Mt. Crested Butte Briefs

August sales tax 31 percent down
The sales tax report for August has been finalized, and the town is continuing to see a large decrease in tax revenues. The town collected $71,213 in August 2009, compared to $111,591 in August 2008—a decrease of more than 31 percent. The town’s sales tax rate dropped to 4 percent this year, from 4.5 percent last year. If the rate hadn’t dropped the August 2009 sales tax collections would still be 28 percent down from the previous year. During a meeting on October 20 town manager Joe Fitzpatrick said year to date the town is about 6.6 percent below budget for sales tax revenues, which equates to about $65,000.




Police getting new video system
The Mt. Crested Butte police will be getting a new video monitoring system for their patrol vehicles, according to an October 20 report from police chief Hank Smith. In his report, Smith says the department’s administrative assistant Julia Shirk applied for and obtained $50,000 in federal grant money to install seven in-car video systems, along with a large memory server that will be housed at the police department office in town hall. There will be two cameras on each car, one recording activity in front of the vehicle and one recording activity in the back seat. The cameras also have a powerful audio recording system. “The audio recording is good for 2,000 feet in open terrain, and so will often pick up interactions inside buildings such as domestic disputes, etc.,” Smith writes. The video recording also cannot be edited.
“This will provide foolproof evidence in court for arrests including DUI’s and other types of arrests that frequently get contested,” according to Smith.

Budget meetings
The Town Council will have two more work sessions to discuss the town budget on November 3 at 5:30 p.m. and November 17, at 4 p.m. There will be a public hearing on the budget following the work session on November 17. The town has several tax measures on the ballot this election season that could impact the budget. Therefore the town currently has two draft budgets to correspond to a success or failure of the ballot issues. The basic details of each of those budgets is contained in the town’s Five Year Financial plan, which was completed earlier this month. A copy of the financial plan and draft budgets are available on the town’s website,

Public hearing next week on building code changes
Builders and homeowners in Mt. Crested Butte should be aware that a public hearing will take place on Tuesday, November 3 to consider updates to the town building codes. The town is preparing to adopt the 2006 series of I-codes, or international building codes. Currently, many parts of the town code are based on the 2003 series I-codes. The proposed changes will include new energy conservation requirements, fire codes and safety measures, entrance and exit requirements, protection from harsh weather, placement of gas lines and gas appliances, regulations for elevators and conveyances, and changes in handling building permits. A full list of the codes and a copy of Ordinance No. 4 are available at the town’s website for review. Click on departments, then community development and look for the link at the bottom of the page. The public hearing will take place at 6 p.m.

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