Briefs Mt. Crested Butte

Election officially cancelled in Mt. Crested Butte
Former Mt. Crested Butte Mayor Chris Morgan, former councilperson Danny D’Aquila, Mt. Crested Butte resident David O’Reilly, and current Mayor William Buck have officially been declared “elected” as councilpersons after the passing of Resolution 1 during the March 16 Town Council meeting. The resolution formally cancelled the election, scheduled for April 6, because only four candidates filed petitions for the four seats available. Mike Kube, Wendy Fisher and Bill Babbitt will vacate their seats.



This scenario in which no election was necessary occurred once before, in 1986, according to Buck.
He concluded the passing of the resolution with, “This offers us the opportunity to have a seamless transition, and save some money.” The town had budgeted $1,500 for the election.”
The four will take their seats at the April 6 meeting.

Emergency ordinance passed to secure bonds for road repairs
The council passed Ordinance No. 2 during its March 16 meeting to authorize the issuance to the town of Mt. Crested Butte $2.45 million in tax revenue bonds. The town hired Steve Jeffers to act as underwriter/private placement agent for the bonds, and Jeffers found a private party willing to purchase the bond in its entirety. Jeffers said the town was “better off doing a private placement with one issuer for a better rate.” He also said that issuing the bonds to multiple public entities would have cost around $20,000 in fees.
“We found a buyer for the bonds at a 5.25 percent rate,” Jeffers confirmed. Locking in that rate was the primary motivation in making this an emergency ordinance, according to both Jeffers and town manager Joe Fitzpatrick.
“We need the bonding ordinance to lock in our interest rate; if we wait we might lose our 5.25 percent, and we don’t want that,” said Fitzpatrick.
“Now we can move forward and start fixing the roads, doing drainage work, overlays and reconstructing some roads,” said Finance Director Karl Trujillo. “We could probably spend $3 million on that alone. We’re going to stretch that as far as we can.”
“We’ll start construction as soon as we possibly can,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’ve got paving scheduled for August; it will all go quick.”
The payments on the bonds will be approximately $200,000 per year for the next 20 years. According to Trujillo, tax revenues are pledged as the means of making the bond payments.

Council discusses regional parks and recreation plan
The town of Crested Butte recently completed a Parks and Recreation Master Plan, and one of the ideas that came out of the process was the need for a regional parks and recreation plan for the north end of the county. The council was asked to consider whether it would be willing to financially support an expansion of the Crested Butte plan into a more broad, north end of the county plan. The council was open to the idea, but without having a dollar amount attached to the concept, they weren’t willing to commit either way.
“The concept of having a regional program of some sort makes a lot of sense,” council member David Clayton said. “I don’t think we’re at the point where we can talk about money. But will it work?”
Councilperson Gary Keiser said, “Without knowing the [dollar amounts], it sounds like a good idea. That doesn’t mean I’m in favor of giving them $50,000 to do something.” Keiser then asked Town Manager Joe Fitzpatrick to “get a number.”
Councilperson Mike Kube concurred. “The concept is great, Joe, but we need some kind of master plan, a concept to see what the cost is going to be.”
The town plans to come back with more details.

Performing Arts Center update
The collaborative effort to build the Mt. Crested Butte Performing Arts Center (MCBPAC) continues to build momentum. The fundraising campaign headed by the Crested Butte Music Festival is moving forward, according to Town Manager Joe Fitzpatrick, as is the group’s application for its 501(c) 3 non-profit status. In addition, there is progress being made on the interior and exterior architectural design plans. There will need to be some zoning changes in Mountaineer Square North to accommodate the center, and work is under way on the Mountaineer Square North 2010 PUD III zoning application.
Councilperson Gary Keiser, who is on the MCBPAC board, gave the council a quick update. “We’ve had a couple of meetings, the fundraising consults are busy at work and putting together a plan, and the architects are busy working on conceptual designs. The next big thing is the PUD, which we’re hoping to have done in early April.”

Planning Commission vacancies
Four Mt. Crested Butte Planning Commission seats are up in April 2010. Jamie Watt, Tom Steuer, David Eleeson and David O’Reilly have reached the end of their terms. The town has begun advertising for citizens who may be interested in serving on the Planning Commission. The Town Council is then responsible for appointing people to the commission. As of Tuesday March 16, Eleeson and Steuer had picked up petitions for election.
A summary of the Planning Commission’s role and responsibilities: The Planning Commission’s responsibilities include the consideration and review of all aesthetic, architectural, environmental and ecological concerns that come before the town. Toward this end the commission is empowered to interpret and enforce the town plans and ordinances as they relate to the preservation and enhancements of the quality of life within the town.

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