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Basalt Town Council decides against Pan & Fork ballot measure

Jan 26, 2016

Looking across the Pan and Fork parcel in Basalt.
Credit Elise Thatcher

Basalt’s elected leaders have voted down ballot measure proposals about the Pan and Fork parcel.

On Tuesday night, the majority of Town Council members were wary of putting something on the ballot that was possibly illegal by state and municipal rules. A group of Basalt residents had crafted language that would ask voters to consider having the town purchase the Pan and Fork property, using property taxes to help pay for it, and allowing a certain amount of land to be developed.

But Basalt’s Town Attorney argued the proposal wasn’t legally sound and could invite lawsuits, and that made Town Council members wary. Most had other concerns about the proposed ballot measure, too. “If you want different people on this council to do just what you want to do,” said Council member Herschel Ross, who was part of the majority, “...we’ve got an election in April.” Contenders will vie for three seats and the mayor’s post in the spring election.

More than four hundred supporters had signed a petition in support of the citizen measure in contention Tuesday night, and organizers proposed a simpler version in the middle of Council’s meeting to provide another option. In the end, Basalt’s Council decided to take up the matter again in early February. That’s after the deadline for getting something on the ballot in the upcoming election.