Pitkin County

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.

Marci Krivonen

Pitkin County is taking public comments on a draft plan for managing the North Star Nature Preserve, east of Aspen. On Monday night, an open house will be held, where people can learn more about the wetlands and meadows. 

You drive by the North Star Nature Preserve on your way toward Independence Pass from Aspen. It’s a 285-acre open space parcel with deer, elk, black bears and the one of the highest elevation Great Blue Heron rookeries in the state.

Facebook/State Rep. Millie Hamner

State Representative Millie Hamner is back home in Summit County after a busy legislative session. The former school superintendent sponsored several education measures including one that will reduce testing. Hamner’s district includes Pitkin County. She spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen.

Millie Hamner represents House District 61 at the Statehouse, which includes Pitkin County.

New building planned behind courthouse

May 13, 2015

  Pitkin County plans to expand its office space with a new building behind the courthouse. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason sat down with County Manager Jon Peacock and undersheriff Ron Ryan about the project.

That was Jon Peacock and Ron Ryan, Pitkin County’s manager and undersheriff. They talked with Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason.

www.birchills.net

Reliable internet service in parts of Pitkin County is a problem officials have heard about from their constituents, and an overall broadband plan is getting closer to reality. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

pitkincounty.com

The Pitkin County dispatch center is experiencing a staffing crisis following the exit of several employees this spring. Just seven full time workers are taking 911 calls. That’s less than half of full staffing. It’s a high turnover job across the country but Aspen has unique challenges. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Bruce Romero, the Emergency Dispatch Director for Pitkin County.

Bruce Romero directs the Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center in Aspen. The center is taking applications for eight job openings until May 10th.

Marci Krivonen

The management of a nature preserve east of Aspen is getting an update, in part, to address overcrowding. The section of the Roaring Fork River that runs through the North Star Nature Preserve is busy in the summer and traffic piles up along Highway 82. Aspen resident Phil Dwyer has seen it first-hand.

"It’s amazing how much traffic is out here. It’s great that it’s popular. But, the parking has been long and lining the highway for quite a ways."

Although the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance is young, they have a handful of successful projects that are helping to bring education, prevention and access to oral healthcare from Aspen to Parachute. Carrie Godes is a member of the Dental Alliance board of directors and works for Garfield County Public Health. She shares the organization's history and programs. 

Learn more about the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance at www.mygreatteeth.org

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/madeleinehearn

The Pitkin County Commissioners aired several concerns about a plan to make the Aspen Valley Hospital and Pitkin County Health and Human Services campus smoke and tobacco free. 

The policy would apply to outdoor areas around the sprawling campus off Castle Creek Road. Besides the hospital and county building, the ban would apply to Whitcomb Terrace, hospital employee housing and Senior Services. Right now, most areas allow smoking 15 feet from a door.

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