A solution For Basalt | AspenTimes.com

A solution For Basalt

A solution for Basalt

The problem in Basalt is absurd in its simplicity to correct considering the pain and suffering Basalt has gone through. One company was extended an option 2.5 years ago on the River Park land that the town has spent about $7.75 million in and around improving. The option holder did not go through a public bid or selection process, which is the normal way that towns disperse public funds in exchange for something.

The joint-venture arrangement has proven unworkable as the town holds the zoning powers, and the Roaring Fork Development Corp. (RFCDC) holds title. The rub is that they have not been working together as I would expect joint venture partners would do. This can be corrected easily by the Town Council shifting some assets around to buy out the RFCDC interest. That would open this up to the free market rather than continuing on with this restricted monopoly-type arrangement of taxpayer assets that cheats the citizens from the fruits of a free market competition.

Come on, Basalt Town council, and start representing us rather than the development option holder’s group! It is the citizens’ money you are squandering! Make the final installment payment that will be the most valuable appreciating asset the town could probably ever have. Plus it will give options for development. Council did do one thing very right. Thank you, Mark Kittle and Jeniffer Riffle, for having taken the lead on directing the newly completed landscaping on the 1 acre, against the objections of many of those who have been supporting the lone option holder. Basalt just completed 1 acre for about $275,000, which is a very small fraction of the several million in costs that were used by some members of what I call the “development consortium” to scare voters to cause the bond issue to fail. Now we know the truth. The proof is there for all to see. The town can proceed with the confidence that you are doing the right thing. Basalt has the money.

Mark Kwiecienski


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