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Cedaredge council promises to address issue of deer carcasses

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At the Nov. 16 town council meeting, Cedaredge Mayor Gene Welch assured constituents the town is working on a method of removing dead animals from the streets.

The issue came to light earlier this month when a car struck a deer on West Main Street. The vehicle moved on and the deer died in the gutter. On Friday, neighbors began contacting the police, the town's public works department and town hall, only to discover the Town of Cedaredge does not remove dead animal carcasses from the streets. On Monday, neighboring property owners finally called a commercial trash hauler and split the $25 fee for removal of the animal.

For three days, the dead animal lay decomposing in the gutter in front of Shirley Schum's house, where she said children walked past it on the way to the park and to school.

"I don't mind paying for removal, but what if it's somebody on a limited income, or in the middle of an intersection and not necessarily in front of somebody's house? What if it's in the middle of a lane and it's actually a traffic hazard? What do you do then?" she asked council members.

"It should be the town's responsibility to pick up carcasses from town streets," she said, as is the practice in neighboring communities.

Another resident commented on a dead elk that laid in her yard for four days before she paid for removal.

"We are working on a resolution to address this issue in town," the mayor promised.

In other business:

• Bruce Stanley was introduced as the town's new building inspector. He is also the building inspector for the Town of Orchard City. He said he will work Tuesday and Thursday mornings in Cedaredge, and Tuesday and Thursday afternoons in Orchard City, but will take calls at any time.

• Scott Lock, public works co-director, reported on the speed limit changes on three blocks of Main Street. From Highway 65 to SW 3rd Street, the speed limit was reduced from 25 to 15 mph.

• Town administrator Katie Sickles reported on tentative Celebrate Cedaredge plans for 2018, which include a St. Patrick's Day family fun run, a patriotic parade July 14, and events Aug. 4 in conjunction with the Serenity Run.

The First Friday Art Walk, a partnership with the Cedaredge Area Chamber of Commerce, will be cut back to three dates.

• A pre-bid meeting on the Highway 65 water line replacement project is scheduled Nov. 28. The town has applied for a $300,000 grant from the Department of Local Affairs and a loan from the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority to cover the cost of the project. Final word is expected in December.

• Council members agreed to vacate a portion of NW Aspen Avenue which is occupied by a raised and paved driveway at the Cedaredge Community United Methodist Church. The church is planning some modifications to improve handicap access. Church representative Dorothy Jean Mergelman said they were in "total shock" to learn the church had been encroaching on town property for decades.

• Trustees agreed to transfer 12.5 shares of Alfalfa Ditch Company, valued at $100,000 from the town's sewer fund to the water fund.

• Trustees adopted a resolution increasing the water and wastewater utility relief fund to $2,000. Applicants must provide LEAP applications; even if the application is denied, they may be eligible for relief through the town. The town administrator can authorize up to 30 percent relief to any town water or wastewater customer.

• Another resolution intended to incentivize development provides water and sewer tap fee rebates. Trustees agreed to continue the program another year, although trustees said they're encouraged by the increase in construction activity they've witnessed recently.

• Trustees voiced support for reauthorization of the Colorado Lottery Division by the General Assembly in 2018. Since 1992, the GOCO Trust Fund has distributed about $1 million in grants in all 64 Colorado counties, and over $710,000 directly to the Town of Cedaredge. Additionally, the town has been the recipient of over $515,000 from the Conservation Trust Fund. The Colorado Lottery Division, which administers GOCO, is set to expire unless extended by the General Assembly during its 2018 session.

• An intergovernmental agreement was approved with the county authorizing the clerk and recorder to conduct a mail ballot for the municipal election in April.

• A fence application from Jaelene Eyre, owner of the Coffee Barn on Highway 65, was tabled for a second time. The council has requested additional information.

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