Report: Basalt residents feel disconnected from town hall
The Aspen Times
Basalt residents are hungry for more information about the redevelopment of the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park but perceive there is a lack of information coming out of Town Hall, according to the town government’s meetings with constituents.
Bill Maron, a special planner with the town, held numerous meetings with small groups and individuals over the first part of the summer and reported results to the council in July.
“People say that they do not know what is going on with their town government,” Maron’s report said. Another finding in the report was that residents are particularly interested in what will happen with the mobile-home park residents. They must be relocated because the mobile-home park is in the 100-year flood plain. The town wants to develop the part of the property closest to the Roaring Fork River as a park. The property closest to Two Rivers Road would be available for development.
Maron reported that most residents he spoke to say the residents “should be treated in a fair and compassionate manner.”
“However, in some one-on-one conversations, people stated that the residents should not get any special attention or compensation,” Maron wrote.
Basalt Town Manager Mike Scanlon said he believes that all the primary renters of the trailers will be offered some type of relocation assistance. In some cases, members of extended families are living with the primary renters. It will be up to the primary renters to determine if their families members receive some of that assistance, he said.
There are 38 spaces in the mobile-home park. One is unoccupied after a fire destroyed the residence. Another trailer is abandoned, according to town staff. The vast majority of residents are Hispanic.
Scanlon said he believes acceptable relocation deals will be reached with all renters. He declined to offer specific details because negotiations are ongoing. The only group that might not feel like they are getting equitable treatment is trailer owners who rent out their units, he said. The town will be unwilling to offset the revenue stream they would have received for the foreseeable future, Scanlon said.
Scanlon has a plan to keep town residents better informed about the redevelopment plan and associated projects. He plans to launch a website as soon as next week with details. It will be at http://www.fixthefork.org. A newsletter with similar information will be mailed to town residents starting in late September or early October, he said.
Aspen City Council approved a contract with Daniel Joseph (DJ) Watkins during Tuesday’s regular meeting to move forward with his intentions to operate his proposed “Aspen Collective,” which is currently occupied by Mia Valley’s Valley Fine Art.