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Paonia continues annexation hearing

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While awaiting annexation into the town, Berg Harvest Mercantile, located adjacent to the Paonia Library is open and doing well, said Lauren Thliveris. Thliveris represented Andrew Thliveris at the July 26 Paonia hearing for annexation of two lots into the town.

She said the family's hope is that the newly-remodeled building would be beneficial to the area, help bring business into Paonia, and add to the tax base. She thanked the town for its support. "We are working hard to do the best job that we can," she added.

Mayor Charles Stewart opened the hearing to questions from trustees and from the public, but no comments were given.

Following the public comment portion of the hearing on July 26, the board voted unanimously to continue the hearing to Aug. 9. At that point trustees will vote to adopting a resolution identifying the findings of fact in this hearing and consider adoption of an ordinance to approve the annexation.

A letter commenting mostly about zoning issues was received from Paonia resident Larry Garrett and was presented to the board by trustee William Brunner. Stewart said the letter would not be accepted into the public record because it deals with zoning.

Brunner argued that it belongs in the record. Stewart deferred to town attorney David Marek, who said that whether it's relevant or significant isn't the point. "Just as with any public comment, it can be made a part of the record," said Marek.

In other business, trustees also unanimously approved the town's participation in the Delta County Hazard Mitigation Plan. Paonia is the last municipality in the county to sign the letter.

Trustees unanimously approved a retail liquor license renewal application for Thomas Waldo's, and a liquor license renewal application for Linda M. Little, dba 3rd Street Bistro. Town staff recommended approval of both applications.

Bistro owner Linda Little said the establishment will celebrate 20 years on Valentine's Day, 2017. She bought the Victorian style building at 213 Third Street in 1996 and recently found out from the county assessor that the structure was built in 1898, making it one of the oldest buildings in town.

The board voted to approve a letter in support of a grant application by Delta and Gunnison county innovation centers to allow for Western Slope Colorado University and the Delta-Montrose Technical College to set up food processing operations in the former Paonia Elementary School facility on Second Street. The goal of the grant, explained Berry, is to create new jobs for the community and region, to create a processing and distribution infrastructure allowing producers to market products at retail and wholesale levels, and provide a center for innovation for education and agri-tourism.

The town also recently approved a letter of support for a similar facility proposed for the warehouses located just beyond the 300 block of Clark Avenue.

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