The Hotchkiss Town Council handled a variety of requests and issues at their Aug. 15 meeting.
Billie Marta, Memorial Hall board member, asked the town to consider a $500 donation for re-tiling the ladies restroom, a new flagpole and other maintenance.
Marlene Searle, town clerk, said the town has donation funds available. The town doesn't have a line item on the budget for Memorial Hall, but individual project requests are made as needed. The council approved the donation of $500.
Angie West requested a variance on how many dogs she can have. She has three dogs. She fostered two dogs from the Black Canyon Animal Sanctuary. West had taken one dog back to the Black Canyon Animal Sanctuary, but it had a very difficult time. On the advice of Debbie Faulkner, owner of Black Canyon Animal Sanctuary, she took the dog back. The three dogs are all small breeds. She gave the trustees letters of support from her neighbors. Faulkner attended the meeting and said the dogs are all well behaved. West has a fenced yard.
Georgia Hopper, trustee, suggested the council look at revising the law on the number of dogs allowed.
Tom Wills, former trustee, said this would not be a variance, but an exception. He said the previous council understood that there would be unique cases. He explained that having three little dogs is not the same as having three mastiffs or pit bulls.
Mayor Wendell Koontz suggested the council approve the request. It was approved.
The council delayed action on the North Fork Alternative Plan. Jim Briscoe, town attorney, prepared a brief report after a conversation with Sarah Sauter, Western Slope Conservation Center executive director, seeking "more definitive information on what the plan was." He continued, "I understand they are in the process of developing a more specific and wordy explanation of the alternative plan. The reason that it wasn't done previously was that they were . . . discussing with BLM what would be more effective, more applicable to the plan the BLM is now working with and the one that is going to be reviewed and probably adopted in the near future. At this point, I have not received any additional information or explanation and I really don't have anything to add." Briscoe said some parts of the alternative plan would be very beneficial to the Town of Hotchkiss, but there are other parts that the town might not want to be supportive of. The town may want to seek the middle ground, supporting some parts but not all.
Mayor Koontz said to keep the item on the agenda while they await more information. He indicated the BLM Resource Management Plan revision is still several months away.
The council approved the amended and corrected flood plain resolution. Briscoe will combine the resolution adopted in 2010 with the new one. The resolution is necessary for homeowners to purchase national flood insurance.
Alexis Halbert of the Heart and Soul Project gave an update. The project concludes in December. "We got out and talked to the folks in the North Fork Valley, asking them what matters most to them to help us understand what the real values are in living here," Halbert said. "We are trying to match those values with tools, resources and plans that the towns can use to really preserve those values."
The Town of Hotchkiss and also Paonia and Crawford have three opportunities to participate in gathering more information on how values-based resources can be a tool for the trustees in town planning.
The first opportunity is the Downtown Colorado Inc. (DCI) Conference, Sept. 11-13 in Grand Junction. DCI has partnered with the State of Colorado in main street programming. Heart and Soul has funding to pay for all expenses for a trustee or a member of the planning commission to attend.
The Orton Foundation is providing a training called "Walk Your Talk" also from Sept. 11-13, in Golden. All expenses would be paid.
The final opportunity is the Community Summit on Oct. 24 and 25. Heart and Soul will share all the various things they have heard from their interviews and surveys with over 1,000 folks who live in the North Fork Valley. The nine core values are sense of community; small town feel; the local economy; the traditions and heritage of the valley; the rural environment; freedom, independence and personal responsibility; food and water; diversity; arts and culture. "The Community Summit will allow us to take a look at where we are really at, what is at the core of who we really are, and how we can face issues together. The [Orton] Foundation doesn't tell us what to do, but they give us a suite of different tools that we try out on our own to see which really work for us," Halbert said. The focus of the Orton Foundation, according to Halbert, is how do you save rural communities and their identities when there are so many challenges.
There is a vacancy on the planning commission board. Contact the town if you are interested in serving.
The next Hotchkiss Town Council meeting will include the Hotchkiss High School Student Council on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 6:30 p.m.blog comments powered by Disqus