May Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Dear neighbors,

I suspect those of you in town are like me: done with all of this snow! Summer is almost here.

That said, your local government continues to work hard on your behalf. Last month, we approved, on first reading with a second reading scheduled for May 19, a franchise agreement with Crown & Castle to install a DAS solution (dispersed antenna system) in Mountain Village to improve the function of our cell network (target go-live date of Fall 2017). We had a deep dive into our energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions with three reports by our environmental services director and from EcoAction Partners. In what sounds like bad news, the reports show that we have increased our generation of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) this last year, moving us away from an already achieved town goal of reducing GHG 20 percent from 2010 levels at government-owned facilities. That said, this is somewhat misleading as the increase was driven by a higher “emissions factor” used to estimate the GHG driven by Tri-State’s energy mix as passed through San Miguel Power Association (SMPA). In short, dirtier electricity was generated this year versus prior years as Colorado still relies more heavily on coal than many other states. Regardless of where you sit on these issues, we have no ability to impact the source energy mix. That said, Tri-State is projecting an improvement next year given more use of natural gas in their system. Apologies for all of that detail, but I want everyone to understand the realities beneath the headlines. The good news is that actual energy usage and costs are down over seven percent versus our baseline year of 2010. SMPA also detailed an income-qualified program to help homeowners reduce energy consumption through more solar and better weatherization. Town Council is discussing whether to create a similar program where we incent all property owners, regardless of income level, to make their homes more energy efficient. Please share your thoughts on this.

In response to resident concerns, we also passed a temporary moratorium prohibiting new applications for the subdividing of single-family lots so that we can review the existing rules and share more information. Future meetings will discuss data gathered from other resort towns, and we can decide whether we want to change our approach (which has always allowed for these subdivisions, though very few have ever been approved). We also had a goal setting discussion for the 2017 budget process, which is actually starting now.

This week we have another packed agenda. The three governments met again to progress the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), which included a review of the polling conducted across the community to see where our residents are on the idea of forming an RTA. We also had an intergovernmental meeting on the topics of climate change and local community strategies. Both meetings illustrate the deepening engagement and coordination between the towns and the county on issues facing our region.

Mountain Village Town Council will consider many important issues later this week, in addition to our usual array of routine land use matters, staff and Town Council reports. We will kick off our wayfinding efforts with the intent to make navigating our town easier. The town has received a term sheet from the owners of Lot 640A where the town is considering buying a portion of the property to build a park in the Meadows neighborhood. We will also get a staff report on the topic of single-family lot subdivisions focusing on how similar towns handle these matters. Other reports include an update on the Gay Ski Week event and how it performed during this transition year to local, private oversight. Perhaps in a related discussion, we will review the role that the town could or may play in developing and/or managing special events.

As always, we hope you can attend or watch the meeting online. If not, please share your thoughts in whatever way you are most comfortable.

Warm Regards,
Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor