County Commissioners

Marci Krivonen

Heavy machinery and construction workers have replaced books and patrons at the Pitkin County Library. County elected leaders toured the work site Wednesday (10/21). They agreed in August to help pay for the project. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Project manager Jodi Smith hands out hard hats to a small group at the Pitkin County Library. Two county commissioners, a few county staff and construction workers are along for this tour.

Once inside, commissioner Patti Clapper walks across the main floor. It feels bigger without desks and shelves.

Creative Commons/Flickr/Oregon Dept. of Transportation

Pitkin county staff will explore using rooftops and other government property to install solar panels. County commissioners this week approved a funding request for a feasibility study. 

The county will spend between $15,000 and $25,000 to locate beneficial sites for solar and find out how much electricity could be generated. Right now, the county consumes 1.3 megawatt hours per year and it’s not offset by any significant renewable efforts. County Engineer G.R. Fielding says now is a good time to pursue solar.

Pitkin County

The radio system used by public safety agencies in the Roaring Fork Valley is encountering problems and Pitkin County is considering a multi-million dollar fix. 

Law enforcement and fire agencies have complained of interference, signal distortion and the inability to communicate with regional and state agencies that use a different system. For example, Pitkin County’s snow plow drivers can’t communicate with the Colorado Department of Transportation. And, the bus system’s radios don’t communicate with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

Creative Commons/Flickr/photosteve101

Residents frustrated with slow internet speeds in Old Snowmass showed up to a Pitkin County Commissioner’s meeting Wednesday. 

Katie Murch is co-director at the Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Old Snowmass. Through an interpreter, she told commissioners slow internet makes the organization look unprofessional. An online service that video streams her signing barely works.

Intepreter Kyle Larson: "Because of the internet service it’s blurry, it freezes. A one minute conversation can take ten minutes because of the internet service and it looks bad."

Marci Krivonen

Pitkin County’s Open Space and Trails Board will look over recommendations Thursday that would allow agricultural producers to work county land.

Pitkin County purchased the Glassier Open Space near Emma for $10 million. Now, the county is offering up about half of it to local farmers and ranchers for a nominal fee.

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It’s a mid-term election year and the race is already underway. Tuesday night, Democrats and Republicans in Aspen and around the state held their caucuses.  The local parties gathered to assess which candidates could win primary elections later this year. Aspen Public Radio's Elise Thatcher reports on the republican caucus.

More than 70 Pitkin County Republicans gathered at Aspen High School last night. Frieda Wallison is Chair of the local GOP and she says caucus turnout can vary widely depending on how important the elections are in the fall.