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Crawford considers 'Jump Start' resolution

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Cathy Cheatham with the Friends of Crawford Town Hall reported to Town Council at the Jan. 18 public work session that after expenses, the fourth annual Festival of Trees raised $2,200 for Town Hall improvement projects. "Our town is just so generous," said Cheatham.

Between the winter holiday event and ongoing fundraising efforts, FOCTH has raised about $7,000 for the newly-renovated building. The money will go toward a sound board for the Community Room and new window blinds. Completion of the commercial kitchen and air conditioning still remain on the list of items to complete, said Cheatham.

Cheatham also reported that the Crawford Fire Auxiliary recently received a $5,000 grant for installation of a new fireman's washroom for the Crawford Volunteer Fire District station. On a single day the treasurer reported receiving 24 checks in the mailbox, said Cheatham.

Also at the work session Trish Thibido with Delta County Economic Development gave a presentation on the Rural Jump Start Zone program. The state-sponsored initiative, which was created in 2015 through the passage of Senate Bill 15-282, offers a tax relief program for new businesses that locate within a jumpstart zone. The program is intended to spur economic growth in areas designated as "economically distressed" by the Colorado Economic Development Commission. For counties to be considered for the program they must first be designated as economically distressed and pass a resolution to participate.

Delta County, the City of Delta and Orchard City have all passed resolutions, said Thibido. If Crawford decides to do so, they agree to offer tax credits and incentives to new businesses that meet program criteria. Delta County will soon be applying to be a jumpstart zone, which would allow them to recruit new businesses to the area. Mesa County has already attracted seven new businesses through the program, she said. Council will consider the resolution as early as the Feb. 1 meeting.

Council also discussed the drafting of an ordinance as part of Delta County's efforts to create a countywide multi-hazard mitigation plan. Crawford has already agreed to participate in planning efforts. The ordinance is intended to outline emergency procedures and designate a meeting place and the individuals in the town who can have powers to declare an emergency, should one occur.

"There's a lot to this," said Mayor Wanda Gofforth.

The countywide plan would make communities eligible for FEMA programs and funding, both before and after a disaster.

An all-day countywide planning meeting is scheduled for Feb. 16. Gofforth urged citizens to consider attending the meetings and becoming involved in planning.

Council tabled an agenda item to consider water and sewer ordinances and resolutions. Due to staff spending time on snow removal, the items were moved to the Feb. 1 agenda. The agenda item relates to how the town bills for its water services, said public works director Bruce Bair. Changes will give the town "a more accurate representation" of what the town bills its water customers.

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