At their April 19 regular meeting, Cedaredge trustees approved a resolution adopting the first stage of a drought response. The resolution calls for voluntary conservation measures on the part of citizens and continual monitoring of the drought situation by town officials. The entire text of the resolution is included on page C5 in this issue.
In addition to issuing its public resolution, the town plans to communicate with citizens regarding drought response measures. Information will be posted on the town's Facebook page and in a monthly newsletter "Writing on the Edge" which is included with town water bills.
The original response plan was adopted on Sept. 20, 2012, and it continues to guide town efforts. Citizens who wish to read the town's entire drought response plan can find a link at the town's website: http://www.cedaredgecolorado.com/ (at the website, type the word drought in the site search box.)
Regarding school safety, police chief Dan Sanders presented an oral and a written report. In his written report, the chief stated, "We have taken numerous threat related reports and have spent many hours on follow up and preventative measures. The majority of these complaints are in regards to school shootings and we believe it is due to the current trend of school shootings around the country and social media access. These types of calls cannot be taken lightly and they all require intense investigation and follow-up. This has taken a toll on our small department requiring officers to work double and triple shifts and to work on their normal days off."
In his oral report, the chief indicated that threats directed at students have required increased police investigations and police presence in the schools. Officers have spoken to students, school officials and parents about school violence and worked overtime in stressful situations to keep schools safe. The department serves five schools including public, charter and preschools. Sanders told the trustees it may be time to start a conversation about school resource officers as an additional way to address school safety. The trustees thanked the chief and said they appreciate the police department's efforts in dealing with such stressful situations.
The chief also reported that the department's K-9 dog and officer handler have been certified in narcotics and he reminded citizens to avoid burning on windy days because the fire department has been busy dealing with out of control burns.
As part of the meeting, three returning trustees and one new trustee took the oath of office for their upcoming terms. Continuing in their trustee roles are Patti Michael, Ray Hanson and Al Smith. Catherine Brown is the new trustee. Michael was also appointed treasurer and Hanson was appointed mayor pro-tem. Kami Collins took the oath of office to serve as the new town clerk and economic development coordinator. The oaths were administered by deputy town clerk, J. Chris Anderson.
In other action, the trustees approved a new liquor license for the Lost Mesa Grill. New owners Travis and Annie Holton hope to open their restaurant in downtown Cedaredge in time for the town's First Friday Art Walk on May 4. The building is the former site of Scrambler's Restaurant. The trustees also approved liquor license renewals for the 4B's Brewing LLC Brew Pub and The Clubhouse Grill, Inc. 4B's is located in downtown Cedaredge and The Clubhouse Grill is located at the Cedaredge Golf Club.
The trustees approved a proposal submitted by Tom Apostolou to erect a fence on his property. Apostolou presented documentation describing the fence and included the signatures of neighbors indicating that they were not opposed to his plans.
Treasurer Patti Michael reported that town financials are in good order and that sales tax for March was up by 0.60 percent from the previous year to date.
Cindy Starr, representing the Cedaredge Area Chamber of Commerce, reported that the chamber is in the process of reviewing two candidates for the vacant executive director position and that the chamber has gained several new members. The chamber is working with Pioneer Town to determine if an electric vehicle charging station can be established there. Having a local charging station will make Cedaredge a destination for those driving electric cars. In response to trustee inquiries, Starr also reported that the Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center is on schedule for its grand opening on June 15-16.
Erik Hansen, golf clubhouse operations manager, reported that the golf club is now operating seven days a week. He is marketing the course as "unique and challenging." The club has hosted over 100 18-hole rounds this year and both men's and women's leagues are underway. Hansen asked for and received trustee approval to hire his wife, Tara, to work part-time at the clubhouse to assist with marketing and other tasks.
Jerry Young, public works co-director, reported that Vision Charter Academy students recently toured the town water and sewer plants and he suggested that other area students might benefit from touring the facilities. The improvement project at the intersection of Highway 65 and Main Street was completed nearly a month ahead of schedule. Trustees said they have heard citizen complaints regarding the severity of the dips in the turn lanes. Young said the dips were a Colorado Department of Transportation design decision. As of the date of the town meeting, the Highway 65 water line replacement project had already drilled 500 feet in two days. The drilling will proceed north to south and hopefully avoid blocking the intersection of the highway and Independence Avenue until after the school year ends. The project is expected to last 120 days.
Town administrator Greg Brinck asked for and received trustee approval to increase the town's utility relief fund to aid qualified citizens with a discount on their base water rates. Citizens who qualify for the state's Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) are eligible for the town's utility relief program. The amount of the town's fund for utility relief is limited and reviewed annually.
Barring special meetings, the trustees meet for work sessions on the second Thursday of each month and for regular meetings on the third Thursday of each month. Meetings begin at 5 p.m. in the Grand Mesa Room at 140 N.W. 2nd Street in Cedardege. At all regular board of trustee meetings time is allotted for constituent comments and the public is encouraged to attend.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.