Snowmass Base Village negotiations continue without Councilman Chris Jacobson |

Snowmass Base Village negotiations continue without Councilman Chris Jacobson

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times

The Snowmass Village Town Council and the developer of Base Village are close to an agreement on a community-purpose facility for the project, the final issue to be resolved before the elected officials take a vote on moving the project forward in its review process.

Related Colorado executives will return before the council next week with a new proposal to cover the operational costs of a town-owned building in Base Village that it also has proposed to construct the shell of. The developers have proposed to build it as a permanent home for Snowmass Discovery programming and turn it over to the town, but because some members are concerned about the financial viability of that organization, the council pushed the developer to help with more of the funding than just the construction.

Early in the meeting, the four council members present — Councilman Chris Jacobson was absent — were split on the decision, with Councilwoman Alyssa Shenk and Councilman Bill Madsen strongly supporting the discovery center in Base Village and Mayor Markey Butler and Councilman Bob Sirkus having reservations about the financial risk the town would take on by owning the property.

The elected officials went into executive session to determine a consensus. On their return, Butler told the Related representatives present that the elected officials wanted to see a $2.5 million contribution from the developer in addition to the construction of the building.

That was an increase from the $1 million that Butler had proposed last week, and Craig Monzio, Related Colorado’s vice president of development, said his company would not agree to that. However, he offered for Related to bear the cost of the building’s operational expenses for some years, which is estimated to come close to the amount that the council called for.

“Now you’re starting to move in a way the needle should be moving,” Butler said.

Monzio agreed to return with a more detailed proposal next week when the council will convene to continue the public hearing on Related’s application, which seeks to amend the current entitlements for the Base Village development.

Where is Chris Jacobson?

Jacobson, who has not attended a regular council meeting since before a date was set for an election to recall him, missed his fifth consecutive meeting Monday. All of the meetings he has missed included the continuation of the public hearing on the Base Village application.

Council members are deemed deficient in their duties after two consecutive unexcused absences from regularly scheduled council meetings, according to the town’s municipal code. The code allows for the rest of the council, if four members vote in favor, to begin removal proceedings should a council member meet the requisite amount of absences.

However, there was no discussion of that Monday. The recall election is set for Oct. 13; registered voters in Snowmass Village should receive mail-in ballots this week.

Jacobson faces charges related to a June 26 drunken-driving arrest, when he also allegedly caused close to $15,000 to the Pitkin County Jail while detained there. A group of residents launched an effort to recall him a few weeks later.