Minturn leaders making wish lists |

Minturn leaders making wish lists

Cliff Thompson

MINTURN – Faced with growth that will triple the size of town over the next decade, Minturn leaders Wednesday began to develop wish lists for the town’s budget for construction, personnel and equipment. It’s equal parts wants and needs, as well as a necessary planning exercise, town leaders said. The lists are the first step in a new system for determining how growth will affect the town.”It’s a good planning tool,” said Ann Capela, the town manager. “If we’re going to have growth impacts we need to connect that to our needs.”The majority of growth could come from a proposed private ski hill and golf course development just south of town. Florida developer Bobby Ginn said he wants to build 1,400 residences on the property and has requested annexation into Minturn. He placed the value of the development at in excess of $1 billion. It is estimated that an annexation agreement with Ginn’s Battle Mountain development could take up to 24 months to complete. That agreement would determine what will be built and what expenses the developer would bear.In previous meetings town leaders said they want growth to pay for growth, but how to do that is anything but easy, they said.One of the first things the town will likely need is a new water plant. The town’s plant was built four decades ago and is showing its age. A new sewer system is also be needed.The town also needs road maintenance equipment, more police officers and equipment, public works employees, curbs, gutters, streetlights, parks and other things the town does not have in abundance.Minturn has a budget of just $1.2 million and approximately 5 percent of that can go toward its wish list – that’s living pretty close to the bone.At a town council meeting last week, Minturn’s front-end loader had flat tires and its dump truck broke down, eliminating local road maintenance. In the mean time, a local construction-materials company, LaFarge, has lent the town equipment. Making sure all the details are discussed requires a far more detailed approach than has been used in the past, Capela said.Staff Writer Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 450, or, Colorado

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