Minturn voter turnout tops April council election
Vail, CO Colorado
MINTURN, Colorado ” Voter turnout in a referendum Tuesday on a private ski resort already has surpassed that of the Minturn Town Council election in April.
Voters had cast 233 ballots shortly after 12:30 p.m. ” 105 of those were absentee ballots, said Bev Christiansan, an election judge. Voters cast 227 ballots out of a total of 750 registered voters, a 30 percent turnout, in the April election.
“We’re doing well,” said Christiansan, a Minturn resident who voted yes to include the Ginn Development Co.’s 4,300 acres of property into the town.
Ginn wants to build 1,700 homes and condominiums, ski slopes and a golf course on and around Battle Mountain, south of downtown Minturn.
Christiansan expected the ballots to be counted around 8 to 8:30 p.m. The polls at Minturn Town Center, 302 Pine St., close at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, a broken gas line closed Main Street for more than two hours near Minturn Town Center. A worker excavating dirt for the construction of a triplex next to the Lift Cafe broke a gas line around 10:45 a.m., authorities said.
“It’s just new construction ” comes with growth, comes with development,” said Rod Cordova, director of Minturn’s Public Works Department. Cordova voted on Ginn early in the morning.
Authorities diverted traffic to Pine Street and back onto Main Street, but fixed the gas leak and opened Minturn’s main thoroughfare around 1 p.m.
Stuart Brummett ” a critic of Ginn’s plans to build an up to 195-foot-tall building near Bolts Lake, south of downtown Minturn ” voted yes.
“I voted more yes for Minturn to be the governing body of the project,” Brummett said.
If residents vote yes, town councilors will vote again on whether to finally approve Ginn’s plans possibly later this year. If residents deny Ginn, the company can reapply for annexation in Minturn, apply in Red Cliff or deal with Eagle County.
Bobby Ginn, chief executive officer of Ginn Resorts, has said he plans to develop Battle Mountain, south of Minturn. Ginn does not know whom he will deal with if residents vote no, he has said.
Brummett voted by absentee ballot, which he got from Minturn Citizens for Annexation, a group formed recently to support Ginn. The group, of which Brummett was a member, had been giving residents applications for absentee ballots.
“I think the biggest thing is our town needs a reasonable tax base in order to be able to do some of the things that we as citizens want to see happen,” Brummett said.
Minturn will get $6 million in tax revenue the second year after the project is approved and $6 to $10 million each year after five years, a Ginn representative has said.
Minturn has run on no more than a $1.5 million annual budget during Mayor Gordon “Hawkeye” Flaherty’s long tenure, Flaherty has said.
Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at (970) 748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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