Briefs Crested Butte

By Mark Reaman

CB investigating potential use of bonds to pay for projects

Crested Butte is looking to retain a municipal financial advisor to look at a potential public bond sales to finance projects like the town’s affordable housing projects in Paradise Park. Community development director Troy Russ said the bond in that case would be applied to the town’s excise tax on short-term rentals. Voters approved bonding capacity when they approved the .25 increase to the excise tax. The length of the bond would depend on the need, typically 30 years. 

According to Crested Butte town manager Dara MacDonald, the municipal financial advisor would also help the town understand options for financing the construction of a potential new post office at Sixth St. and Gothic Avenue.  

Additionally, MacDonald said, as it appears that the Thompson Divide Withdrawal is on track, the town also wants to understand the opportunities to best utilize RETT revenues and reserves in making the $2 million payment to Mt. Emmons Mining Company upon administrative withdrawal and abandonment of their unpatented mining claims. 

Speaking of the Post Office…

Town attorney Karl Hanlon said since several Western Slope municipalities had investigated pursuing a lawsuit against the United States Postal Service for failing to respond to poor service complaints, the issue has been in limbo. But he noted that postal service to all the involved areas—including Crested Butte—has improved substantially. Hmmm…

Center for the Arts occupancy and parking

The BOZAR (Board of Zoning and Architectural Review) approved a request from the CB Center for the Arts to no longer limit occupancy to 400 people at a time. Instead, the Center will be able to hold 963 people as allowed under the International Building Code.

BOZAR granted a one-year trial to evaluate parking impacts from larger events on the neighborhood. The Center will have to do several things to mitigate parking issues including: retain an agreement with the school district to use the school parking lot during non-school hours; help to ensure “resident only parking” on certain sections of Sopris, Whiterock, Belleview and Red Lady Avenues in conjunction with a third party parking management company; develop a “transportation demand pamphlet” showing transit routing options; and collect and analyze data collected over the next 12 months with the community development department.

Recreation updates to council

The Crested Butte council heard from the directors of CB Nordic and the Gunnison County MetRec district at the October 16 meeting. Both said the organizations were doing well and appreciated their quality partnerships with the town. 

CB Nordic executive director Hedda Peterson said numbers are strong and a couple new programs, like adult biathlon training (with laser rifles instead of live ammo) and a Mom’s Power Hour, will be coming online this winter. Events are booming and outreach programs are expected to expand. The Outpost building expansion is slated to be completed in January of 2024 and Peterson said there is still $7,500 to be raised for the project.

MetRec executive director Derrick Nehrenberg said a recreation master planning process for the region would be starting soon. MetRec is analyzing results of a recent public survey and looking at how to best spend tax revenues. Council emphasized the need for more field space in the North Valley and liked the concept of a Crested Butte-to-Gunnison recreation path. Other council desires were for more indoor recreation programs that were affordable for working families and improved trailhead infrastructure. 

Stuff:

—Council passed Ordinance 23 that updated chapter four of the town municipal code. That section of the code deals with town finance and revenues.

—Staff had hoped that Outshine Solar would have made more progress with the proposed solar array at Avalanche Park south of town, but it is still continuing. A relocation of the Baxter Gulch parking lot was expected to occur this fall; however, that will be postponed until the spring of 2024. Outshine Solar has recently submitted their land use application to Gunnison County for the solar array. 

—The new CB council that includes former councilmember Kent Cowherd replacing current councilmember Chris Haver will be sworn in November 20. Given that the number of council candidates who petitioned to run for election matches the number of seats open, there was no need for an election. 

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