Paonia drivers will soon have a set speed limit of 25 miles per hour, except in areas where posted otherwise.
At the March 28 meeting trustees approved the setting of a 25-mph speed limit on all streets, with a lower, 15-mph limit in school zones and any other areas later deemed necessary for safety purposes.
One benefit is a reduction in the number of signs that would need to be posted, said police chief Neil Ferguson. There are currently about 50 signs posted in town, and they are at a point where they need to be repaired or replaced, so the timing is good, said Ferguson. A standard speed limit would also end confusion over the four different speed limits, 15, 20, 25 and 30 mph, currently posted throughout the town, said Ferguson.
The new speed limits will take effect July 1 to allow for purchase and installation of signs and sufficient notice to the public of the changes.
Trustees also considered passage of a resolution establishing a code of conduct for elected officials of the town. The standards were drafted by Tami Tanoue, the general counsel and claims manager for the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency (CIRSA). Tanoue also presented a workshop, "Ethics, Liability and Best Practices for Elected Officials," prior to the meeting.
The resolution addresses the scope of authority for each elected member, a section on personal conduct, and a section on consequences for violating the standards of conduct.
Trustees debated the resolution for about 45 minutes but couldn't come to consensus on the final language. Trustee Chelsea Bookout said she believes it's good for trustees to be held to a standard equal to, if not above town employees. "I don't see anything in here that I would object to or that I feel would need to debate," said Bookout. "I personally feel that if we can't at least hold ourselves to this standard, then we have a serious issue."
"I think it should be considered carefully, because we are passing this resolution and it will be affecting people in the future, not just us," said trustee Suzanne Watson, who had several concerns about the document.
A one-hour workshop was scheduled for April 11 to discuss the language.
The board also approved an application by the Western Slope Conservation Center to hold its 17th annual river float and festival at Paonia River Park on June 3, and a special event application for the Paonia Chamber of Commerce to serve alcohol during a Cinco de Mayo celebration and fundraiser at the new Rio Bravo restaurant. The event will mark the official opening of the restaurant's patio, which will be open for the summer.
The Hotchkiss-Crawford Historial Society will host its annual meeting on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 2:00 at the Memorial Hall in Hotchkiss. There will be music, refreshments and a guest speaker, Robert Sibernagel. He is well known in the area as he writes regional history columns for The Daily Sentinel. He was formerly the editorial page editor for that paper for 19 years.