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Town Briefs, 7/18/2013

Sections: News Published

Town selling surplus equipment and vehicles

Sopris Sun Staff Report

The town of Carbondale is selling off
surplus equipment and vehicles on publicsurplus.com, according to
recent town memos.

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In other news from Carbondale town
memos:

The Garfield County Sheriff’s
Department has indicated it has seen an increase in alcohol-related
problems associated with First Friday.

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The town is moving forward with a
“Welcome to Carbondale” sign permit with the Colorado Department
of Transportation for a sign at the intersection of Highway 82 and
133. “ … there are regulations and standards we must follow,”
states the memo.

The town received a complain from a
homeowner that lives at Second and Garfield about bright streets
lights in the neighborhood. Town staffers have contacted area
residents. “The person that called (the town) sounded like she was
going to make the street lights a political issue,” a memo stated.

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The town will need to have one or more
employees work during Mountain Fair weekend, and one or two people to
clean downtown and empty trash cans on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The town parks crew, “especially
Joshua Walberg and Russell Sissom,” have been working hard to keep
the turf green through the hot, dry summer. “We are ready for the
monsoons,” a memo states.

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The town’s Gateway RV park at Highway
82 and 133 saw an occupancy rate of 58 percent for the week of July
1-7.

At the recreation center climbing wall,
the town is in its fourth week of an eight-week program with the
Extreme Sports Camp for adults, teens and youth with autism. The
program uses the wall six hours per week.

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The recreation department will be
hosting an end-of-season tournament for 9-10-year old baseball
players July 20-21.

The town’s Police Record System
should be on its new fiber connection (Cedar Networks) in the next
two week. This should allow faster and more reliable entry of records
by the officers.

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The Police Department had 276 calls for
service during the week of July 8-12.

At the waste water treatment plant, the
upper digesters have been processed and hauled away. A total of
230,000 gallons of sludge were processed out. Also, installation of
the TideFlex was scheduled for the week of July 15-19.

A group of graduate students from the
University of Michigan initiated communications with the town
concerning the Roaring Fork Conservancy’s work on the Crystal
River, and also planned to meet with staff to go over the town’s
water system.

Garfield County
adopts new land use code

Sopris Sun Staff Report

A newly polished land use code became
regulation on July 15 and immediately went into effect in Garfield
County, following a unanimous vote by the three-member Garfield
County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC).

The Garfield County Land Use and
Development Code supersedes the Unified Land Use Resolution of 2008,
according to a press release. Garfield County Planning Manager Tamra
Allen said in a May 7 memo that the two are different in that the new
code is more than 200 pages shorter, and it has undergone a reduction
of approximately 40 percent in code text.

“Applications that have already been
received by the Garfield County Community Development Department will
be processed under the previous land use code,” said a county
spokeswoman.

The Garfield County Land Use and
Development Code in general will require less review for applicants,
and creates more user-friendly tables for review procedures and
submittal requests. It offers the provision of a minor-subdivision
process and there will no longer be a major or minor subdivision
exemption process.

“It, in general, streamlines
development standards,” the spokeswoman continued.

The code has undergone many changes,
such as reducing affordable housing requirements in some new
subdivisions, but the right-to-farm provisions have been maintained.

The new code is available online on the
Garfield County website.

“The changes allow the code to be
easier to read, more user-friendly, and reduce redundancy,” said
Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky. “It refines definitions
and standards and provides simplified tables that reduce the language
in the code. When I ran for office, I campaigned on a promise to
create jobs and that now is the time for government to reduce
regulation and red tape for business, and we have done that.”

These code changes were originally
initiated in 2011 in Phase One, when the BOCC directed county staff
to consider revisions to the code that reflected the following
objectives:

• Eliminate unnecessary regulatory
barriers that may discourage economic development;

• Streamline development procedures;

• Make the overall code more
efficient;

• Ensure the document is
user-friendly.

Phase Two of the Code revision began in
April 2012, when the BOCC appointed an Advisory Committee on Land Use
to identify additional areas of concern and suggestions for changes
that built upon the work in Phase One. The Targeted Code changes were
subsequently reviewed by the Garfield County Planning Commission over
the course of eight months. Both boards consisted of volunteer board
members.

“We wish to offer a very large thank
you to so many people, many of whom donated their time and gave a
huge effort to producing a document that is not necessarily perfect,
but is a great improvement to what we had,” said Garfield County
Commissioner Mike Samson. “We will refine, improve, and go forward
from here with this new code, and we are pleased to have it in
place.”

The Planning Commission met 12 times to
evaluate the code, and spent an estimated 35 hours in discussions and
review. The BOCC met six times to review the code documents before
approving them July 15, 2013.

“We know how much time it took to
commit to this project, and I also want to thank everyone involved,”
said Garfield County Commission Chair John Martin. “We will do our
very best in serving the public with our new code, and when we need
to address it further, we will in the future.”

Energy upgrade
rebates available

Sopris Sun Staff Report

Garfield Clean Energy and CLEER have
additional money available for energy upgrades in homes or
businesses. Home and business owners in Garfield County who get
energy upgrades this summer have until Aug. 31 to apply for the
rebates, according to a press release.

“Because of the short time frame for
Garfield Clean Energy to be able to offer this rebate money, we’re
going to allow homeowners who complete two or more projects to get up
to $1,000 in rebates. Business owners can get up to $2,500 on
qualifying projects that increase their energy efficiency,” said
Erica Sparhawk of CLEER, the nonprofit that manages Garfield Clean
Energy.

Upgrades such as insulation and air
sealing, installation of energy-efficient furnaces, boilers and water
heaters, equipment tune-ups, and heat-tape timers are eligible for
rebates. “This summer is a great time for families and businesses
to maximize their utility bill savings with these rebate offers,”
she said.

“We encourage homeowners and
businesses to call an energy coach right away to get expert advice on
eligible upgrades, working with contractors, and maximizing rebates
offered by Garfield Clean Energy and our area’s gas and electric
utilities,” said Sparhawk.

To contact an energy coach, call CLEER
at 970-704-9200.

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