Tidying up town
The council is moving forward with the prohibition of allowing vehicles for sale to be parked along Sixth Street. At the August 16 meeting, the council will take a look at an ordinance that prohibits such vehicles from being parked for long stretches of time along Sixth and on the side streets along the highway between Fifth and Seventh streets.
“At least three business owners have called to say they appreciate the effort,” town manager Susan Parker reported to the council. She said the town marshal would use discretion in enforcing the regulation so that, for example, a guy with a car for sale who decides to go to a movie won’t have his vehicle towed. “They watch it closely,” she promised.
“I still see this as a non-issue,” reiterated councilperson Reed Betz. “It also concerns me to hear the town manager say that the marshals watch this that closely. I was in Gunnison yesterday and there were cars for sale all over town and it didn’t seem like a big problem. It’s a non-issue for me.”
But it is a big enough issue for the rest of the council that they will consider the ordinance next week.
T.P. index tied to sales tax revenues
The monthly pain of looking at sales tax revenue figures continues with June sales tax off 6 percent compared to last year. And last year was off 7 percent from 2008.
“The silver lining, if there is one, is that we have collected some late filers, so March of this year is now down just 1.2 percent,” said town finance director Lois Rozman.
She also reported that it looked like June’s Restaurant Week promotion gave a boost to the sales tax since the “Bar and Restaurant” category was actually up 1 percent in June.
Mayor Leah Williams said it certainly feels as if July is busy; that was confirmed by Parker. “The toilet paper index at the public bathrooms shows the crowds are up,” she said. “They are using a lot more toilet paper this year.”
The kids are back in town
Just before the August 3 meeting, the council heard an update from the Gunnison County Substance Abuse Prevention Program Youth Council. The GCSAP Youth Council gave an update on all the activities they have been doing and expressed an interest in shadowing some town officials in the future to get a taste of local government.
Councilperson Jim Schmidt noted it was “good to have a town with teenagers again.” He remarked that when fellow councilperson Roland Mason was a teenager growing up in Crested Butte, the kids were bussed to Gunnison for high school.
“It is good to see these members of the community participating in town,” said Williams.
MMJ dispensary news
Town clerk Eileen Hughes gave the council an update on the town dispensary situation. She said of the five dispensaries approved, three are operating. She explained that the dispensaries are being faced with state deadlines for new rules. “The state has even created a whole new department for MMJ (Medical Marijuana) enforcement,” said Hughes. “Things are very much in flux over this at the state level.”
“It will be a bumpy road on this matter for a while,” concurred town attorney John Belkin.
The council plans to begin reviewing its MMJ procedures and analyze the state situation at a work session on August 16.
Public Works director Rodney Due said JCI did an outstanding job with the Eighth Street paving project. The town is in the process of paving the area near Big Mine Park and the Marshal’s Office parking lot. Those projects should be completed before the end of the month.
Due said that given state bureaucracy, the Safe Routes to School sidewalk will likely be delayed and won’t go in until next spring. “But I’ve been promised the grant funds we received are secure,” he said. “It is still a go but unfortunately it will be another year.”