In response to Basalt Councilman Ryan Slack dismissing opposition with his comment that the “town had been working on the phasing for six months and where were the businesses then?”:
In an Aug. 22 article by Scott Condon in the Aspen Daily News, Michelle Thibeault, Basalt town planner, stressed that the most critical issue would be how to keep restaurants, shops and service providers open while the street is torn up. The biggest concern of the Midland Avenue businesses was how the town would support the affected businesses.
In short, the town said, “We will make it work for you.” The businesses are saying: It does not work for us, it disrupts our ability to operate during our busiest season. With the current proposed plan, losses for one business are estimated as $500,000. The businesses trusted the town to honor their promise. The town needs to do everything that is needed to maintain a healthy community core during construction.
On March 22 there will be two work sessions, a morning and an afternoon session, to present the decisions made so far. Where is the one in the evening for all the folks who work for a living during the day?
Let’s have a third work session in the evening so everyone has an opportunity to participate. Let’s also stop construction on Midland Avenue in June, July, August and September. The existence of the year-round businesses is essential to the future of Basalt.