Briefs, Crested Butte

Just like old times
Sue Navy and Vicki Shaw, among others, attended a presentation by Crested Butte Mountain Resort on their proposed ski area expansion. CBMR Director of Planning John Sale guided the council and public through a Google Earth flight of the proposal for a five-year master plan the resort wants to submit to the U.S. Forest Service. Sale hopes to start penning a draft of the plan in March but is gathering comments in the meantime.

 

 

“We’ve gotten good input from a lot of people,” he said. “We spent two or three hours with students from Western [State College] and we’ve been all over the county with this presentation.”
The lynchpin of the plan is to put in two more lifts in an area called Teo-Park and the Teo Drainage. It would add about 400 acres to the permit and about 100 acres of skiing above Brush Creek Road. The rejected CBMR proposal to expand onto Snodgrass would have added about 250 acres. Sale said CBMR wants to keep Snodgrass in its permit boundary and explore various skiing options on that mountain.
“But our main focus is on the main mountain,” he emphasized. “So far we have had overwhelming positive response from people on this idea.”
Navy asked about avalanche control and its impact on cattle and if the resort had reached out to the ranchers along Brush Creek. She also inquired if there would be any new roads needed from that south side of the mountain to service the new lifts. CBMR Vice President and General Manager Ethan Mueller said he has reached out to the nearby ranchers and was meeting with area ranchers this coming weekend about this plan and other topics.
Sale said avalanche control would be similar to Third Bowl, which is in the same vicinity. He also said the lifts would have top drives and there would be no need for a road to access the lifts from Brush Creek.
Shaw asked if the resort would install lifts already approved by the Forest Service for the main mountain. Sale said some would be installed over time but others wouldn’t be as useful if the new plan was approved and wouldn’t be constructed.

The wheels on the bus…

Mountain Express Director Chris Larsen updated the council on the transportation program. He said ridership was up in 2011 compared to 2010 by about 1 percent. January 2012 ridership, however, is off significantly from last year. Larsen said it was down 9 percent.
Larsen said the staff remains the anchor of the system with very low turnover and an exemplary safety record, but the fleet of buses is getting a bit worn. “Like our drivers, the fleet is getting old,” he told the council. “New buses are expected to last about ten years. Our average bus is 11 years old.”

Tick, tick, tick…
The council is leaning toward accepting the donation of a freestanding Verdin Company clock. The clock is being donated by a longtime visitor to the area who wants to remain anonymous at the present time. The council favors placing the clock somewhere at the Four-way Stop. The decorative timepiece would entail some maintenance and the council wants the staff to gather some information about future costs with the donation. They are already expecting to have to spend $1,500 to install the clock.
Former BOZAR Chairman and current Councilperson Glenn Michel recommended going with a less ornate clock than some of the photos given to the council. “A simpler style would fit in with the character and streetscape of Crested Butte,” he said. “Some of these look Big Ben-esque. We’re a dumbed-down western town and it should reflect that.”
The staff will look into the financial ramifications of accepting the gift and report back to the council.

Some love from the council to the Resort
The council approved a proclamation thanking the ski resort for allowing uphill skiing on the resort. They also approved a resolution recommending former resort co-owner Ralph Walton be inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2012.

Planning update
Town Planner John Hess said the council has been asked by the County to comment on a proposed expansion plan by Irwin. He will keep the council updated with progress of the proposal. Hess also said the town should expect a request by a resident of Red Lady Estates to purchase the land beneath his home. The town has already approved six such sales.

Sales tax increase
Sales tax ended 2011 up 7 percent over 2010. December came in 2 percent above the previous year. Total sales tax collections amounted to $2,103,853, with a few more vendors expected to report and up that amount a tad more.

Mardi Gras is back on!
The council approved a Mardi Gras parade special events permit. Look for beads to be flying along Elk Avenue on Tuesday, February 21 at 5:30 p.m. The Mountain Theatre is no longer sponsoring the event so the parade is being organized by locals Tully Burton and JJ Reimer in conjunction with KBUT.

The iCouncil gets hip
The council spent their first meeting with new iPads. The idea is to cut down on paper and enhance the efficiency of the council. Councilperson John Wirsing noted the devices would come in handy during Monday night council meetings when the football season starts up again.

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