News in Brief |

News in Brief

EL JEBEL ” There will be a public hearing Wednesday, Sept. 12, to discuss a proposed midvalley recreation center.

The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at the Eagle County building in El Jebel. The audience will get a chance to comment on what the center should include.

“Now we’re getting to the nitty gritty,” said Bill Reynolds, director of the Midvalley Metropolitan District, which has led the planning effort.

Although the district’s primary focus is providing water and sewer service, it also has the ability to address recreation issues. It hired a consultant last year to help with planning of a recreation center. A survey earlier this year showed significant interest in pursuing the idea among midvalley residents.

The district has been working with the Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District to explore the idea.

Reynolds said representatives from the town of Gypsum will attend Wednesday to discuss how that community managed to build a state-of-the-art rec center last year.

Two sites are being considered for the midvalley facility. One is the grounds of Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel. The other is Midvalley Metro property near Blue Lake.

Proponents will have to seek voter approval for funding for a facility.

ASPEN ” Local residents have a chance to get their dogs and cats spayed or neutered for free during September.

A nonprofit organization called Friends of the Aspen Animal Shelter will cover the cost of the surgeries for the first 200 pet owners they hear from this month, according to Seth Sachson, a member of the nonprofit’s board of directors.

Dog and cat owners simply have to show up at the Aspen Animal Shelter and fill out a “nonintrusive” form, according to Bland Nesbit, another director. Owners will receive a certificate that covers the cost of the procedure at Aspen Animal Hospital. Appointments for the surgery must be made in advance.

Sachson said the nonprofit helped get the dog shelter built a few years ago and now it is promoting other animal-welfare issues. It launched the spay-and-neuter program to battle pet overpopulation. Sachson said research also indicates pets are less susceptible to some forms of cancer after getting spayed or neutered.

Health aside, it can also make life much more pleasant for some pet owners. “A neutered male dog is so much easier to deal with,” Sachson said.

The nonprofit has an ongoing program that offers financial assistance for spaying and neutering pets. So people who miss out on the freebies can still get help, Nesbit noted. The key is, they don’t want finances to prevent pet owners from getting their animals fixed, she said. This is one way the nonprofit uses donations it receives.