Briefs Mt. Crested Butte

Four council seats up for grabs
Bill Babbitt and Mike Kube have reached their term limits of eight years on the Mt. Crested Butte Council. Wendy Fisher’s seat is also up for election. She said that she enjoyed her time on council, but won’t be running for reelection.



Current Mt. Crested Butte Mayor William Buck is going to run for another term on the council and has already dropped off a petition for re-election. The council will appoint a mayor as well at the first meeting following the election.
Besides Buck, three other people have dropped off election petitions to vie for a spot on the council: Chris Morgan, Danny D’Aquila and David O’Reilly. Morgan is a former Mt. Crested Butte mayor, and D’Aquila was on the council previously. All petitions must be signed by 10 registered voters and are due back to the Town Clerk’s office by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 5, 2010. To have an election, there must be more candidates than seats. As of Monday, there are four candidates for four seats. The election is scheduled for Tuesday, April 6, 2010.

Sales tax summary
Sales tax numbers for December and 2009 as a whole are in. According to the report, December sales tax collections were $210,791. That amounts to $25,760 or 10.9 percent below budget. Lodging, retail and restaurant all posted a decrease. For 2009, year-to-date sales tax collections were 10.4 percent below budget, or down $146,443. In an interesting side note, the report said sales tax collections for December 1992 were $220,915 (compared to $210,791 for December 2009).

Letter to Jim Peña
“Looks good to me,” said Councilman Bill Babbitt, and the council approved a letter to United States Forest Service Regional Forester Jim Peña, supporting the start of the NEPA process for the expansion of skiing on Snodgrass. As mentioned in the Town Manager’s report, the council has historically been in support of skiing on Snodgrass Mountain and in support of the NEPA process.

Gunnison Hospital’s grant application
Gunnison Valley Hospital is applying for a loan/grant with USDA Rural Development in order to build a 6,000-square-foot expansion for the hospital’s radiology department. The council members were given the opportunity to comment and express concerns regarding the project, of which they had none. Town Manager Joe Fitzpatrick said he would notify Randy Phelps, CEO for GVH, following the meeting.

Maintaining the mountain
Fitzpatrick said they are beginning road inspections, when the weather permits, to document problem areas and compare the state of the roads to the last inspection. He said they are compiling a list of needs and are working on gathering some numbers that will help the town decide whether they should rebuild certain sections of road, or if overlaying a new surface will be sufficient. In other Mt. Crested Butte maintenance news, the town got its 2008 International plow truck back from Colorado Springs after an extended visit to the mechanic. Apparently it needed a new transfer case. Also, the Town Hall roof was shoveled due to snow weight-bearing problems.

Mt. Crested Butte renews contract with Chamber

During its February 2 meeting, the council renewed its professional services agreement with the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce.
Mt. Crested Butte Mayor William Buck said of the agreement: “The value to Mt. Crested Butte is immeasurable. The potential and the benefit of the Chamber is great—only limited by budgetary constraints. They are a very productive and proactive advocate for business in our Town creating awareness and positive exposure for business.”
The council moved to approve the agreement, with the exception of section 2J, which states: “The Chamber will work with the Town to define a cost-effective method of providing to payers of the Business Occupancy Licensing Tax representation in the Visitor center for implementation in 2011.”
Buck said they decided to strike that from the agreement “in order to not make it a requirement and burden the director of the Chamber with it. Rather the thinking was to let the director work on that at his pace.”
Joe Fitzpatrick, Mt. Crested Butte Town Manager, said: “By keeping paragraph 2.j. you do not encourage full membership in the Chamber. To have a strong Chamber you need full memberships and involved businesses that have a financial investment in the operations of the Chamber. Today the Chamber has a voluntary membership and for your membership you receive benefits.”

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