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Trustees defer rescinding emergency declaration

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Carbondale’s Board of Town Trustees meeting on April 27 saw all trustees in attendance. The previous week’s work session involved reviewing the town’s commercial green building code, checking in with the Parks and Recreation Department and more closely defining a plan for improving Eighth Street.

The consent agenda included accounts payable totaling $238,312. Items of considerable expense included final payments for the clarifier/pump project to Gould Construction ($77,880) and Mueller Construction ($30,221), an electric pad upgrade at RV Gateway Park ($29,297), a variable speed pump for irrigation at Miner’s Park ($25,297) and a commitment to Colorado Communities for Climate Action ($5,000).

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Also on the consent agenda, The Pour House was granted approval to add outdoor seating along Main Street; Tumbleweed Dispensary received a retail marijuana license renewal; new ownership of the Dandelion Inn was extended permission to continue using a portion of the town’s right-of-way on Second Street; the town will again lease 759 Main Street (across from Mi Casita) from Eastwood Carbondale Investors for special events; Red Hill will receive improved landscaping at the trailhead, along with a fix-it station, bike racks, a trailhead kiosk, shaded seating and trash/recycling/pet waste stations.

During trustee comments, Trustee Lani Kitching reminded folks that Ruedi Reservoir opens on May 1 and boat inspectors are actively being recruited to intercept quagga mussels. Trustee Luis Yllanes praised the Parks and Rec staff for their help with 5Point Film’s Earth Day event, “an amazing success,” and waste diversion day, “also very popular.”

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Pacifica Senior Living received approval for a tavern license to serve liquor at the new Sopris Lodge senior living complex. Dance Initiative and the Carbondale Clay Center were both granted special event liquor licenses.

Mary Kenyon presented on Valley Meals and More, now officially its own 501c3 nonprofit. According to Kenyon, between 75 and 80 meals are delivered daily with 135 total individuals being served. Nearly 13,600 meals were delivered in and around Carbondale from May through December of 2020 and demand continues to rise. This summer, Valley Meals and More plans to start a Saturday market with produce, meal boxes and healthy recipes.

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Kathleen Wanatowicz with Project Resource Studio updated trustees on their review of communication strategies for the town. Among her recommendations, to translate every official notice into Spanish. Discussion also explored best methods for dispelling misinformation while encouraging public dialogue. Orchestrating communication for the comprehensive plan update process, it was decided, will be a good testing ground.

Johnson Construction was selected for the Colorado Avenue sewer project with the lowest bid for completing this project plus alternates. Public Works Director Kevin Schorzman estimated a 10-day detour with Carbondale’s truck route disrupted for the majority of the work’s duration. ___

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Trustees considered rescinding the town’s emergency ordinance enacted in response to the pandemic on March 17, 2020. Vaccines are now available to anyone over 16 and more than 52% of eligible residents in Garfield County have received at least a first dose. On April 16, the state turned responsibility over to counties for protecting public health.

According to Town Manager Jay Harrington, the emergency declaration provided special powers for the town to react quickly to financial demands with emergency spending. These powers are not being utilized. Tied to the emergency order, however, is the town’s mask mandate passed on May 12, 2020.

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Tamara Haynes-Norton, on behalf of Bonfire Coffee and the Village Smithy Restaurant, asked trustees to maintain an indoor mask mandate. “It’s too soon to let people keep their guard down.”

Trustee Marty Silverstein agreed that continuing the mask mandate for another month or two would be more beneficial than harmful. “We’ve got this virus on the run, so to speak, so let’s get it done. Let’s finish the job.” Concerning personal freedoms, Silverstein highlighted that no one has been ticketed for not wearing a mask in Carbondale.

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Although no trustees were opposed to rescinding the emergency ordinance, it was decided to do so in concert with a revised mask order to more closely align with the nuances of the state’s, which applies to counties with over 35 COVID cases per week per 100,000 people. Staff will present a draft ordinance in two weeks to that effect.

The meeting concluded with unanimous approval of a resolution voicing the town’s support of President Biden’s 30 by 30 plan, to conserve 30% of U.S. lands and waters by the year 2030.

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From the weekly update:

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Free COVID testing is available. To make an appointment, visit rfvcovidtest.com

Hillcrest Cemetery will receive a new fence. The old metal fence was removed and recycled.

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Parks and Rec is hiring for seasonal work, including lifeguards, water safety instructors, a recreation assistant, group fitness instructor and seasonal mow crew.

Public restrooms at Sopris Park, Hendricks Park, North Face Park, Miner’s Park and Gianinetti Park will open soon.

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Main Street will close to traffic between Third Street and Fourth Street from 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, from May 1 through Oct. 15. This temporary street closure is to provide additional outdoor dining and commercial space for local restaurants to allow social distancing.

Planning and Zoning meets on April 29 to review proposals for a seven-unit townhome development on Twelfth Street and a nine-unit second-story addition to a commercial structure on Dolores Way.

Between April 9 and April 22, the Carbondale Police Department handled 548 calls for service.

Tags: #Carbondale #COVID #masks #trustees
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