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Positive, skeptical reactions after Pan & Fork decision

Feb 10, 2016

Gretta McKenney is Director of Operations at the Dusty Locker in Old Town Basalt
Credit Elise Thatcher

There have been positive and skeptical reactions to Basalt’s decision Tuesday night to pursue putting a Pan and Fork parcel question on the fall ballot.

Basalt resident Gretta McKenney says she is heartened by Basalt Town Council’s recent actions. Elected leaders decided Tuesday to start nailing down how to purchase some of the Pan and Fork land, how to pay for it, and many other details. “It’s nice to know that that we’re moving forward,” she said Wednesday. “We’ve laid a plan out. Now I just hope we stick with it.”

McKenney is Director of Operations at the Dusty Locker in Old Town Basalt. She’s a little gun-shy because of how long it’s taken to get to this point and what feels like a constantly changing game plan for what to do with the more than two acre parcel and other parts of downtown. But she’s feeling hopeful.

“I’m happy the Council was able to move forward with their resolution,” says Cathy Click. “I think that will help them get some clarity for issues that were brought up with the petition.” Click was one of the main organizers behind that effort, which pushed Town Council to put a direct question on the spring ballot. More than four hundred people signed the petition.

Click she says it’s ok that she hadn’t been consulted yet on what the Town should put on the fall ballot. “I don’t think it was a slight, I think that we’re are all working for the same result,” she explained Wednesday. “We were, just as petitioner, working to move the process forward and along so it didn’t feel quite so stuck.”

In the coming months, town officials must consider rezoning the Pan and Fork parcel. Basalt town staff must lay out what a park could look like, line up an appraisal for the amount of land necessary for such a park, figure out how to pay for a that property, and decide what kinds of development would be appropriate for the remaining, non-park section of the Pan and Fork property.

Basalt resident and realtor Mark Kwiecienski says that long to-do list could be cumbersome. “It seems to me like it’s overly complex and rigid, and there will be a problem with just the mechanics of it.” But Mark Kwiecienski and Cathy Click both appreciated a work session earlier in the evening Tuesday, in which options for what the Pan and Fork park could look like were sketched out, including a possible water feature.