Briefs Crested Butte

A bridge over troubled water…
At the request of Parks and Recreation director Jake Jones, the council agreed to sign a letter of support for the Gunnison County Trails Commission that is seeking a grant for a bridge to be located over Anthracite Creek on the other side of Kebler Pass. It would be part of a proposed Crested Butte to Carbondale bike trail. Jones is a member of that commission.
But that request led to a more in-depth discussion over prioritizing a bridge as part of the Deadman’s Gulch trail. “That gets a ton more traffic and is a much more dangerous trail in the spring with the runoff,” noted Mayor Aaron Huckstep. “I would much rather see money spent on that trail. That’s where the priority should be.”
Councilperson and moto-head John Wirsing agreed. “It’s a safety issue. Someone is going to eventually get swept down the river there in the spring and die,” he said.
“I don’t disagree,” said Jones. “The Forest Service should probably be fixing that trail.”
Jones said he would take the council’s concerns to the Trails Commission and Forest Service. Councilperson Jim Schmidt suggested the council felt strongly enough to write a letter to the organizations stating their concerns and priority over the issue. The rest of the council agreed.

Big Air means bigger snow banks on Elk…
Public Works director Rodney Due told the council that with the Big Air on Elk event slated for March 10, his crew wouldn’t be hauling away the snow banks that pile up on Elk. Under the 2012 snow plan, those banks would get hauled away after a storm cycle. But having them there makes building the jumps for the Elk Avenue extravaganza a lot easier than hauling in snow. So until the event is completed, expect the snow banks on Elk Avenue to grow.

Where am I?

The council spent an hour at a work session discussing the idea of allowing directional signs to businesses close to Elk Avenue to be placed on the town’s primary thoroughfare. The council essentially is debating whether to allow the signs to be on public or private property, determining how to regulate size and design of the signs, and trying to figure out how to make sure visitors see them.

Water quality expense
Due also alerted the council to a change in federal and state regulations that could require the town to remove nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) in the town Wastewater Treatment Plant effluent to a much higher degree than is currently required. He said he attended a county commissioners meeting to discuss the issue and they are aware of the situation. If exemptions aren’t allowed for some government entities that are not impacting the water quality standards of the river segment they discharge into, it could cost millions of dollars. “It’s a huge impact,” he said. “It would be like having to build another plant. It might cost the town about $5 million.”

Affordable housing regs being reviewed
The affordable housing ordinance revisions are being reviewed by outside legal consultant Barbara Green. Town planner John Hess expects the review to be completed in time to make any changes and provide the council with a fresh draft of the ordinance for a March 5 council discussion.

Sixth Street Station back on the horizon
Town building director Bob Gillie told the council that they could expect the Sixth Street Station developers to submit a new application for the project within the next month. It would go to the Board of Zoning and Architectural Review for a vote. In theory, that board would take a straw poll of its members over various issues confronting the proposed development and then take one overall, up-or-down vote on the project.

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