Snowmass Village says everyone into the pool
By Steve BensonAspen Times Staff WriterA community pool will be built in the area of the proposed Snowmass Village entryway – located near the rodeo grounds – but further details of the project remain sketchy. Carey Shanks, economic resources director for the town of Snowmass Village, presented four entryway plans to the Town Council on Monday, with hopes that the council would move forward with one. But members of the council hesitated to rule out any of the plans before receiving more community feedback and conducting their own extensive site visit.”What we really want now is as much public input as possible,” Councilman Doug Mercatoris said.Furthermore, the town staff was directed to consult the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, since its input on how to treat the wetlands that exist in areas of the site will be needed.However, plans for a pool are a go, the council agreed in discussing the entryway project, which is envisioned as a community gathering spot.In addition to the pool, the entryway could include increased parking, a gas station and transit center, revamped rodeo grounds and grandstands, open space, affordable housing, a skatepark and additional ball fields. The cost of the entryway plan is slated at $16.4 million.Left unclear is how the streets would be laid out, an issue that is the greatest difference in the four plans presented last night.Plan one would entail the least amount of change, while plan two would realign Horse Ranch Drive to intersect with Brush Creek Road at the position of the proposed roundabout. That would cause Horse Ranch Drive to travel in a northwest/southeast direction, rather than due north/south. Plans three and four both call for the realignment of Brush Creek Road and the repositioning of the roundabout. In these plans, Brush Creek Road would run to the north of the rodeo grounds (away from the golf course) – and basically the entire site of the entryway, with the exception of the affordable housing units – before dipping back south and rejoining its current path. The cost of realigning Brush Creek Road is estimated at $1.2 million, according to the town staff.Plans three and four differ in the positioning of some of the projects, including the pool, which the town wants to begin building this fall. Shanks said plans three and four make the most sense for a number of reasons. By moving Brush Creek Road north, the entryway site would not be divided by a major road, as it would in plans one and two. As a result, it would “create the opportunity for a vast open area,” Shanks said, adding that safety would also be heightened. Also, the location of the pool in plan four – on the south-central edge of the site near the current location of Brush Creek Road – provides the most flexibility, since all three road realignments in that plan could still be considered options. The council is divided on whether to treat the entryway as one whole project, or to take each item – such as affordable housing or parking – individually. But Shanks said, “Value for value, with costs in line for what they’re going to be, there’s a darn good reason to do [plan] four.” And most of the public feedback, Shanks added, has supported the realignment of Brush Creek Road. Regardless of what eventually happens with the entryway plan, the council and town staff agreed that the pool remains a priority.”The most important decision we need to make is where we’re going to put the swimming pool,” Mercatoris said. Steve Benson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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