by Mark Reaman
Sales tax changes
The town finance department is working hard to install the new MuniRevs system. Once installed, town businesses will be required to report sales tax figures online. The hope is to go live with the new system in late January.
Sales tax collections in Crested Butte are up. October saw an 11 percent increase over 2014. That puts the year up about 12 percent over last year.
Buzzing at the Four-way, and along Sixth Street
The new electric car charger is up and buzzing by the tennis courts at the Four-way Stop. Town building and zoning director Bob Gillie said one car has charged up at the site. He said eventually there will be a shed to cover the charger.
Gillie also told the council that it looks like next summer could be busy in the building department. A few projects are working their way through the process. He expects the major Sixth Street Station project to begin its new BOZAR journey within the next month.
Red Lady intersection discussion on the horizon
Town planner Michael Yerman said the Colorado Department of Transportation would be in front of the council February 1 to talk about improving the intersection at Highway 135 and Red Lady Avenue. That intersection is the top priority for transportation improvements for town staff.
Crossett tells council what to do
Town manager Todd Crossett gave the new council a 75-minute overview of what it means to be an effective councilmember. He reviewed roles and responsibilities and emphasized how to have a functional working relationship with town staff. More retreats on the topic are expected to be scheduled soon.
Property owner Erich Ferchau came to the council and “vented” about a recent staff decision prohibiting him from turning his commercial building where the thrift store La Escondida was located into a residence, an office and a couple of vacation rental by owner units. He wasn’t sure what his next move would be but wanted the council to hear his frustration. He may appeal the decision to the council at a later time.
Big Blue Arrows, boards and Vinotok
—Council divvyed up assignments to ancillary boards. They get to sit on the center for the arts board, the chamber board, the transportation boards and myriad other panels and political bodies.
—-Councilman Jim Schmidt wanted to make sure the new council addressed some of the work on short-term rental regulations the previous council started and he wanted to do it before the summer rush. Crossett said he and mayor Glenn Michel had talked about the need for a “strategic plan” and maybe that should be done first. Schmidt said he wasn’t a believer in a grand strategic plan but wanted to address important issues. “I’m not convinced we need one big blue arrow pointing one direction,” he said. “We have a lot of good little blue arrows pointing the right direction.”
—Council hopes to conduct an overview of Vinotok this spring. The council felt that too often, last-minute requests in recent years made it hard to manage the event. So Schmidt suggested talking about it in the next few months, especially since some neighbors have expressed concern over the fire location. Councilwoman Erika Vohman said she liked the fire where it was and didn’t want it moved. The fire will come up as part of a larger discussion sometime before March.