October 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.

Last week, Town Council convened for the annual special Town Council meeting focused on the 2020 budget. The all-day budget meeting allows council members and staff to review the details of each department’s budget, receive the Grant Committee’s recommendations, and discuss upcoming capital improvement projects. A first glance and deeper dive of the budget can be found at http://bit.ly/MV2020Budget using the OpenGov Portal. You can also access this tool to take an in-depth review of the town’s past financial reporting, budgeting, and expenses. Stay tuned for a more in-depth email dedicated solely to the 2020 budget, once the budget has been approved.

September 19  Meeting Highlights:

  • Town Council continued discussing the potential 49-unit expansion of Village Court Apartments (VCA). Specifically, we explored whether the proposed project is designed as a rental or for-sale development. As a brief recap, of the 1,203 occupied affordable housing units in San Miguel County, 539 or 44.8%, are in Mountain Village; however, only 120 of those units, or 22%, are owner-occupied deed-restricted housing. The last for-sale affordable housing development developed by the town in Mountain Village was the Coyote Court development in 2005. As we continue to explore options as part of our due diligence, we will need to examine financing options, complete a market analysis, conduct a local survey of residents and business owners, and draft a developed project proforma. While all of us would prefer a project with a more expedited timeline, there is a fiduciary and community responsibility to consider all our current housing development options. Additionally, we are sensitive that our decisions today impact not only this project but the available options and resources to fund future community housing needs.
  • Town Council voted to approve on first reading an amendment to the Community Development Code (CDC) clarifying the definition of Efficiency Lodge units, a zoning designation comparable to what is commonly called a “Hotel Room” – a single room with a bathroom. Council aligned our definition of “Short-Term Accommodation” to the CDC that is consistent with our Municipal Code and Colorado State Sales Tax laws. These clarifications were drafted 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.
  • As part of our region’s ongoing effort to meet new and updating wastewater treatment regulations, Mountain Village is beginning a one-year 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 be reviewing this pilot program in six months to gauge the project’s efficacy and any unintended impacts.
  • Last month, Town Council appointed Michael Doherty to the Mountain Village Business Development Advisory Committee and Cath Jett and Michael Fallon to the Green Team Committee. On behalf of Town Council, thank you to everyone who volunteered and those who were appointed.

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

October 17 Agenda Topics:

A full agenda has been posted on our website; we welcome your input and hope to see you at the meeting.

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor