Copper Palace owners sued
A New Castle company that says it’s owed nearly $4,000 for work it performed on a Starwood mansion nicknamed the Copper Palace is suing its owners, millionaire George Gradow and former TV star Barbi Benton.
Ajax Mechanical Services filed the lawsuit in Pitkin County Small Claims Court on Monday.
The company contends it is owed $3,711 for “material and services performed at 840 N. Starwood Dr.”
Gradow, who made millions in the mobile-home business, and Benton built the 27,500-square-foot residence in the 1990s.
Janice Sebald of Ajax Mechanical Services said Tuesday that her firm provided heating and air conditioning-type work at the end of the summer.
Asked if there had been any conversations about the payment dispute, she said, “You don’t really get to talk to the owners. They have people.”
Gradow and Benton apparently disagreed with the company’s bill after the work was done, Sebald said.
“I don’t think what we’re asking for is out of the ordinary,” she said. “It’s pretty standard.”
Gradow and Benton didn’t return messages seeking comment about the lawsuit.
City expediting permits for affordable housing retrofits
The city of Aspen building, housing and utilities and environmental initiatives departments have created a cooperative pilot program to streamline the energy upgrade process for owners selling their affordable housing units.
In June, 2012 Aspen City Council initiated a program where the city, the Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority and the Energy Smart Center would offer energy savings upgrades on for-sale APCHA units. This is a voluntary program where the cost of the energy upgrades would be added to the sales price but will likely result in even greater energy savings for the new owner.
In order to make the upgrade process quick, inexpensive and straight-forward, the city has instituted the NrgEx Energy Permit Express program. The program provides a checklist of energy upgrade work that requires a permit, offers a flat permit fee of $25 and promises if the permit is submitted by 10 a.m. it will be processed and issued by 4 p.m. the same day. The flat rate includes the permit and inspections.
“We see this as a pilot project for the energy upgrade permit process,” said Stephen Kanipe, Aspen’s chief building. “If it is successful for affordable housing projects, we can expand it for anyone in the city who wants to do energy upgrades to their homes.”
Examples of work requiring a permit include air sealing, new or altered insulation, or new equipment such as a boiler or water heater.
AVSC Winter Kick-Off Party is Saturday
The new Elk Camp restaurant at Snowmass is home to this year’s Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club Winter Kick-Off Party on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 4-7 p.m.
Dinner, a silent auction, entertainment and special activities for children in the Elk Camp “kids zone” are included in the ticket price of $50 for adults and $20 for kids. All proceeds benefit the club, which provides recreational and competitive skiing and snowboarding programs for nearly 2,000 valley residents.
Three AVSC Hall of Fame inductees — David Stapleton, Dale Potvin and Brooke Peterson — will be honored for their volunteerism during the event. All are past presidents of the board who have made a significant impact on AVSC in one way or another.
Silent auction items include a Warren Miller package of posters and DVDs, a day of skiing with AVSC Adaptive Team members, a hot tub rental for the weekend, massages, dinners, hotel stays and even a private session on AVSC’s new on-snow airbag.
Tickets are available for purchase at the door, through AVSC’s website, teamavsc.org, or by contacting Madeleine Hawken at (970) 205-5017. Elk Camp Restaurant is located midway on Snowmass Ski Area; gondola rides are included in the Winter Kick-Off ticket price.