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Basalt gives nod to CTA as master plan consultant
Art opening
Basalt received a total of eight detailed proposals from companies looking to be hired by the town to conduct the updated master plan process. - photo by M. John Fayhee

The Basalt Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to enter into contract negotiations with an an outfit called CTA to conduct its updated master planning process.

Requests for proposal (RFPs) were sent out by the town in early December.

Eight firms responded with proposals.

According to the agenda packet for Tuesday’s meeting, “Staff with input from the P&Z chair shortlisted five of the firms. The Town Manager created a selection committee made up of two members of the planning and zoning commission (Chair [Bill] Maron and Commissioner [Bernie] Grauer), one member of the Parks, Recreation, and open Space Committee (Cindy Bruce) and three staff members (Ryan Mahoney, Susan Philip and James Lindt).”

The committee interviewed the five shortlisted firms on Feb. 11.

“Based on the comments of committee members, staff recommends that the project be awarded to the CTA team,” the agenda packet wording continues. That team includes planners, landscape architects, and engineers with CTA serving as the project lead collaborating with Connect One, JVA Engineering, and McCormack Baron Salazar (an expert in affordable housing).

“Staff recommends the CTA team be granted the contract primarily because they combine a nationally recognized mountain planning and design firm with a local firm based out of the town of Basalt,” the agenda packet continues.

According to Mahoney, The town has budgeted “up to $200,000” for the master planning process.

“Updates have been ongoing since 2007 with the last substantial amendment in 2015 with the Our Town Planning amendment,” Mahoney said. “We aim to have [the master planning process] substantially complete by the end of 2019. It will commence early this spring.”

Though it is difficult to exactly compare the bids because there are scads of variables and add-ons, here’s how much the five short-listed firms were proposing to charge Basalt for its updated master-planning process:

  • California-based Placeworks: $275,000.
  • Missoula-based Orion Planning & Design: $268,000.
  • St. Louis-based Bates Forum: $235,000.
  • Aspen-based Stan Clausen Associates: $132,000.
  • CTA: $198,000.

So, CTA’s proposal was one of only two shortlisted firms that came in under budget.

CTA has an extensive local portfolio, including local projects such as Midland Park, Emma Bridge, Willits Open Space and Playground and Habitat for Humanity’s Basalt Vista housing project, as well as the Castle Creek Trail Corridor, the Hallam Street Corridor and the Aspen Mountain Master Plan in Aspen.