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Paonia trustees consider snow removal, sidewalks and Tasers

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Photo by Tamie Meck Town clerk Corinne Ferguson swears in Barry Pennell as a trustee for the Town of Paonia at the Aug. 8 board meeting. Pennell, a 2016 candidate for town trustee, was appointed by the board following the resignation of Bill Brunner.

The Paonia board of trustees will consider approval of a town snow removal policies and procedures brochure at the Aug. 22 public meeting. The brochure addresses snow removal priorities, time of plowing, sanding, parked vehicles, safety and the public's responsibilities.

The town also plans to hold off on any sidewalk replacement projects this year and double up on projects in 2018. The public works department is suggesting this as a way of saving money, said town administrator Ken Knight. By doing $50,000 worth of work next year, rather than $25,000 both years, the town can avoid paying twice for mobilization and demobilization and get more actual sidewalk work done for the money.

Sidewalk projects are funded by a $3 per month fee on all town utility bills.

A project to extend the sidewalk at the Paonia Library west to the Samuel Wade Bridge will also be considered by the board for fiscal year 2018. Since the monthly fee is designated for sidewalk repair and replacement only, funds for the new sidewalk will come out of the capital improvements fund.

Trustees recently approved a letter of support for the North Fork Pool, Parks and Recreation District's Great Outdoors Colorado grant application for a new baseball and softball complex at Crossroads Park in Hotchkiss, and a request for a large park event for The Learning Council's second Visionary Summit. The approval allows the council to hold workshops between 9 a.m-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 2 and 3, in Poulos Park. Workshops are free and open to the public.

Trustees also voted to approve up to $8,500 from capital funds for the purchase of four Axon Taser Model X2 units for use by the police department. Trustees briefly considered addressing the purchase in the 2018 budget and a suggestion by newly sworn in trustee Barry Pennell to seek grant funding for the Tasers, before voting unanimously to approve the purchase. "This is a timeliness issue and safety is one of our primary focuses," said mayor pro tempore. "So I believe we need to move ahead with it."

"We need to make sure that they have the non-lethal equipment that is necessary," said Mayor Charles Stewart.

Between July 15-31, the police department reported 92 incidents, including two traffic accidents, one sex offense, 31 traffic stops, two shoplifting incidences and one DUI. The department issued 25 verbal warnings, five written warnings and 17 citations, and made three arrests.

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