News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

ASPEN Snowfall during October was above average in Aspen, according to recent data from the citys water department, which tracks daily precipitation and temperatures.Though clear skies have prevailed for 16 straight days, through Wednesday, but for a slight bit of rain on Oct. 31, October was actually a snowy month. The water department recorded 13.95 inches of snow in October, above the average of 9.18 inches. The months high temperature in Aspen came Oct. 12, when the mercury hit 73 degrees. The low, of 9 degrees, was Oct. 23. The average high for the month is 59.17 degrees; the average low is 28.93.

The 10th Mountain Hut Association, which soon will begin accepting reservations for its backcountry huts for the coming winter, has announced the opening of a new, privately owned backcountry ski hut near Leadville, called the Continental Divide Cabin, that will be available for rental.The hut, which Lee Rimel owns, is on a trail identified as essentially requiring beginner skills. It sleeps eight, and rental of the entire hut at $280 per night (plus tax) is necessary.It is less than a mile from the Tennessee Pass trailhead near Leadville, and is accessible only by nonmotorized means such as skiing, snowshoeing, hiking or mountain biking.For information on this and other hut trips available through the 10th Mountain Hut Association, call 925-5775. Reservations will be taken beginning at 8 a.m. Nov. 12.

BASALT Parish leaders at St. Vincent Catholic Church in Basalt say their facility must expand to keep pace with a growing flock.Parish leaders want to keep the church in town but say the existing church cannot meet demands. The churchs expansion plan received the first round of approvals it needs Tuesday night from the town planning commission. Parish officials applied to add 8,420 square feet to the church at 250 Midland Ave. The existing church is about 5,700 square feet.About one-half of the new space would be above grade and attached to the western end of the church. It would replace the rectory, which has been rented out as a residence. The rectory will be demolished. The other half of the addition would be a basement.Some of the new space will expand the sanctuary while a little more than half will be new support space, according to the application.The Catholic church currently has seating for 150 people for Masses. Average attendance ranges from 60 people on Saturday nights to 180 for Sunday services. Up to 250 people attend Christmas and Easter Masses. The addition would add 200 seats.The Basalt planning staff recommended conditional approval of the first-round review, which is called sketch plan. The major condition that needs further attention is parking, according to a staff memo.Staff feels that maintaining a church on Midland Avenue is important to maintaining community character by keeping a diversified mix of uses on [the street], the memo aid.The Basalt Planning and Zoning Commission recommended that the Town Council grant sketch plan approval, with the staff conditions.