Briefs Gunnison County

by Adam Broderick

Fire code amended for Riverland Industrial Park

The Riverland Industrial Park is now exempt from certain parts of the International Fire Code (IFC), a decision made unanimously by county commissioners in January. Previously, Riverland’s infrastructure limitations prevented adherence to all parts of the IFC, but the mostly commercial area three miles south of Crested Butte now has adequate fire suppression resources, including five new fire hydrants and an adequate supply of private water that can deliver more than 500 gallons per minute from a 70,000-gallon storage tank.

Fire engineers and fire safety consultants who have done multiple detailed inspections of the suppression resource improvements backed the decision. Now that the IFC has been amended, the Crested Butte Fire Protection District will no longer have authority to regulate aspects of the code related to water supply and fire flows to Riverland, and Gunnison County will review all future building permits.

Recycling center no longer in Crested Butte South

There is no longer recycling drop-off in Crested Butte South. Public works director Marlene Crosby told county commissioners on January 5 that people end up comingling their recyclables and the separate piles become a mess. When she saw a Christmas tree in a recycling pile after the holidays, Crosby decided to put a stop to the clutter. The center was closed Sunday, January 10.

“The center was abused so the people lost it,” Crosby said. The receptacles were pulled on January 10; however, curbside recycling will still be available to the community.

Business loan funds available

The Region 10 League for Economic Assistance and Planning assists both for- and non-profit companies within Gunnison, Delta, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties with acquiring fixed rate loans to improve business. There is currently about $1 million for businesses in Gunnison County, but county commissioner Paula Swenson, who is now on the Region 10 Business Loan Fund committee, said that applications are not coming in as expected. Swenson encourages anyone in Gunnison County looking to expand or improve business to apply for a loan. She says interest rates vary but are usually around 4 percent or 5 percent, and Region 10 is usually flexible with payment schedules.

“[Region 10] can write a loan for $50,000 or less pretty quickly, and they’ll loan up to $250,000 for businesses looking to expand. It’s a pretty easy process to go through,” Swenson said. “There’s money out there for pretty much anything—capital expansion, buying equipment, hiring more employees, anything to expand business.”

Coldharbour Institute designated a historical landmark

The Coldharbour Institute, which sits on 333 acres about eight miles east of Gunnison and consists of roughly 70 percent wetlands, has for some time been an educational center used by WSCU students and is now also an official historical landmark. The old sandstone house on the property, built in 1913, was designated a historical site in 2012, and last month the old barn, built in 1911, was declared historical by Gunnison’s Board of County Commissioners. The designation was approved unanimously at a December board meeting.

Commissioner Jonathan Houck told the board that the site is where prohibition parties used to be held. “It was a gathering spot outside the limits of the city and people would go there to dance and drink,” he said.

What remains of the barn is now mostly a rock formation without much of a roof, but it will be restored to a state similar to how it was a hundred years ago.

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