The Paonia Town Council handled a variety of issues on Aug. 13 in a marathon three and a half hour session.
Margot Richardson of Mountain Harvest Festival came before the council to request a special events liquor license.
The Paradise Theatre has changed its status over the past six months. The Paonia Chamber of Commerce now holds the lease. Because the Paradise Theatre can only apply for so many special event liquor licenses during the year, those who operate the Mountain Harvest Festival were asked to apply for the special event liquor license for Saturday night, Sept. 28, for concerts during the festival. This was unanimously approved.
Mayor Neal Schwieterman explained the council had previously discussed applying for a grant to receive funds to help pay for a town manager. The Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) grant application had to be in by Aug. 1. Town clerk Barbara Peterson completed it. The council approved the previously completed application.
Next the council heard from Bob Bushta concerning the BMW Rally park request for Wednesday, July 16, 2014 through the morning of Monday, July 21. Marty Durlin asked how long music will be allowed. She objected to loud music beyond 10 p.m. Bushta said the music should stop at 10 p.m. weeknights and at 11 p.m. on the weekends when live bands are playing.
This year, 500 "Beemers" attended the rally, leaving on Sunday morning. Bushta noted the rally went extremely well with problems experienced in 2012 being resolved. He expects a larger crowd next year. The council approved the park request.
The trustees approved special event liquor license requests by the Paonia Chamber of Commerce for four events at the Paradise Theatre. Those events are for Aug. 24 and 30 and Sept. 6 and 7 from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. each night. Ross King asked for clarification of how many special event liquor licenses were permitted by applicants. Town clerk Barbara Peterson explained that state law allows each nonprofit organization up to 10 special event permits in a year. Alexis Halbert, chamber president, added that it is cost prohibitive to hold a general liquor license for the Paradise Theatre.
Richard Van Gytenbeck, Colorado River Basin outreach coordinator, gave a presentation on behalf of "Our Colorado River." The organization is part of a project of Trout Unlimited, a nonprofit fisheries conservation organization.
One of Trout Unlimited's western Colorado projects is to "improve the quality of the Colorado River and its many tributaries." They have ongoing partnerships with agriculture. Its primary intent is "to facilitate broad support for smart water management ... through a set of core values designed to promote healthy communities through healthy rivers."
Those core values include these components: cooperation not conflict, protect the quality of life, modernize irrigation, innovative management and keep the rivers at home.
The health of the Colorado River and its tributaries contributes significantly to the economy. The Colorado River basin irrigates 700,000 acres on 9,000 farms and ranches contributing to $1 billion in the crops and animals produced for market. Over $9 billion is added to the Western Slope economy through recreation and tourism.
Gytenbeck requested a letter of support for their work from the Town of Paonia. Barbara Peterson will write a letter and the council will vote whether to approve it or not at the next council meeting. For more information, visit www.ourcoriver.com.
The parks committee with trustees Amber Kleinman and Eric Goold worked out a Delta County School District facilities use agreement. Town clerk Peterson and police chief Scott Leon also worked on the project. Goold said that in years past the Delta County School District and the Town of Paonia had "a handshake agreement" regarding how much the district pays the town for use of Paonia Town Park and Apple Valley Park for their sports programs. "We have it in writing now. It's $1,800 a year," Goold said. "The number is a little disappointing. We were hoping it would be for more, but it is the number we think the school district can live with." The town has created an invoice for $9,000 to cover back years of 2006 and 2009 through 2012, but Goold is not confident that the district has the money to pay it. A second invoice for $1,800 will be generated for this year.
Alexis Halbert gave an update on Heart and Soul. There will be a community summit at the end of October. On Oct. 25, a film will be screened at the Paradise Theatre about the values used in decision making models. On Oct. 26, the community will look at the major issues that have been identified to the Heart and Soul Project. Over 1,000 people provided comments. Heart and Soul then distilled their comments into nine core values. Those values are small town feel; sense of community; the economy; traditions and heritage; the rural environment; food and water; freedom, personal responsibility and independence; diversity; arts and culture. The goal is for the local municipalities to consider those values in future decision making. The Heart and Soul Project ends in December.
Halbert said she asked for and received funding from the Orton Foundation so a representative from each of the towns in the North Fork Valley could attend the Downtown Colorado Inc. Conference Sept. 11-13. The Department of Local Affairs is a partner in the conference which will be in Grand Junction.
Goold asked how the core values will be translated into the town's master plan. Halbert said that will be determined by the town councils. Heart and Soul can provide examples of what other towns have done.
The council agreed to extend the employee health insurance program with Rocky Mountain HMO until Dec. 2014.
The next town council meeting will be Tuesday, Aug. 27 at 7 p.m.blog comments powered by Disqus