Changing rooms, marshal’s uniforms, Black Lives Matter and one-way extension….
by Mark Reaman
Given that Colorado Day was celebrated last Monday, August 3, the Crested Butte town council held its regular meeting on Tuesday, August 4. We will provide detailed stories of their actions next week but wanted to give you some of the quick highlights:
—In a split vote, the council voted 4-3 to move forward with the construction of new hockey changing rooms for the Big Mine Ice Arena. The staff had strongly recommended postponing the project for at least a year given the COVID-19 situation. But council voted to move ahead and local contractor Black Dragon Development was awarded the bid to do the project that cannot exceed $268,000. Of that amount, the town has $232,500 earmarked for the project from Whatever USA funds and grants from the Met Rec district.
—Council unanimously agreed to extend the current Elk Avenue one-way reconfiguration until October 15. The hope is that the weather holds but council generally was not opposed to seeing a big snowstorm sweep in to provide a good start to the winter season.
—Given recent national discussion over policing practices in the country, council held a conversation with chief marshal Mike Reily about “Community Centered Policing.” One of the first takeaways was that council expressed concern over the increasing military look of the marshal department’s black uniforms. Reily and town manager Dara MacDonald said they would look into changing up the color scheme of the uniforms to include some blue instead of just black.
—Councilmembers Will Dujardin and Mallika Magner want Crested Butte to step up in the Black Lives Matter movement and take a reflective look at how the local community deals with systemic racism. A work session will be held Monday, August 17 to, among other things, discuss ideas like painting a Black Lives Matter street mural in town, bringing in speakers to address the issue and asking that local marketing dollars be spent on attracting people of color to visit and relocate here.
—Town will begin some street slurry road projects around town on Monday, August 10. The slurry should add more life to some of the town streets. A portion of Red Lady Avenue will go a step further and get a one-inch asphalt overlay.
—Staff went over the Climate Action Plan and council basically gave the go ahead to apply for some state grants to possibly fund some improvements in town-owned buildings that would reduce their carbon footprint. The council also supported the concept of a major solar array being located at Avalanche Park just south of town by the Baxter Gulch trailhead.