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Crawford preps for disasters

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Last week trustees for the Town of Crawford implemented a plan that outlines policies and procedures should a catastrophic disaster or emergency happen in town. The effort was spearheaded by Mayor Wanda Gofforth and town clerk Cally Gallegos after they heard a presentation last year by Jeff Wright with Delta County's emergency management department.

This is the first time the Town of Crawford has ever addressed a community-wide plan for disasters, accidents or other emergencies, Mayor Gofforth said. The plan names a chain of command and points of contact should a disaster happen, outlines duties of staff in an emergency, details methods of communication to community members, and other elements.

Gallegos and Mayor Gofforth attended a two-day conference in Ouray recently, where they were trained in emergency preparedness planning. "In the event of some sort of disaster, this definitely will be helpful," said Gofforth. "Hopefully we never have to use it, but we do have the ordinance in place." She added that in the case of a disaster large enough that federal assistance is requested, without this sort of plan in place, FEMA can refuse to assist financially.

In other business, trustees voted to put a mill levy increase on the November ballot. Only trustee John Paton was against taking the issue before the voters. He said the council just raised water rates for residents, and he didn't think it was the right time to ask for the mill levy increase. The rest of the council approved the ballot measure; they will hammer out the details at their May meetings.

Trustees also voted to allow the Crawford Area Chamber of Commerce to utilize town hall at no charge for its twice monthly meetings. Chamber board member Collenette Vervloet added that the Pioneer Days committee will ask all residents and merchants along the highway to display a U.S. flag during the community celebration, June 8-11, and keep the flags raised through June 14, which is Flag Day.

Trustees approved the purchase of a new accounting software system for just under $6,000. The new system, which should be up and running in June, will replace the two systems currently in use. The cost is an unbudgeted expense, but with the amount of problems town staff has in reconciling accounts, trustees agreed it was an important purchase.

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