With all that was on the agenda, including swearing in new trustees and having a party for those leaving, Mayor Wendell Koontz kept the April 12 town council meeting moving. It was all over in just 2 hours and 10 minutes.
Under old business, the mayor announced that Sam Carr of Cedaredge will handle commercial building inspections for Hotchkiss. The mayor and town staff will negotiate a contract with the Town of Paonia on sharing their inspector Chad Gartman for Hotchkiss residential building inspections.
The town has been working 1-1/2 years on plans for a trail from Willow Heights down Cedar Drive to town hall. That trail has been put on hold due to the cost of securing rights-of-way. Instead with the town's new park at Highways 92 and 133, the town wants to use CDOT funds for a trail down City Market's side of 133 to the town's property along the park to Sixth Street. Then the trail will follow CDOT's right-of-way to the fairgrounds where Delta County is planning a new road by the Maloney property. The project will cost about $400,000. Koontz said it makes sense to complete the trail to the fairgrounds now, but the town has not abandoned the Cedar Drive trail.
The town will now be part of a Fleet Card program negotiated by the State of Colorado to lower gas prices on town vehicles by 1.25 percent.
The town has sent a letter to the Board of County Commissioners expressing health and safety concerns because of the Western Slope Layers facility on Powell Mesa. The town requested the county "provide adequate oversight and inspection" of the chicken containment facility and that town staff be "notified and given the opportunity to attend and observe inspections." The town wants surface and ground water impacted by the operation to be "consistently and adequately monitored." If there are any kinds of concerns affecting health and safety, the town is to be "immediately notified."
Concerning the BLM Environmental Assessment for the August oil and gas lease sale, the town is sending a letter to BLM manager Barbara Sharrow stating that in 2003 the town adopted an ordinance "establishing a watershed protection plan for the area comprising the source of its domestic water." The town is to be provided "notice of proposed activities, some involvement in the review process and some participatory authority in the decision regarding the permitting of varied activities in the Town's watershed." The town has a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Forest Service.
A third letter was sent by the mayor and the new council to Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, an "urgent request" that Secretary Vilsack "expedite the promulgation of the Colorado Roadless Rule and that [he] foster timely review of projects by coordinating NEPA reviews with the Bureau of Land Management." The council stated county citizens "rely heavily on primary and secondary jobs" from mining coal. Approval of projects "necessary to keep the coal mines operating" are being delayed because of the lack of the Colorado Roadless Rule. Delayed NEPA reviews for coal projects "threaten to reduce the life of mining operations and will ultimately reduce or eliminate royalties, taxes and fees."
Trustees Jane Wills and Sheila Maki received a farewell cake. Mayor Koontz read the long list of service and dedicated volunteer work of Maki who was term-limited.
The council re-appointed Marlene Searle as town clerk, Jim Briscoe as town attorney, Lynn French as municipal judge and approved Carrie Wingfield as mayor pro tem.
The council approved a proclamation making April Child Abuse Prevention Month.blog comments powered by Disqus