September Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

Below are some Town Council meeting highlights from last month and some upcoming topics. As always, I hope you can join us for tomorrow’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

August 15 Meeting Highlights:

  • Town Council appointed Richard Child and Michael Rosenfeld to the Ethics Commission; Liz Caton to the Mountain Village Community Grant Committee; and Sherri Reeder and Garrett Brafford to the Mountain Village Business Development Advisory Committee. On behalf of Town Council, I would like to thank everyone who volunteered and those who were appointed.
  • We reviewed a number of safety enhancement options to help make biking and walking along Lower San Joaquin Road, Mountain Village Boulevard, and Upper Country Club Drive safer and easier. These three roads were selected based on public feedback, traffic conditions, and Town Council’s concerns about bikes and pedestrians through these corridors. One or more of these road enhancements will be considered for inclusion in the 2020 budget with construction beginning as early as next summer.
  •  Lastly, we heard an update on the Village Center Pond Dredging Project, which is scheduled to begin next month in order to improve the health and overall appearance of the pond area.

If you would like more specifics about any of these topics, you can watch a video of last month’s meeting on the town’s website. August’s meeting minutes will be posted online after they are approved at tomorrow’s meeting.

September 19 Agenda Topics:

  • Town Council will hold a work session to review the first draft of the 2020 budget. A few of our goals and key capital expenditures being considered include:
    • Maintain town reserves at or above the 35% and continue to pay down debt when feasible
    • Forecast sales tax revenue growth conservatively at 4% and project a flat forecast in property tax revenue
    • Maintain town infrastructure to a high standard of repair and condition, including trails and necessary improvements for safe pedestrian travel in Mountain Village
    • Continue planning for the financial impact of the wastewater treatment plant upgrade and expansion, including a potential increase of 10% to town water and sewer customer rates
    • Complete the major upgrade of our broadband network infrastructure that will allow us to offer improved 1G fiber services to every home. Engineering, design, and initial construction began this year; the project is estimated to be completed by end of year 2020.
    • Implement a cybersecurity plan based on the 2018 consulting study findings
    • Continue to explore the expansion of Village Court Apartments
    • Consider a 3% merit-based compensation adjustment for town staff
    • Increase available grant funds from $130,000 to $150,000 annually
    • Consider expansion and renovation of the town municipal building in the Meadows neighborhood
  • We will continue discussing the potential 49-unit expansion of Village Court Apartments (VCA). Specifically, we will explore whether the proposed project is designed as a rental or for-sale development and we will review the latest cost estimates and timeline.
  • Town Council will vote on first reading of an amendment to the Community Development Code (CDC) to clarify the definition of Efficiency Lodge units, and other hotel zoning designations. Efficiency Lodge is a zoning designation comparable to what is commonly called a “Hotel Room” – a single room with a bathroom. Council will consider adding an additional definition of “Short-Term Accommodation” to the CDC that is consistent with our Municipal Code and Colorado State Sales Tax laws. Council will also consider adding a provision that would allow these units to be used by the owner for up to 90 days in a calendar year, provided the unit is enrolled in a rental pool. These clarifications are being proposed to ensure that properties zoned to function as short-term hotel rooms or “hot-beds” are not used as a primary residence. Lodge and condominium units, which are sized and equipped for longer-term use, can still be used without stay limitations.
  • Town Council will consider a pilot project to add a phosphate blend to our drinking water system in order to help reduce copper levels at the Telluride Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). Mildly corrosive water and copper-containing infrastructure in both the Mountain Village and the Town of Telluride influent flows are thought to be substantial contributors to high copper levels at the WWTP.
  • We will consider changes to the Plaza Vending Committee Rules and Regulations to allow the committee flexibility and the ability to approve additional offerings to the existing vending regulations. These changes are aimed at enhancing the resident and guest experience in the plaza while bringing additional vitality to the Village Center.
  • Lastly, Town Council will appoint one member to the Mountain Village Business Development Advisory Committee and two members to the Green Team Committee.

A full packet and agenda have been posted online; we welcome your input and hope to see you at the meeting.

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor