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News in Brief

Basalt sales tax collections are up more than 33 percent from January through April compared with the same period last year, according to a report from the town finance department.Year-to-date sales tax revenues are $735,986 this year, compared with $649,420 last year, the report said.Almost all the major business categories posted gains. Grocery store sales were up 10.4 percent. They are the largest single contributor to sales tax revenues.Businesses in the general retail category were up 9.3 percent. Restaurants with bars posted a 14.4 gain through April. Summer is typically their stronger season. Lodging was also up 24.2 percent.A strong performance in April helped fuel the impressive start to 2006. Sales tax revenues for the month were up 11.5 percent from April last year, the report showed.Wells Fargo donates $75,000 to local organizationsWells Fargo contributed about $75,000 to Roaring Fork Valley organizations in 2005, with many grants going to schools and kids organizations.Among those in the valley receiving grants were the Aspen Center for Autism, the Aspen Education Foundation, Aspen High School, Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club and the Aspen Youth Center.Wells Fargo donated $4.5 million throughout Colorado in 2005 – a 12 percent increase from the $4 million given in 2004. The typical grant ranges from $100 to $2,500, though some are larger.More than 1,000 nonprofit organizations across the state received grants in five categories: arts and culture, civic, community development, education, and human services.To honor the volunteer work of six Wells Fargo employees in Colorado, $15,000 was donated to nonprofit organizations through the company’s Volunteer Service Award Program.In addition to financial aid, Wells Fargo employees spent more than 125,000 hours volunteering in local communities in 2005. Three of those Colorado employees were recently granted paid leaves of absence to volunteer full time for their favorite charities.Garden club holds plant saleRoaring Fork Valley gardeners will get a chance to buy plants and expand their minds Saturday.The Pardon My Garden Club is holding its 13th annual plant sale Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lion’s Park in Basalt. It features plants of all kinds as well as garden tools, books and supplies. There will be refreshments and music by “Heart of the Rockies” musicians Twirp Anderson, Cash Cashman and John Sommers.Former Old Snowmass residents Ann and Cliff Wilton established the club in 1993. Members meet once a month for workshops, garden tours and program to promote good horticultural practices and share garden and landscape ideas.”Our mission is to actively, creatively and environmentally inspire the minds of gardeners,” said club secretary Gayle Shugars.The plant sale has become so popular that it generates funds to support community garden projects. Donations in just the last three years have totaled more than $5,000, according to Shugars.Local organizations that have benefited from contributions include Basalt High School, the Aspen Historical Society, Basalt Regional Library, Carbondale Tree Board, Gordon Cooper Library, Glenwood Springs Old Cardiff School historic garden project, Jerome Osentowski’s heritage fruit tree program, Pitkin County Senior Center and Habitat for Humanity.For more information about the Pardon My Garden Club or to donate items for the sale, contact club President Marge MacDonald at 927-6722.


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