Stuff by Will Grandbois

  • Sections: News Published

    What doesn’t the town have? A capital improvements fund

    Carbondale voters will be asked on Election Day, April 5, to approve a new property tax to pay for capital improvements around town. The proposed tax would assess an additional three mills to all real property within the town limits, which would amount to roughly $119 per year on a house valued at $500,000 by the Garfield County assessor. For commercial properties, the tax hike would amount to about $870 per year on a business valued at $1 million, according to calculations by town officials. According to town officials, the new tax would generate perhaps $425,000 a year or so, which could be used to leverage grants and other sources of income to multiply the ability of the tax to pay for costly improvements. The tax is needed, town officials have decided, in order to create a pool of money for capital improvements, which in the past have been paid for largely by using a combination of money from the town’s general fund and payments from the Federal Mineral Lease Fund (FMLD) maintained by Garfield County, with some other resources. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Mayor logs trips to D.C. on Thompson Divide issues

    Carbondale’s Mayor Stacey Bernot has, for the past couple of years, taken a little time at some meetings of the Board of Trustees to inform the others on the board that she had recently been in Washington, D.C. No, it wasn’t a move to make the trustees jealous of vacation time spent in the nation’s capitol. Instead, the reports were meant to let the trustees, any reporters on hand at the meeting and the viewing public (the meetings are televised) that she had once again gone east to lobby against controversial plans to drill for natural gas in the Thompson Divide area. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Climate Action Excise Tax questions, and answers

    The meat of the Climate Action Excise Tax ballot question that Carbondale residents are voting on starting March 14 is 36 words long and says the money will be used for the “ … purposes of funding programs to increase energy efficiency, to increase renewable energy use, to reduce emissions from motor vehicles, and to take other steps toward the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and address global warming … .” Carbondale residents are being asked to pay on average an extra $7-8 on their monthly natural gas and electricity bills, and about $15-$30 for businesses. Any new tax can be complicated to explain and understand, global warming is plenty complicated to explain and understand, combine them both and there are lots of questions to address. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Fire board election a no-go

    There will be no election contest for the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District on May 3, as only two candidates submitted nominating petitions for the two seats up for grabs, according to Fire Chief and “designated election official” Ron Leach. The seats that were to be up for election, held by long-time fire board members Bob Emerson and Lou Eller, will automatically be filled by Eller and Tom Adgate, the only two who submitted petitions by the deadline of Feb. 26. Emerson informed The Sopris Sun earlier this year that he did not intend to run for reelection. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    “Freud’s Last Session” full of stunning one liners

    Bob Moore is a treat to see in any role, but you definitely won’t want to miss him as the famous — and infamous — Dr. Sigmund Freud. Recently lauded for his portrayal of Tevya in the Defiance Community Players’ production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” he’s now starring alongside Associate Artistic Director Corey Simpson in Thunder River Theatre Company’s (TRTC’s) current production of “Freud’s Last Session.” The play runs for the next two weekends, through March 12. “Freud” is a furious, smartly funny, exploration of an extended afternoon conversation between Dr. Freud and the writer and scholar C. S. Lewis, himself best known (by parents at least) for his “Chronicles of Narnia” series of fantasy novels. “Freud” playwright Mark St. Germain was inspired by the bestselling book “The Question of God” to imagine what might have transpired had these two men ever met. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Some ingredients for good health: good food, exercise and more

    Yesterday a childhood friend took me to task for a Facebook post. The post relayed a conversation between my wife and me and our two kids, ages nine and 11, regarding health and wellness. We were discussing how healthy our kids have been to date, how few medical visits they’ve had (eight total) and how they’ve never needed antibiotics. I mentioned in the post they have yet to drink soda or see the inside of a McDonald’s. Of course they occasionally get sick, but they recover with minimal intervention. I went on to say that we realize we have been fortunate and that our hands-off strategies don’t guarantee a perfect outcome. However, we truly believe that when provided with the essential ingredients for health (whole food, exercise, emotional support, etc), good health generally ensues. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Sopris Lodge developers moving forward

    The developers behind a planned senior citizen housing and living center in Carbondale, known as Sopris Lodge, said this week that they are only weeks away from submitting a formal development application to the town. Abdi Pirzadeh, president of Aspen Built Homes, confirmed on Friday that he and another proponent, Terry Claassen of TCC Properties, have been working with town officials to hammer out some of the pre-application details for the project, which is proposed for construction on property in Carbondale owned by the Nieslanik family. TCC properties, based in California, has been involved in developing other projects in Colorado, including senior living centers in Montrose, Golden and Glenwood Springs, according to information about the firm available on the Internet. Most recently, according to Claassen, the company was engaged in the initial development-approval process for a project along the Roaring Fork River in Glenwood Springs. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Planning & Zoning Commission sends UDC to trustees

    Carbondale’s citizen planners, after more than two years of work on rewriting the town’s development review regulations, this week took their final action on a streamlined, updated and in some cases groundbreaking set of regulations for reviewing development proposals. On Thursday, the volunteer members of the Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the proposed Unified Development Code. The night before, on Wednesday, the P&Z met in joint session with the Carbondale Board of Trustees to go over the document one last time before presenting it to the public in a public hearing Feb. 18. (Editor’s note: The trustees’ meetings are now on Wednesday nights, after The Sopris Sun has gone to press.) The draft version of the UDC, as it is known, now will go before the trustees on March 9 for yet another public hearing in preparation for final adoption. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Democrats, Republicans caucus on March 1

    Carbondale-area voters undoubtedly realize that 2016 is a national election year, but what some may not realize is that Colorado’s historical devotion to its caucus system means the time is here for interested residents to learn about and get involved in their party caucus meetings if they want to be active in party politics for the 2016 election. Carbondale Democrats (Precincts 1-4) will caucus at Carbondale Middle School on March 1, with registration at 6:30 p.m. and caucusing itself at 7 p.m. Carbondale Republicans will caucus at Roaring Fork High School on March 1, with registration starting at 6 p.m. and the caucus itself at 7 p.m. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Two groups step up to address Carbondale homeless issues

    On the eve of Thanksgiving of last year, local real estate broker Lynn Kirchner and her husband were wide awake in the middle of the night, with the same thing on their minds. They were thinking about a chance encounter earlier that evening with a homeless woman, and as Kirchner recalls, “I recognized the woman and realized that I knew her. She had been a local landowner and successful part of the community, and here she was at the bus stop dragging around all of her belongings in the middle of a frigid night.” The Kirchners literally couldn’t sleep, kept awake by the thoughts of that woman, and who knows how many in similar circumstances, wandering the night looking for a warm place to sleep as the temperature dipped below zero. By morning, they had agreed that something needed to be done. Kirchner went to work, reaching out to her network and the community at large to organize a meeting to examine the issue. With the cold snap worsening, the need was becoming more pressing every night. read more →