Art, landscaping or both at new Carbondale roundabout?
Post Independent staff
CARBONDALE — Should the town’s planned new roundabout at Main Street and Highway 133 feature a piece of artwork by a nationally known sculptor who also will be displaying his work at the old Gordon Cooper Library space?
Or should the roundabout become a focal point of the town’s Art aRound Town (ART) program, which for a decade or so has been placing loaned artwork at various points around the downtown area?
Would it be better if the roundabout were beautified strictly with landscaping and plants?
Or should it be some combination of the three?
At Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting, the question of how to dress up the roundabout will be one of several topics taken up by the town’s elected leaders.
“If we leave the determination to CDOT (the Colorado Department of Transportation), the center of the roundabout would mostly likely be concrete,” stated a memo from town staff to the trustees included in the July 23 agenda for the meeting.
“This is not what the Comp Plan or Town staff envisions for the gateway to Carbondale,” the memo noted.
Already, one of the proposals listed above, which has the backing of a certain faction in town, has run into trouble, at least in the eyes of the city.
“The roundabout, as a location for Art aRound Town, may be problematic,” the memo continued, noting that such art would need to be of a scale that fits with the roundabout, and its foundation would need to be designed and built to both support the different art pieces that would rotate through, and to accommodate the occasionally strong and gusty winds that barrel through the area.
And, according to the staff memo, it may be necessary to redesign and build a new foundation for particular pieces.
Finally, the memo noted, “The center of a two-lane roundabout would be a difficult area to remove and install art on an annual basis.”
The memo, prepared by Town Manager Jay Harrington and Public Works Director Larry Ballenger, contains an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000 to install irrigation, do the landscaping and install a foundation for the artwork or artworks in question. The costs would be shared between the town and CDOT, with the town assuming any expenses for installing the foundation and the artwork, Harrington told the Post Independent.
In other action, the trustees will:
• Review a $133,580 contract to hire the Clarion Associates LLC to work on turning out a Unified Development Code.
• Discuss an employment contract for Town Manager Jay Harrington.
• Receive a report on the ongoing energy efficiency program involving the town and the Garfield Clean Energy organization, detailing activities in the second quarter of 2013.
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