Briefs Crested Butte Town Council

Budget woes, but signs of green shoots?
The town of Crested Butte continues to see a budget shortfall but there are also a few positive signs in the air. The town general fund is off by nearly $116,000 in revenues for the first half of 2009. The majority of that is from a decline in sales tax. The sales tax revenues are off about $81,000 from the budget.



“It’s not beautiful but we are starting to see some turnaround in the building department,” reported Crested Butte finance director Lois Rozman. “There are some building permits being pulled. We are also seeing some good news in real estate transfer tax now that $10,000,000 of real estate sales have been completed since July 13, bringing in over $307,000 in transfer tax.”

Council recommends a pit toilet

After a lengthy discussion, the council made some minor amendments to a Conservation Easement (CE) of which the town is a partner along with the Land Trust. The CE stipulates conditions on the old Peanut Mine Property and allows the construction of an agricultural barn and Nordic facility on the property.
The adjacent property owner would now like to build a barn on the property and asked the council to adjust the original restrictions to allow a sink and toilet in the barn, which would require some sort of grey water system. They also asked for an adjustment to allow a cupola on the roof that would make the barn slightly taller than the original 24-foot restriction. The council agreed to minor changes in the CE but said no to the septic and cupola issues.
Land Trust board member Jim Starr had made the requests. He said composting toilets don’t work well at this altitude and in this climate, so an ISDS (individual sewage disposal system) would be appropriate.
Crested Butte public works director Rodney Due suggested a pit toilet like the one that had been at the Tommy V baseball field. “It looks good and could be pulled out if needed. It just needs to be pumped.”
Crested Butte resident Steve Glazer suggested a similar “vault privy” that is a contained system that requires pumping.
Given the opportunity for alternatives to an ISDS, the council refused to change the CE to allow an ISDS. As for the cupola issue, the majority of the council wanted to hold firm to the 24-foot height requirement.
Mayor Alan Bernholtz and councilperson Skip Berkshire apparently thought the council was being too strict on the ISDS and cupola issue and voted against the rest of the council.

Rainbow Park gatherings
The council members voted to allocate $800 for a barbeque with their Park City, Utah counterparts. The Park City residents will be in Crested Butte next month for a leadership conference, with part of the time spent exchanging ideas with town staff and council. The barbeque will take place at Rainbow Park.
Speaking of Rainbow Park, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter will be at the park this Friday, August 21 for a town hall meeting. Expect the governor about noon. After that he’ll be attending a fundraising luncheon in Mt. Crested Butte.
And… Bernholtz voiced the need for a wind shield at the Rainbow Park pavilion. He is apparently tired of putting down a plate of potato chips only to see them fly toward the climbing rock.

Fix your light fixtures at a discount
By the end of July 2010, exterior light fixtures within town have to be full cut-off, down-shielded fixtures. They help prevent light pollution. When the ordinance was passed, the staff was asked to develop a discount program for residences seeking such fixtures. Town building administrator Phillip Supino got on the job after resident Harvey Castro approached the town two weeks ago about the matter. The town has now partnered with True Value and Mountain Colors to provide a variety of compliant fixtures at a 20 percent discount.

Council likes gems

The council heard a 30-minute presentation by Wendy McDermott on the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign. The council agreed with the idea of more designated wilderness in the valley, and is sending a letter of support for the Gems program to state and national politicians.

Foothills signs being vandalized
A public hearing on the proposed Foothills of Crested Butte annexation sketch plan is set for September 14. As part of the notice requirements, signs are posted at the property but vandals have pulled down those signs. Town attorney John Belkin asked the council if they should put them back up. “It’s up to the proponents to replace the signs,” said Bernholtz.
Whether or not the signs stay up, the meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, September 14.

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