If you are worried about fire and lead issues at the Basalt Shooting Range, there is one clear choice for mayor – Bill Infante. He is the only candidate talking about engaging higher authority, State DNR, and the governor, while continuing to work with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to best protect human health and safety.

Infante said at a recent mayoral forum that fire and lead risks are “very legitimate concerns that all of you should take seriously.” He noted, “Looking at the role and function of us as elected officials, our principal function is to protect the safety and welfare of all of you.” He added, “We should be willing to invest to protect your safety and welfare.”

There are many environmental and fire safety issues at the range that the town should be concerned about. The Roaring Fork Valley Sportsman’s Association is a private shooting club that holds a 20-year, no-cost lease from CPW, for its own shooting range adjacent to CPW’s. The lease says the club is NOT responsible for cleaning up the toxic lead that it has disbursed, for decades, onto taxpayer-owned land.

RFVSA is contaminating a spring and its outflow with toxic lead shot and other shooting debris, without assuming any responsibility for cleaning it up, or for preventing the shooting debris from flowing downhill into Lake Christine and the Roaring Fork River as occurred during last summer’s flash flood.

CPW, for years, has been willfully negligent, operating the range with blatant disregard to Basalt Fire Chief Scott Thompson’s recommendation, after the 2012 wildfire that originated there, that an irrigated firebreak be implemented to mitigate the range’s obvious fire risk. The 2018 Lake Christine Fire started near, and spread from, the area where the greenbelt was supposed to be installed.

We need to elect a mayor who will put the health, safety and security of Basalt first, and engage with the governor and other local, regional and state officials to protect our town and Valley – Infante is the right choice.

Stacey Craft