News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

A Minnesota couple says an employee of a Carbondale plumbing and heating company caused a 2003 fire at their Aspen condominium.The fire resulted in $200,000 in damage and left the residence uninhabitable for 11 months.Gerald and Barbara Portnoy are suing American West Plumbing & Heating, Aspen-based Fenton Construction and American West employee J.P. Coleman. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Pitkin County district court, says Fenton contracted with American West for plumbing work on Nov. 8, 2003.The work at the East Cooper Avenue home, part of the Chateau Eau Claire condo complex, included relocating water pipelines in a bathroom corner, the lawsuit says. Coleman used a hand-held torch during the operation but allegedly failed to protect material in the wall from catching fire.The total cost, including the cleanup and loss of personal property, was about $200,000, the lawsuit says. The Portnoys also suffered financial losses from not being able to rent the residence out on a monthly basis.”The rental value of the premises was at least $7,500 per month, and during various portions of the year, the fair market rental value was a substantially greater figure,” the lawsuit says.The Portnoys seek damages for the loss of rental value and other costs.

Residents of the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County have a chance to discuss issues of their choice with the county commissioners today.The Eagle County commissioners will hold an open forum from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the county offices and community center in El Jebel. Meetings usually take place at the county courthouse in Eagle, limiting access for Roaring Fork Valley residents.The commissioners are also coming to the valley to hold a hearing in the Emma Farms development proposal. A developer wants to redevelop a ranch on the Eagle-Pitkin county line, building five homes in Eagle County and two in Pitkin County. Eagle County’s hearing on that project will be from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

The Basalt town government is starting an informal, open forum between members of its council and town residents, business owners or other interested people.Mayor Leroy Duroux will host the first session of “Basalt Talk.” He will be available to talk to residents at noon in the council chambers of Basalt Town Hall. The town government intends to continue to hold the sessions on the first Tuesday of every month if there is demand.