Cedaredge trustees review drought strategies

By Don Benjamin

On Feb. 8 the Cedaredge Board of Trustees held a special meeting and a work session. During the special meeting the trustees unanimously approved a proposal by Mayor Gene Welch to appoint all trustees -- excluding the mayor -- to serve as members of the town administrator application review committee. Between the work session and the regular town meeting on Feb. 15 each trustee, acting on his or her own -- not as a group -- will review applications for the vacant town administrator position. Then trustees will meet in executive session to discuss applicants and determine finalists. Selected finalists will be announced on Feb. 15 when the trustees reconvene.

In other action during the special meeting, the trustees unanimously approved a resolution to correct a journal entry error in the town budget. Mayor Welch explained that such resolutions are necessary from time to time to make corrections and adjustments recommended by staff.

During the work session the trustees heard from Jerry Young, co-director of public works, regarding the town's drought response plan. The plan currently being followed was adopted by the town in September 2012 when current Mayor Welch and current Mayor pro tem Ray Hanson were trustees. Young reviewed the drought plan which outlines two stages of indicators of drought severity and actions to be taken. He noted the town is already following actions outlined in stage one which include inspecting the town's raw water collection system and meeting with Grand Mesa and Colorado water officials to coordinate basinwide strategies. Stage one also includes public awareness initiatives to promote citizen water conservation, especially in the coming summer months should the current drought persist.

As for whether the drought will continue, Young told the trustees that it is still too soon to tell but staff members are closely monitoring the situation. Mayor pro tem Hanson wanted to assure the public the trustees recognize the problem and they are working to prepare for the effects of a prolonged drought. The Town of Cedaredge's drought response plan can be viewed by typing the word drought in the "site search" box on the town website http://www.cedaredgecolorado.com/.

The remainder of the work session previewed two town meetings scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 15. The first will be a 5 p.m. public hearing on the Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center's request of a special events liquor permit. The arts center proposes to use the Cedaredge Civic Center dining hall on March 10 for its "Cabin Fever Dance" fundraiser. Staff will make a presentation and recommendation regarding the permit and the public will be allowed to express their support or opposition. The trustees will take action regarding the permit during their regular meeting that same evening.

Immediately after the liquor permit public hearing, the trustees will hold a regular meeting. The regular meeting agenda includes the following:

• Updates from the town planning commission, the tree board, and the Cedaredge Area Chamber of Commerce.

• Financial issues including proposals to fund a golf club irrigation master plan and to reallocate funds previously budgeted for golf clubhouse house carpeting to meet different golf expenditures.

• Departmental reports from the golf clubhouse operations director, the public works co-director, chief of police, and interim town administrator.

• Action on the Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center liquor permit.

• Action on a resolution regarding town employee golf benefits.

• Action on a resolution to cancel the April 3 municipal election and declare candidates elected.

• Action to correct an ordinance regarding the town vacating an alleyway.

• Executive session to determine town administrator finalists following by a reconvening of the regular meeting to announce finalists.

Time is allotted at the start and end of all regular board of trustee meetings for constituent comments. Barring special meetings, the trustees meet for work sessions on the second Thursday of each month and for regular meetings on the third Thursday of each month. Meetings begin at 5 p.m. in the Grand Mesa Room at 140 N.W. 2nd Street in Cedardege. The public is encouraged to attend.