News in brief | AspenTimes.com

News in brief

Aspen Times staff reportAspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – The city of Aspen hopes to start its geothermal test well project near Herron Park later this month but needs the green light from the City Council Tuesday.In July, the city’s Open Space and Trails Board unanimously blessed a plan to drill a test well in the gravel parking lot at the corner of Queen Street and Neale Avenue, across from the park. Lauren McDonell, Aspen’s environmental initiatives program manager, said the city wants to see if the potential exists for a geothermal energy project.At Tuesday’s regular meeting, council members will be asked to approve a contract with Dan’s Water Well & Pump Services Inc. of Livermore, Calif., for $172,850. The entire project has a budget of about $200,000, with $50,000 of that amount to be paid by a grant from the Colorado governor’s energy office. Geothermal energy could be another way for the community to reduce its carbon footprint, McDonell said earlier in the summer. There are financial benefits as well.”This could represent an abundant, carbon-free source of energy which would help reduce Aspen’s vulnerability to the volatile cost of natural gas,” McDonell said in an Oct. 3 memorandum to council members.To confirm the potential for harnessing geothermal energy, two or three test wells need to be drilled in the long run, the memo says. The test wells collect data on water temperature, composition and pressure. The site near Herron Park would be the first.The drill depth is estimated to be 3,000 to 4,000 feet. If answers are available at a shallower depth, the city won’t need to drill any deeper, McDonell has said. The nearby Roaring Fork River won’t be affected, she said.The parking lot is located within the Prockter Open Space, which is why permission from the city’s Open Space and Trails Board was needed. The project is expected to take 20 to 25 days. Noise from the test site will be kept at or below 55 decibels, the limit stipulated in a city ordinance based on the time of day and area of town. City officials have discussed the project and its impacts with the site’s neighbors.

SNOWMASS – There will be a fundraising reception from 4-5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Old Snowmass home of Frieda and Peter Wallison for a local girl to attend the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow.Remy Lamping, 15, of Aspen has been invited to attend Russian academy for a year-long traineeship program. Total costs are expected to exceed $25,000. The academy, one of the oldest dance schools in the world, was founded in 1773. Notable graduates include Natalia Osipova, Polina Semionova and Ivan Vasiliev. Lamping has danced ballet since she was 4 years old. She studied 11 years on scholarship at the School of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB), dancing the role of Clara in “The Nutcracker” in 2009 and 2010. The Garden School of Basalt and New Castle has established a scholarship fund for tax-deductible donations to support Lamping’s overseas study.Among the local restaurants providing food and drink at the fundraiser include the Brick Pony, Jimmy’s, Rustique, Smoke, Southern Distributing and the Wild Fig.For more information or to RSVP, contact Petra Rihtaric Crimmel at (970) 948-1658, or email petrarihtaric@hotmail.com.

BASALT – Starting Tuesday through Nov. 11, the Willits Lane-East Valley Road intersection at Highway 82 will be closed to all traffic for the construction of a roundabout.Motorists may access the Willits Town Center from upvalley areas by using Willits Lane at the Highway 82-Two Rivers Road intersection. To access City Market from downvalley, use Valley Road at the El Jebel intersection on Highway 82.Gould Construction is building the roundabout for the town of Basalt and Willits Town Center. More details are available at http://www.Basalt.net and http://www.WillitsColorado.com, or contact Willits Town Center at TBelinski@jfreed.com, the town of Basalt at BentleyH@Basalt.net, or Gould Construction at 945-7291.