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Pages of the Past: ‘Bert and Ernie’ development takes shape

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From the archives of the Roaring Fork Valley Journal

Jan. 12, 1978

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The proposed Roaring Fork Village development — encompassing 49 acres of Gianinetti and Sewell land between Highway 133 and Eighth Street on the north end of town — went before a board of trustees with “two of the six members repeatedly absent.” The development as proposed included a mobile home park, multi-family dwellings, a retail shopping center complete with a theater and bowling alley, a commercial-industrial complex and a small park. The property would be annexed in the process, as would the cemetery but not the plaza at what’s now Village Rd. and Highway 133. (The area has since been developed, though not exactly as envisioned).

Jan. 14, 1988

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The Roaring Fork River Council was working on ways to reduce bank erosion and prevent property from being washed away. The problem was most pronounced just upstream from Basalt, as well as near the town’s sewer plant. Montana engineer Donald Reichmuth proposed “drop” structures: v-shaped formations of boulders placed across the river. Compared to past approaches  — like stabilizing banks with old cars — this was viewed as far less likely to endanger someone else downstream.

Jan. 15, 1998

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All plans were canceled for the year’s Basalt Mountain Festival due to what the event committee characterized as an uphill battle with the town board. Specifically, they cited an array of last minute rules about insurance and sales tax in the past. “Rather than working with us, the town seemed apathetic and almost aggressive,” said one member. “ We got really strange roadblocks.” In the end, the committee opted to just donate $1,000 to the recreation department instead.

Jan. 10, 2008

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Bridges High School found a temporary home in the former Carbondale Elementary School building. Roaring Fork School District’s alternative high school program had originally be slated to move into the old middle school building, which in turn was to move into the old high school, but the discovery of asbestos in the latter set the whole process back. (The CES building would eventually become the Third Street Center, and Bridges would find a home in the old middle school — though it would be another decade before the building underwent a full remodel.)

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