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Basalt River Park Could See Final Vote Thursday

Final Application of Basalt River Park
Town of Basalt

The Basalt River Park project has been long-debated, but a plan for the campus could be finalized as early as Thursday at town council's meeting. 

The proposed $1 million project includes public portions, like the park itself and an outdoor area for concerts and other events. It also includes privately-funded commercial spaces and 24 residential units, both affordable and market-rate. 

According to the final application, the goal of the Basalt River Park is to "create a balanced relationship with the newly created parkland and natural open space, integrated with a creative neighborhood of sustainable development that supports the whole community."

Basalt Town Manager Ryan Mahoney says the proposed project uses the river to intertwine Basalt with the rest of the town.

"It's the idea, hopefully, to be able to entice people not only down to the river, but those that are already recreating in the river to come back up and join the fray of what is downtown Basalt," Mahoney said.

Credit Basalt River Park Final Application / Town of Basalt
Town of Basalt
What the restaurant terrace would look like in the proposed Basalt River Park campus.

He said one major reason why it has taken the town so long to finalize plans for the development is floodways from the Roaring Fork River. A mobile home park once stood in the proposed location for the Basalt River Park. Mahoney said those mobile homes were once in danger of flooding, but the town has done mitigation work to make sure any new structures will not be harmed by high waters.

"The lower lying areas that will become the park were actually designed to flood," Mahoney said. "So it's not out of the question that you could get some flood waters into the park, but those won't be developed structures that would create an issue for public safety."

The $1 million project is being funded through town's Open Space and Trails fund, restricted funding the town receives through a one-cent sales tax. 

The public can weigh in at Basalt Town Council's meeting on Thursday. If approved by council, Mahoney says, construction could begin as early as 2021.