News in brief | AspenTimes.com

News in brief

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO, Colorado

BASALT – Basalt sales tax revenues collected for July were up 2 percent over the 2010 level, according to the town’s monthly sales tax report.

The town collected $331,309 in July, compared to $324,805 the same month last year. However, collections still lag significantly behind pre-recession levels. The town collected $394,737 in July 2008, or about 16 percent more than this year.

Leading the charge this July were general retail stores, up nearly 13 percent; sporting goods retail, up 15 percent; and liquor stores, up 5 percent. Grocery stores and sellers of building materials logged small increases compared to July 2010. Restaurants with bars were down 23 percent.

For the town’s fiscal year to date, December through July, sales tax revenues are down 1.23 percent. Grocery stores are the largest contributor to sales tax revenues. The town has collected $2.1 million from them so far this year. Sales in the retail food category are up 2 percent for the year.

EL JEBEL – City Market in El Jebel had an unusual cleanup in the meat department after an electrician fell through a drop ceiling while working Thursday morning.

A Basalt Fire Department ambulance responded to the grocery store at 11 a.m. for a call that initially came through as a man falling through the roof. As it turned out, it wasn’t quite that dramatic: The worker fell through either ceiling tiles or drywall, according to a fire department official. He landed in the walkway between the meat counter and the meat cutting area, the official said.

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The ambulance took him to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs for injuries, but they weren’t life-threatening.

MEREDITH – The Meredith post office, in the upper Fryingpan Valley, is potentially on the chopping block as the U.S. Postal Service looks to cut its losses and potentially close as many as 3,560 post offices countrywide.

The post office is among 63 in Colorado’s rural areas that the postal service is considering closing. The proposed closures are under review, but there have been no decisions yet.

U.S. senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, both Democrats from Colorado, this week urged the Postal Regulatory Commission “to carefully consider the effects of possible postal service closures on rural areas and small towns in Colorado and across the country.”

The senators didn’t seek a stay of execution for any particular post offices. They said they were representing the concerns of rural residents and business owners in general. They asked that the proximity of alternative post offices weigh heavily in the decision. Many Colorado towns are a long distance away from the next closest post office, they noted.

The postal service will look at proximity to other post offices in its review as well as customer demand and potential for decreased office workload. The postal service is “considering a village post office” concept for the communities where the post office is closed. That concept would allow local businesses to sell stamps and flat-rate packaging as a limited replacement for the post office.

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