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News in Brief

Council considers moratorium extension today ASPEN The Aspen City Council will consider an extension to a 10-month moratorium on building applications and permits at a work session Tuesday afternoon. The council originally intended to consider the ordinances at its Monday night meeting, but a lengthy agenda would have meant addressing the moratorium issues late at night, and council members were reluctant to continue that meeting that long. The council will meet at 4 p.m. today in City Hall.New Snowmass gondola needs TLCSNOWMASS The Aspen Skiing Co. will close the new Elk Camp Gondola at Snowmass temporarily this week for routine maintenance before stuff really hits the fan or, in this case, hordes of skiers hit the slopes.The gondola will close at midday Wednesday, Feb. 28, and reopen Saturday, March 3, according to the Skico. The closure is necessary to reinstall the wire rope that carries the cabins up the mountain.Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said the lift maintenance crew monitors the play in the wire ropes and decided action was necessary before the end of the season. Since it will get increasingly busy in March, the Skico decided to perform the work this week.Hanle said there hasn’t been any safety issue in the operation of the gondola. It is normal to lose some tension in a new wire rope, he said, but it happened more quickly than expected, in this case.Hanle stressed that lift maintenance technicians are particular about their work – they chide and correct anyone who refers to the wire rope as a “cable.”Basalt wreck closes streetBASALT A three-vehicle pileup closed a busy Basalt street for a short time around 10 a.m. Monday after heavy snow created icy conditions.John Bower of Austin was driving into Basalt on Midland Avenue when he lost control of his 1995 Ford pickup between the post office and skateboard park, according to an accident report by Basalt police. Bowers crossed into the oncoming lane and was struck by a 2002 Chevrolet SUV, and another vehicle hit the SUV.No one was injured in the crash. Bower was ticketed for exceeding a safe speed for conditions, according to the report.Authorities who responded to the wreck said the road was extremely slick at the time. They called for sand from Basalt public works, and traffic was closed or reduced to one lane for about 45 minutes.


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