Survey results highlight county facilities problems
November 7, 2005
The results of the Pitkin County Facilities Survey will play an integral part in the upcoming community brainstorming sessions today and Wednesday.Some 260 people answered survey questions about how county facilities are serving the public need. Questions in the survey centered on whether the buildings are conveniently located and accessible, if there is adequate parking at county buildings, if they are easy to find, if they provide enough meeting room and office space, and whether they feel welcoming.”The survey results will be combined with months of work by our consultants and feedback from the public at the facility brainstorming session this week to help us begin to develop ideas and solutions,” said Jodi Smith, county project manager. The survey was conducted over four months on the county’s website and with hard copies available at county buildings.County offices are located in three different areas: downtown Aspen, next to Aspen Valley Hospital and across from the Pitkin County airport. County officials are looking for public comment about how to cope with space shortages in the current facilities and whether they should explore building a unified government campus next the airport.The county is hoping to gather additional input at two brainstorming sessions this week. The first is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today at the Inn at Aspen. The second will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Eagle County Community Center in El Jebel.Results from the survey suggest that the three busiest county offices are administration and the clerk and recorder’s office in the Courthouse Plaza Building, and community development at Aspen City Hall. Not surprisingly, the survey cited inadequate parking as one of the most inconvenient aspects of doing business with Pitkin County. The survey also revealed that most county business is conducted face-to-face, and access to many of the county’s most important facilities is seen as less than adequate. Among the most difficult county buildings to access, according to the survey, are public works across from the airport, the senior center near the hospital and community development on the third floor of Aspen City Hall. Inadequate space for government employees and the services they provide is a critical issue in both the short and long term. Government officials anticipate office space will be among the most pressing facility problems for Pitkin County over the next 20 years. “The county owns over $54 million in buildings and property, and it is our responsibility to see that these public assets are properly maintained,” said Pitkin County Manager Hilary Smith. Call 920-5396 for more information.