Snowmass Town Council continues to mull options for Base Village Building 6 | AspenTimes.com

Snowmass Town Council continues to mull options for Base Village Building 6

Should the Town of Snowmass own and operate a building in the midst of a significant village development?

The way Snowmass Mayor Markey Butler sees it, this is "the fundamental question" Town Council must answer as it continues to contemplate the future of the community-use designated Building 6.

When Butler posed this question at a Town Council work session April 9, one council member immediately said, "Yes," while another responded, "No."

The two-hour work session was dedicated solely to looking at all of the town's possibilities with the Base Village "community-use" structure.

By the end of the work session, the two takeaways that Butler directed town staff to move forward with were not far from where the discussion started.

One option on the table, Butler said at the end of the work session, is that the town of Snowmass "take ownership" of the 8,701-square-foot structure. In this scenario, "It's very important that the Snowmass Discovery be front and center in that building," Butler said.

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The alternative is for an "outside organization" to manage the building, which is the direction Town Council was headed most recently with Snowmass Nexus' proposal. A partnership between GrassRoots TV and Colorado Audio Visual and Design, Snowmass Nexus is the name of the lead tenant vying to occupy the building with nonprofit status.

Snowmass Town Manager Clint Kinney said the town asked the groups that submitted a formal request-for-proposal for Building 6, such as Nexus, not attend the work session April 9 in an effort to allow the council members "to talk amongst themselves."

One theme that seemed to gain steam at the work session is a desire to see findings from the Ziegler Reservoir fossil discovery incorporated inside the space in some fashion.

"If the discovery center is not involved in Building 6, I won't go for it," Town Councilman Bill Madsen said.

Madsen later said, "It should be part of our tourism business to educate people" and drew a parallel between showcasing the discovery and providing education on climate change.

Several people who commented at the work session also advocated for the concept, which was the largest fossil discovery in Colorado history.

Former Town Council member, Arnie Mordkin, however, said the Snowmass government should not "get into the business of running a business."

Kinney said he would provide "a Building 6 update" based on the discussion at the next Town Council meeting Monday.

erobbie@aspentimes.com

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