Transport group raises $17,000 to lobby for expansion of RFTA |

Transport group raises $17,000 to lobby for expansion of RFTA

ASPEN ” A group campaigning for the expansion of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus system raised more than $17,000 for the fight, according to a finance report filed with the Colorado Secretary of State.

Affordable Transportation Solutions raised almost $7,500 during crunch time in the campaign, between Oct. 10 and Oct. 26, the report shows. It had previously reported contributions just shy of $10,000.

It reported that it spent everything but $873.17 by Oct. 31.

Voters from Aspen to New Castle will decide today whether to approve a 0.4 percent sales tax increase for RFTA and grant permission to the agency to issue $44.55 million in bonds. If approved, RFTA will expand its service and upgrade its system.

The expansion proposal is part of RFTA’s Bus Rapid Transit plan, or a blueprint for how it wants to grow and evolve.

The latest campaign finance report showed RFTA received support from several of its consultants plus two major business organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley. River Bend LLC of New York, a subsidiary of Related WestPac, contributed $2,500. Related WestPac is the developer of Base Village in Snowmass Village. River Bend is a residential project it has proposed at Cattle Creek along Highway 82 in Garfield County. The Aspen Lodging Association donated $500.

IBI Group of Irvine, Calif., contributed $1,000 to the campaign. IBI Group is a transportation planning firm that is on the Bus Rapid Transit project team that RFTA has assembled.

Other large contributors during the latest reporting period were Farnsworth Group Inc., an engineering firm from Bloomington, Ill., $500; Innovest, a Denver-based investment advising firm, $500; Kutak Rock, a Denver law firm with a specialty in public finance, $500; and Lockton, a Denver insurance firm, $500.

Affordable Transportation Solutions spent the bulk of its funds, nearly $12,000, between Oct. 10 and Oct. 26. The report details the usual expenses, including advertising, posters, mailings and marketing work. An expense for $37.30 for a breakfast meeting at the Village Smithy in Carbondale also was included.

No finance reports were filed by any opponent of RFTA’s expansion.

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