after allegedly playing “The Grinch” too well.

Damian Miller, 22, was cited for criminal mischief after a witness allegedly saw him dragging a Christmas tree from the front of Pitkin County Dry Goods.

Officers found Miller and two friends at the Popcorn Wagon after the witness called police around 2:30. They allegedly denied involvement. The tree was dragged out of the planter it was in and the electrical cord was pulled out.

Local golfers will see season pass prices at Aspen’s municipal course go up 11.5 percent next year under a fee schedule adopted Monday by the Aspen City Council.

Most fees for city programs and services will go up 3 percent next year, with some exceptions.

The 20-punch pass at the golf course will cost $385 next year ” a $10 hike. The season pass, good for an unlimited number of rounds, will jump from $780 to $870; the discounted pass for ACRA members will increase from $720 to $805.

The junior pass rate will remain at $100; greens fees will also stay at 2004 rates.

Councilwoman Rachel Richards objected to the latest in a string of golf fee increases that she said have boosted the cost of a season pass by about 40 percent over five years.

“I just don’t think I could stomach voting for that,” she said. “The pricing, I think, is costing us loyalty among locals.”

Twenty rounds on a full-price season pass would cost about $45 per round, noted Councilman Torre, suggesting the sum is not unreasonable.

Richards relented and voted to approve the new prices after the council was assured a restructuring of golf pass options will be proposed in 2006.

Rate hikes and a revamped rate structure for Aspen’s electric and water utilities won unanimous City Council approval on Monday.

However, the increases will go into effect with meters read after Feb. 15, instead of after Jan. 15, as originally planned.

The water rate increases will be phased in over four years; a two-year rate hike is proposed for electricity customers. However, only next year’s increases won formal approval with last night’s action; the envisioned increases in future years will come back to the council.

The revamped rates are geared toward encouraging conservation of water and electricity by consumers and are expected to produce roughly $150,000 annually for each utility for use in conservation programs. The charges will also generate revenues to keep the water and electrical systems in good repair and maintain healthy reserve funds.

The typical residential customer will see his or her water bill increase from $14.56 per month to $18.12 under the new rate schedule. The two-year electrical rate hike would boost the median residential bill from $37.31 per month to $40.25 in 2006.