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Red Hill agreement a win win

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The Carbondale Board of Trustees on Jan. 23 unanimously approved a memorandum outlining how Aspen Valley Land Trust will transfer ownership of a 24.96 acre property at the base of Red Hill to the Town.

Although both organizations have considered attempting to buy the land in the past but it only become financially viable when the asking price was reduced last year.

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AVLT took out a $200,000 loan to help cover the $825,000 property price, which Garfield County is expected to reimburse as part of its 2019 budget. The organization hopes that the remainder, as well as a $200,000 maintenance and management fund and a $150,000 improvements fund, can be covered by public donation, while the town itself has already committed $50,000 in municipal money in this year’s budget.

Erin Quinn, conservation director for AVLT, told trustees that the organization is currently around $330,000 away from their goal.

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“It’s a large chunk of money, but in the big scheme of the project we’re getting there,” she said.

In the end, the Town will own and maintain the property while AVLT holds a conservation easement that allows for the construction of a new parking lot, trail connections and potentially a road realignment.

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The agreement takes effect when the funds are committed for the project.

Town Manager Jay Harrington characterized the contract as a win for everyone.

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“It’s been a wonderful project to work on,” he said. “There’s not any folks being shortchanged by any means.”

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