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Farrar signs on as interim Basalt town manager

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By Lynn Burton
Sopris Sun Staff Writer

Davis Farrar, a Missouri Heights resident, hasn’t been involved with it all, but as a town manager and planner he’s seen plenty since the early 1980s, including: 
• The oil shale bust in western Garfield County and related local economic down turn in the early 1980s;
• Demographic reports in the early 1980s that said Carbondale’s population would hit 10,000 by 1990;
• A multi-million dollar development proposal from a Saudi family to build two golf courses and residential housing south of Glenwood Springs in Spring Valley;
• The “hostile” takeover of the Carbondale Sanitation District by the Town of Carbondale in the late 1980s;
• A Basalt referendum that prevented City Market from building a store on the new bypass, so City Market built its store in El Jebel and the town pulled off a “flagpole” annexation to keep the company’s tax dollars flowing into town coffers;
• A land swap with the federal government that ultimately led to Crown Park in El Jebel;
• The recall of the late Bob Murray as Basalt mayor in the early 1990s;
• Aspen and Pitkin County acting as the driving forces to unsuccessfully convince local governments, and the federal government, to fund a $200-$400 million commuter rail line from Woody Creek to Glenwood Springs;
In a word, Farrar knows more about local history, and government history, than just about anyone around. That knowledge could come in handy, after Farrar accepted the job of interim Basalt town manager on Tuesday.
Farrar’s new gig comes after interim town manager Ron Miller announced he was stepping down. The Basalt trustees have indicated it could take until June for them to hire a permanent town manager. Basalt’s town manager shuffle started last year when Mike Scanlon left his post.
Farrar told the Basalt trustees he has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley since 1979 and served as Carbondale’s town manager for 13 years. After that, he twice served as Silt’s interim town manager and is currently town manager of Collbran (a two-day-a-week job). He is also DeBeque’s contract town manager.
Basalt trustees said Farrar will work three days a week at $80 per hour.

Published in The Sopris Sun on Feb. 2, 2017. 

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