Town Council updates: Municipal judge re-appointed, hydroelectric facility approved |

Town Council updates: Municipal judge re-appointed, hydroelectric facility approved

Officials kick off 2021 with judicial appointment, renewable energy approval

Town council spent the bulk of a three-hour regular meeting Jan. 4 reviewing a Deerbrook Townhomes sketch plan — but development wasn’t the only item on the agenda at the first meeting of 2021.

After a COVID-19 update from Pitkin County Board of Health Chair (and former Snowmass mayor) Markey Butler, council also appointed a municipal judge and approved a hydroelectric power facility Jan. 4.

H. Lawson Wills reappointed as town’s municipal judge

H. Lawson Wills will continue to serve the Snowmass Village community as a municipal judge through the end of 2022; Town Council unanimously voted for his reappointment at a Jan. 4 meeting.

The town’s municipal court meets once per month, reviewing a docket of community-specific issues that include offenses like shoplifting or fistfights that don’t involve significant injuries. As a municipal judge, Wills also acts as the town’s liquor licensing board. He was first appointed to the court in 2007.

“We’re proud of the way we treat people — we try to work out situations that involve our community and just our community,” Wills said. “It’s how I keep myself tied to the Snowmass community.”

Council approves hydroelectric power in intergovernmental agreement

The town of Snowmass Village will join forces with the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District to implement and maintain a micro hydroelectric generator that will help supply power to the town. Council unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement with the district at Monday’s meeting.

The town will install, own and operate the facility near Brush Creek Road and Lower Kearns Road using the district’s water system. Though the district and its engineers will monitor the project in progress, the town is responsible for operations and repairs costs; it will take 11 years for the value of electricity produced by the facility to exceed the cost.

Approval of the project is another step forward in the town’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions as part of its Sustainability and Resiliency Plan.

“We’re pretty excited to get this agreement,” said Travis Elliott, assistant town manager.