News in Brief
City earns environmental honorASPEN The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 8 will present its Environmental Achievement Award to the city of Aspen in recognition of its completion of a Climate Impacts Assessment.The assessment, which the Aspen Global Change Institute undertook for Aspen’s Canary Initiative, concluded that there may not be skiing at the resort by the end of the century if global warming goes unchecked. The Canary Initiative is the city’s multipronged approach to fight global warming.Steve Tuber of the EPA’s Region 8, will present the award, the agency’s highest recognition, to Mayor Helen Klanderud and city staff at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Conner Park, next to City Hall (or in the City Council chambers, in the event of bad weather).The award recognizes significant achievement in the protection of public health or the environment and in advancing the agency’s strategic goals. Among the criteria is an outstanding contribution to environmental protection through a single action, or by an ongoing action over an appreciable period of time.Aspen’s Climate Impacts Assessment, a study of ecological, socioeconomic and climate impacts, was completed last July. According to the results, the resort is already seeing the impacts of climate change, with local temperatures climbing faster than the global average. The entire report is available at http://www.canaryinitiative.com.
CRMS to sell land, neighbors objectCARBONDALE The Garfield County commissioners Monday gave Colorado Rocky Mountain School the go-ahead to split off a 5.65-acre parcel from its Carbondale property, but not without strenuous objections from some Satank residents.That approval cleared the path for a multitenant nonprofit center proposed by the Sustainability Center of the Rockies (SCoR). SCoR has a contract to buy the land from CRMS but the deal is contingent on getting approval for the development plan either from the county or the town of Carbondale, said CRMS attorney Larry Green.The parcel sits in an awkward spot on the northern edge of the campus between the 295-acre CRMS campus and the Carbondale Community School. Dolores Way separates the parcel from the campus. Green said the school decided to offer the parcel for sale because of its separation from the rest of the campus: “It can’t be incorporated into the school’s academic or agricultural activities,” he said.CRMS came under fire when it sold off some of is property in 1999 for the “big-box” Crystal River Market Place. It has yet to be developed.”There’s no hidden agenda here,” Green said. “We just want to make the property available for sale.”But several neighbors complained that the school has not been forthcoming about the possible sale that they see as a commercial development with its attendant issues with traffic, density, building heights and ditch maintenance. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)
Garco bridge projects net $900KGARFIELD COUNTY Bridge projects in Glenwood Springs and Rifle will receive a total of $900,000 from Colorado’s energy impact fund program.Glenwood received $500,000 for its proposed south bridge project, and Rifle got $400,000 to improve its Third Street Bridge over Rifle Creek.The 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office also received an $85,000 grant for case management in Garfield County, bringing to nearly $1 million the amount of local funding provided in the latest energy impact fund distribution.The state denied Rifle’s request for funding for a parks maintenance facility.Glenwood Springs City Manager Jeff Hecksel said the city received the full amount it had requested for the south bridge project.”We’re obviously very happy,” he said.The city is hoping to build a new route from the area of Midland Avenue and Four Mile Road to a bridge across the Roaring Fork River and on to Highway 82. While the south bridge project would help reduce traffic congestion in the area of the 27th Street Bridge in Glenwood, city officials also say it would serve as an important new access route in case of emergencies and detours.Rifle’s Third Street Bridge is a main access to the west side of town, said the city’s public works director, Bill Sappington. He said the plan is to widen bridge lanes and add sidewalks on each side, among other improvements.The city will cover the rest of the cost of the project. The total price tag could run as high as $850,000, including engineering. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)
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No official vote has taken place, but the Dillon Town Council has decided to push forward with an ordinance at a future meeting despite a contentious debate that clearly divided council members on the issue.