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News in Brief

The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – Planning for a Highway 82 pedestrian crossing at the local airport, which will separate pedestrians from the vehicle traffic, is moving forward. The first step, now under way, is seeking a consulting engineering firm to design and plan the project.

The firm will be selected by a team that includes representatives from the Colorado Department of Transportation, Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, city of Aspen and Pitkin County.

Improving the pedestrian crossing near the Aspen Business Center and the airport emerged as a top priority in meetings with a group of concerned citizens, according to G.R. Fielding, county engineer.

“The firm we hire will help us determine the best pedestrian crossing scenario out there,” he said in a press release. “We don’t know yet whether it will be an overpass or underpass, but whatever we do will involve a continued public process.”

Once a firm is chosen, public meetings will be held to select the best alternative. The goal is to choose an engineering firm by May 11.

PITKIN COUNTY – The Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) ends on April 30 for this winter’s heating season.

The annual financial assistance program, which starts Nov. 1 each year, aids in reducing household energy bills by paying a portion of heating costs for qualifying, limited-income households. Even though the winter heating season is winding down, households that have fallen behind on heating bills may still apply. If they’re eligible, the LEAP benefit could be applied to a past-due bill.

So far this LEAP season, the program has helped 70 families in Pitkin County with nearly $30,000 in heating assistance, according to Kathy Lyons, economic services director for Eagle/Pitkin County Health and Human Services. A qualified household may receive only one LEAP benefit for the entire season.

Pitkin County residents may pick up applications at the Pitkin County Health and Human Services office in Aspen or the Eagle County Health and Human Services office in El Jebel. For more information, contact Health and Human Services at 704-2760, or call Heat Help at 1-866-432-8435 to request an application by mail.

CARBONDALE – Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers will host a Crew Leader Kick-Off at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, at the Third Street Center in Carbondale.

The event will include a presentation about the organization’s crew-leader program and a preview of the nonprofit’s 2011 trail and conservation projects. The upcoming season includes nearly 20 trail work days and conservation projects on public lands in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys.

A light dinner will be served at the kick-off. To RSVP for the event or sign up for the crew leader trainings, e-mail rfov@sopris.net or call 927-8241.

RFOV crew leaders are key in helping the organization’s hundreds of volunteers successfully complete trail and conservation work. RFOV also will hold two weekend training sessions for aspiring crew leaders – on April 30 and May 1 at Wulfsohn Open Space in Glenwood Springs and July 30-31 on Smuggler Mountain near Aspen.


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