Private ski resort vote ‘likely’ this week in Minturn
Vail, CO Colorado
MINTURN, Colorado ” A vote on whether to expand the boundaries of Minturn to include the land where a developer wants to build a private ski resort may take place Wednesday night.
A vote on whether to annex the Ginn Development Co.’s property into Minturn will “likely” take place Wednesday night, Town Councilman Tom Sullivan said.
“It all just depends on what transpires in the next little bit,” Sullivan said. “There’s a lot of stuff that has to get sorted out.”
Town councilors have said they wanted to vote on the annexation before an April election. Ginn wants to build 1,700 homes and condominiums and a private ski resort and golf course on and around Battle Mountain, south of Minturn.
If the vote takes place Wednesday night and the annexation is approved, town councilors will have to vote again to make the decision final, said Gary Suiter, Minturn’s Interim Town Manager.
The second vote could come after as early as Feb. 27, Suiter said.
Suiter cannot recall ever having seen a town councilor switch their vote the second time they vote, he said. Suiter has been a town manager for ski resort towns such as Telluride, Snowmass Village and Jackson, Wyo., and has seen similar votes on large proposals.
“Usually they’re pretty consistent,” he said about council votes. “That’s not to say there couldn’t be a first time. We’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out.”
Town Councilman George Brodin said he was not sure that councilors would vote to approve the annexation.
“I would sure hate to have to start over,” he said about the annexation hearings that councilors have sat through for about two years.
A vote was planned for Feb. 13, but town councilors pushed back the date to this week.
“We want to make sure it’s a good deal for the town,” Sullivan said about Ginn’s plan.
Bill Burnett has not been able to attend the last few meetings due to an illness, and he does not think he will attend Wednesday’s meeting, he said.
Burnett’s absence makes a 3-3 tie between the Town Council a possibility. A tie would deny the annexation.
At the very least, Suiter said town councilors may discuss or vote on a series of resolutions that approve parts of Ginn’s proposal, such as its environmental plan.
The resolutions are required by law, but are not legally binding unlike the ordinances, which, if approved, would let Ginn proceed with its plans, Suiter said.
If the ordinances are approved, the only other vote on Ginn could be a referendum of Minturn voters, but only if Minturn residents submit a petition with signatures to the town, he said.
Four Minturn Town Council seats ” including the mayor’s ” will be up for grabs in the April election.
Town Councilman Tom Sullivan said he will not run again. Considering runs for reelection are Mayor Gordon “Hawkeye” Flaherty and Town Councilman Jerry Bumgarner.
Town Councilman George Brodin, whose seat also will be up for grabs, said he will run for reelection. Brodin said he will not run for mayor, as he did in 2006 when Flaherty beat him by three votes.
Brodin has lived in Minturn about 26 years and has served one four-year term as a town councilor. Experience makes him a good choice, he said.
Flaherty and Bumgarner were unavailable for comment Monday afternoon, but both men have said they were thinking about running for reelection.
Minturn does not have term limits.
At least two Minturn residents, Robert Martinez and David Clapp, have said they are considering bids.
Minturn residents must turn in petitions to run for Town Council by March 10.
Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.