The Town of Basalt held a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for a major river project set to get underway Monday.
The so-called Pan and Fork project will replace a trailer park with a public park and an improved floodway and riverbank. Construction starts in earnest on Monday. Town Manager Mike Scanlon says he wanted to get the word out now.
"I wanted to try and get something where we could kind of commemorate the kick-off, so, in a way, I can get this picture and I can put it on my website and Facebook page, get it into the newspaper, so people know that we’re actually starting, that this is the beginning."
Starting on Monday, the work of removing trailers will start to pick up, as well as the amount of construction. Rocks will be removed behind the restaurant Tacqueria el Nopal, a sewer line will be replaced and riverbanks and natural areas will be restored and improved.
The part of the project that involves moving the trailers and relocating the residents has been controversial. Sophia Clark with the group CIRC, or the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, says some of the residents still living in the trailer park were offended by yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony.
The Town is working with the residents to find replacement housing. So far, residents in nine trailer homes have moved.
The river project is the largest public endeavor the Town has EVER taken on. Ballot question 2B would free up additional dollars to help fund it.