Potential for brief cable outages Oct. 4-8

Words by Kathrine Warren / Communications

Attention Mountain Village Cable Customers:
Twice each year, the sun is positioned directly in line with the ground-based satellite dish antennas used to receive our programming. This positioning causes programming interruptions as the sun’s energy overpowers signals transmitted by the satellites. When the digital signal is interrupted by the sun’s energy, you will see “One Moment Please” on the affected channel(s).
This condition will only be present for several minutes each day during the sun outage period which this year will be Oct. 4-8. If you get the message, please wait 5-10 minutes, and it should be resolved.

Mountain Village launches Fiber to the Home project

Words by Kathrine Warren / Business Development, Communications

The Town of Mountain Village is pleased to announce the official launch of its Fiber to the Home project which is slated to deliver ultra-high-speed 1-gigabit internet to every property in Mountain Village by the end of 2020. 

At its July meeting, the Mountain Village Town Council voted unanimously to hire Lightworks Fiber & Consulting to install the fiber optic cables, and last week a contract was officially executed. 

“We’re very excited to be launching construction of this major upgrade to our broadband network infrastructure, which will allow us to offer improved internet services to every home and business in Mountain Village,” said Mayor Laila Benitez.

Town of Mountain Village Chief Technology Officer Jim Soukup explains that current internet systems in Mountain Village were originally intended only to deliver cable television to properties. 

“When the internet came along, cable providers learned how to deliver that over their existing networks,” Soukup said. “The current system we have was good in its day, but it’s become dated. We’re now putting the infrastructure in that’s specifically designed to give us a fast service. This is a monumental upgrade that we’re doing.” 

Fiber networks are much simpler in design and function, making it easier to troubleshoot connection issues and, “easier to deliver the high-speed internet experience we all want,” Soukup said. 

The construction of the fiber network will be completed in two phases. Phase one construction began July 29 and is expected to finish by the middle of October. Once this initial construction work is complete, customers living in the Boulders Prospect Plaza Shop Area will have the option to begin testing different fiber internet boxes in exchange for free internet. 

The construction of the fiber network will be completed in two phases. Phase one construction began July 29 and is expected to finish by the middle of October. During this time, crews will begin installing the new fiber network underground in certain parts of Mountain Village.

To view a map of where this will happen, please see our phase one map. Additionally, during this phase, the Boulders Prospect Plaza Shop Area (along Boulders Way in the Meadows) will be the beta test site.

Once this initial construction work is complete, the customer in the beta area will have the option to begin testing different fiber internet boxes in exchange for free internet.

Customers who live within the beta test site have already been contacted by the town, but those interested in learning more can email [email protected]. To view a map of the beta test area, please visit townofmountainvillage.com/fiber. Periodic updates of the project’s progress will be posted to this site as well.

The second phase is planned to begin spring of 2020 as construction and installation will be rolled out through the entire town of Mountain Village. When fiber is installed to each premise, cable modem internet service will be removed, and other services, such as phone and TV will connect to the new internet box and remain active.

Once the fiber is installed, current Town of Mountain Village phone and TV customers will automatically be migrated to the new fiber network.

“Town Council has heard from residents and businesses, both large and small, that reliable and fast connectivity is an indispensable need,” Benitez said.

To learn more about the fiber project and to sign up for the updates on the fiber construction project, please visit townofmountainvillage.com/fiber.

Mountain Village Community Grant Program open Aug. 1-Sept. 3, 2019

Community Grant Program

Words by Kathrine Warren / Communications

Mountain Village’s annual Community Grant Program will begin accepting applications for  2020 funding on Thursday, Aug. 1. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. 

The Town of Mountain Village’s Community Grant Program seeks to support projects and programs that meet the needs of both the residential and business communities. Currently, $150,000 in funding is allocated for grants in the 2020 draft budget. 

Applications are encouraged from organizations with programs, projects or services that support and promote a healthy and robust community in Mountain Village. These services include health and human services, education, athletics, arts and culture, early childhood education or environmental stewardship.

The grant program is intended to fund services and programs not already offered through the municipality. 

“The grant program provides much-needed support for organizations that serve and lift our community up,” said Town Council Member Natalie Binder, who serves on the town’s Grant Committee. “We are grateful we’re able to provide assistance to these incredible organizations that are an integral part of our quality of life.” 

The Telluride Foundation administers the application process on behalf of the Town of Mountain Village. 

To learn more and to apply, please visit townofmountainvillage.com/community-grant-program


Significant road work to begin on Highway 145

Road Work Ahead Blog

Words by Special Contributor / Communications, Transportation

The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Oldcastle SW Group, Inc., will begin a project next week on CO Highway 145 just northwest (down valley) of Telluride and Mountain Village.

The work, starting on Monday, April 15, 2019, will greatly improve safety for motorists by widening the two-lane highway, adding a southbound, uphill passing lane (toward Telluride) and improving shoulders between mile point (MP) 73.9 at lllium Road (County Road 65L) and MP 75.1 at Deep Creek Road. Passing lanes will provide space and opportunities for faster vehicles to safely pass slower moving traffic. This safety-improvement project was contracted to Oldcastle for $5.4 million.

Crews will excavate the hillside along the northbound lane and widen the roadway to accommodate the new southbound passing lane. The work will involve the following:

  • Construction of a reinforced soil slope and rockery retaining wall
  • Installation of new guardrail
  • Replacement of existing culverts at eight locations across this stretch of improvement from Illium Road to the CDOT Maintenance facility
  • Construction of a concrete box culvert at Deep Creek
  • Super-elevation and crown improvements on the roadway (meaning the roadway’s banked curve will be adjusted and its height will be leveled to improve safety for motorists, by way of cornering ease and increased sight distance)



Through the project’s completion in early December 2019, motorists can expect some single-lane, alternating travel through the work zone, as well as periods of two-way traffic with narrowed, 10-foot lanes. The following are general details regarding travel impacts (for more specific, updated information, please go to the project website, below, and sign up for weekly project emails, or check “road work” on www.cotrip.org):

  • April 15 through early July 2019 – Single-lane, alternating traffic will be directed by flagging personnel from *7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays and special event dates, listed below.
  • Early June through late December 2019 – A 10-foot width restriction will be in place 24/7.
  • Early July through late December 2019 – Single-lane, alternating traffic will be controlled by temporary traffic lights at each end of the work zone, Monday through Friday, from *7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Access onto and off of Ilium Road (CR 65L) and Deep Creek Road will be maintained.
  • Access to the Galloping Goose trail system will be maintained.

(*These start/end times will change with daylight hours – please sign up for weekly project updates or check weekly lane closures on www.cotrip.org.)


The following periods of work suspension will be in effect for these holidays and special community events:

  • June 19 through 24 – Telluride Bluegrass Festival
  • July 3 through 5 – Independence Day holiday travel
  • July 12 through 14 – The RIDE Festival
  • August 8 through 11 – Telluride Jazz Festival
  • August 30 through September 2 – Labor Day holiday weekend
  • September 13 through 16 – Telluride Blues & Brews Festival
  • November 27 through 29 – Thanksgiving holiday

Be sure to visit the project’s website for updated information.

Living with coyotes


Words by Kathrine Warren / Communications, Environment

The Town of Mountain Village Police Department has been receiving increased reports of coyote sightings throughout Mountain Village and would like to remind residents and visitors of several helpful tips for keeping local coyotes afraid of humans.

Coyote breeding occurs between January and March and pups are born from April to mid-May. People should never approach pups and should be aware that female coyotes are extremely protective of their young.  If you see pups unattended, their parents are not very far away and could become aggressive if they perceive a threat to their young.

Coyotes are inherently afraid of humans, but they can lose their fear. If you encounter a coyote on a trail or ski run and the coyote lingers or begins to approach, “hazing” is appropriate to scare them away. This helps keep the coyote afraid of humans. If they lose their fear, they become more aggressive to pets and begin hunting them. That can include any of the following tactics:

  • Be as loud and big as possible and do not run or turn your back.
  • Wave your arms, clap your hands and shout in an authoritative way.
  • Make noise by banging post or pans.
  • Throw small stones, sticks or tennis balls at them, but remember the intent is to scare them off, not injure them.

Do not allow your pets to roam, especially at night and do not allow dogs to run with coyotes. Don’t leave pet food outside and keep your garbage in a storage facility or tightly sealed container. Keep garbage cans and recycling bins clean with hot water and bleach to reduce residual odors that can attract animals.


For more information about living with coyotes, visit the Colorado Parks & Wildlife website.

Mountain Village waives deed-restricted development fees

Deed Restricted Housing Incentive

Words by Kathrine Warren / Communications, Development, Housing

MOUNTAIN VILLAGE, COLO.  (March 13, 2019) – When Adam Miller and his wife Nancy bought a plot of deed-restricted land in Mountain Village’s the Boulders, they knew it would take some time before they would be able to build on it. Working in the construction sector, Miller is all too familiar with the building and permitting process, both of which are costly.  They had begun drafting up plans in 2014 but weren’t able to move forward until this year.

Last fall the Town of Mountain Village announced it would begin waiving both development and building permit fees for all deed-restricted construction projects starting in 2019, dreams of their own home became more attainable.

“This makes a huge difference for us,” Miller said. Both Miller and his wife, Nancy, are firefighters and are raising two young kids, and he said the fee waiver encouraged them to start drawing up architectural plans for their future home. “The whole process has been easy, and hopefully we can continue to find ways for people to live here.”

They expect to begin building this spring.

Last October the Town of Mountain Village Town Council unanimously voted to waive all planning, development and building permit fees for deed-restricted housing units effective Jan. 1, 2019. Deed-restricted workforce housing gives local workers and their families the ability to rent and own homes at below-market rates.

Michelle Haynes, planning and development services director states, “Planning and building permit activity for deed-restricted housing has been minimal compared to free market activity over the past few years.”

“We are excited about Town Council’s commitment to waiving development fees regarding existing and new deed-restricted construction,” Haynes continued. “We hope this will encourage new deed restricted construction, as well as incentivize those that have existing deed-restricted units to upkeep and maintain their units. Money that would have otherwise paid town development fees, can now be used to pay for labor and materials to improve and maintain our deed-restricted inventory.”

By waiving town fees, the town sought to encourage owners of deed-restricted units to maintain existing units and offer greater financial incentive to construct deed-restricted units on remaining deed-restricted properties.

“Mountain Village had some current incentives in place such as waiving the road impact fee and reduced water and sewer tap fees,” Haynes said. “However, after a review of the existing fee schedule, Haynes stated, “we felt we could do more, and the Town Council unanimously supported this direction.”

“The town is actively working to construct additional workforce housing and we’re looking forward to an additional 49-units coming online with the upcoming VCA expansion. Despite this investment, we are acutely aware of the need for more affordable housing and wanted to do whatever we could to support the generation of more affordable workforce housing construction,” said Mountain Village Mayor Laila Benitez.

“There are still quite a few deed-restricted lots available in Mountain Village. If waiving building and planning fees allows us to provide a home for even one additional family then I will be thrilled with the outcome of this program,” Benitez added.

The Town of Mountain Village has 539 built units dedicated to both deed-restricted and workforce housing which consists of roughly 47 percent of San Miguel County’s affordable housing inventory.

For program information, please email our planning department or call 970.369.8242.

Town of Mountain Village Continues Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

Fire Restrictions Blog

Words by Bill Kight / Communications, Emergency Preparedness

On Thursday, June 14, Mountain Village Town Council approved a motion to continue a fire restriction ordinance implementing a ban on open fires and fireworks and restricting smoking within the Town of Mountain Village. In conjunction with San Miguel County, Town of Telluride, Telluride Fire Protection District, Norwood Fire Protection District, and Egnar Fire Protection District, the Town of Mountain Village remains under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions effective immediately due to exceptional drought conditions and fire danger in the region.

Police Chief Chris Broady stressed, “We don’t perceive any imminent risk to the public for either Town of Mountain Village or the Town of Telluride.” “However, Fire danger is unusually high for both our towns and neighboring counties and ask that our residents, please be aware, be ready, and be prepared. Everyone needs to know, understand, and obey all fire restrictions, including our visiting guests.”

Under town ordinance No. 02-04 § 2 of the Town of Mountain Village Municipal Code, the following shall apply to all open fires within the incorporated limits of the Town, as further specified herein, but shall not apply to approved, permanent gas fireplace locations within a residential or commercial building:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending or using any fire to burn trash, debris, or vegetation, any campfire, warming fire, and charcoal, paper or wood grills;
  2. Smoking; except within an enclosed vehicle or building or an area at least three (3) feet in diameter cleared of all flammable material; on any paved hardscape areas; and all smoking debris shall be disposed of properly in an enclosed container;
  3. Fireworks of any kind;
  4. Operation of a chainsaw or a chop saw for cutting steel without USDA or SAE approved spark arresting devise property installed and in effective working order, and a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than eight (8) ounces capacity by weight, and one size zero (0) or larger round pointed shovel with an overall length of at least thirty-six (36) inches. The extinguisher shall be with the chainsaw operator. The shovel may be kept with the fueling supplies but readily available for quick use;
  5. Welding or operating acetylene or any other torch with an open flame; except within an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable material at least ten (10) feet on all sides from the equipment;
  6. Using explosives requiring fuses or blasting caps.

Permitted actions include:

  • Any fires contained within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves and fireplaces;
  • Operating a stove, lantern, or other device fueled by liquid petroleum or bottled fuel equipped with a valve that allows the operator to turn the flame on and off.
  • Operating an internal or external combustion engine with a properly installed and maintained spark-arresting device in effective working order.

This Order shall remain in effect for 30 days unless adopted by Resolution by the Mountain Village Town Council.

Ouray, Montrose, and Delta counties are currently under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions. La Plata and San Juan counties are under Stage 3 Fire Restrictions.

Please be advised U.S. Forest Service-Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forests (except Grand Mesa) National Forest areas have also declared Stage 2 Fire Restrictions. Please visit, westslopefireinfo.com to stay informed on regional fire restrictions and preparedness info.

For information on current conditions, fire restrictions for the Town of Mountain Village and emergency preparedness and evacuation information, please visit townofmountainvillage.com/current-conditions.

Below are various options to stay informed and to receive updates and emergency notifications for the region:

Stay informed and connect with Mountain Village:


Mountain Village Media Contact and Public Information Officer
Bill Kight
(970) 369.6430 (o)
(970) 729.2179 (c)
[email protected]

Situated in the heart of the breathtaking San Juan Mountains, Mountain Village was incorporated in 1995 as a home rule municipality.  Its founders envisioned a European-style ski-in/ski-out, pedestrian-friendly destination resort that would complement the historic mining town of Telluride. A three-stage gondola transportation system connects the Town of Mountain Village with the Town of Telluride. Situated at 9,500 feet, Mountain Village is comparably a world apart from other resorts: it is innately spectacular, beautifully orchestrated and planned, and overflowing with style, charm and sophistication. For more information, please visit us on the Web at townofmountainvillage.com.

The San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, located in Telluride, Colorado and established in 1883, serves 7,800 residents and countless visitors across the 1,288 square miles of San Miguel County. Sheriff Bill Masters has been serving as the county’s elected Sheriff since 1980. For more information, please visit us on the Web at sanmiguelcountyco.gov.

For information on prescribed burns, wildfires and fire restrictions on National Forest System lands and other areas, call the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Fire Information line at 970.874.6602, or 970.765.8563, visit the GMUG Forest website (www.fs.usda.gov/gmug); Twitter https://twitter.com/GMUG_NF (#GMUGNF);  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GMUG.NF/

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forests manage approximately 3 million acres of land in Southwest Colorado within Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, Saguache, San Juan and San Miguel counties.

May Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Communications, Government, Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

Below are some Town Council meeting highlights from last month and some upcoming topics, but first please read a quick note about our water conservation measures. As always, I hope you can join us for tomorrow’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

  • Quick note: Due to extreme drought conditions throughout southwest Colorado, last month Town Council approved initiating water conservation measures beginning on May 1. As of April 9, San Miguel County 34% of average snowpack, and due to an unseasonably dry and warm spring the average snowpack was at 21% as of May 4. On May 10, our region was classified as “Exceptional Drought,” which is the highest level of drought classifications issued by the National Weather Service. To illustrate how extreme these conditions are, our neighboring county in Montrose was classified this month as a natural disaster area due to crop losses and damages caused by this drought. These extreme drought conditions impact not only us but our neighbors downstream in the Norwood area and beyond, who hold more senior water rights than ours.The last time our region was in a drought of this nature was in 2002. In 2002, a call was placed on the San Miguel River on June 21 and extended through October 31; however, the San Miguel River never dropped below 6.5 cubic feet per second at the Mahoney Street Bridge, which is a crucial threshold. However, this spring the in-stream river flows are running lower than they were in 2002, during the same period. When a call is placed on the San Miguel River it means junior water rights must cease diverting/using water in order to supply senior water rights in the Norwood area, which impacts the town’s ability to use its water supply fully. While the town has good water rights that are not junior to many other water users, there are water rights on the San Miguel River that are senior to the town’s rights.Per the town’s water rights and in-stream flow requirements, should the San Miguel River flow drop below 6.5 cubic feet per second at the Mahoney Street Bridge, further water restrictions will be necessary and required. The town’s current water restrictions are geared towards avoiding a call on the river from neighbors with senior water rights. Also, if the region experiences a significant increase in moisture the town may rescind its water conservation efforts. We appreciate your patience, as this is a very real issue the town is facing, and we will continue to keep you up-to-date as the situation evolves.

April 26 Agenda Topics

  • After months of direct negotiation between principal-designated representatives from Lot 161C-R, The Ridge HOA, The Ridge Club, some of The Ridge owners, and the town, Town Council approved a term sheet regarding settlement of the 161C-R and Ridge at Telluride ongoing litigation.
  • Town Council approved the use of action minutes as the official record of all Town Council meetings. Action minutes will be compromised of an objective record of motions, votes, and names of speakers during public comment and/or public hearings without a summary of some discussions, as was previously found in narrative minutes. The town will continue to record and retain all Town Council meetings via video and audio.
  • We approved the following Green Team Committee initiatives: calculation of an updated Town of Mountain Village Greenhouse Gas Inventory, development of a Compost Incentive Program, and launch of a Farm to Community Pilot Program.
  • The Town Hall and Village Center Subarea Committee provided their monthly update. The Village Center Subarea Committee is currently made up of two members each from the town, Telluride Mountain Village Owner’s Association (TMVOA), and Telluride Ski & Golf (TSG); the committee updated Council that they will be adding one lodging and one merchant member to their team, as well.
  • Town Council discussed Trails Master Plan, which is focused on reviewing trails in and around the existing town network, evaluating the feasibility of proposed trails identified in the Mountain Village Comprehensive Plan, and providing further recommendations for future trails based on the community’s vision and goals.

If you would like more specifics about any of these topics, you can review minutes from the meeting or watch the video at the town website.

May 17 Agenda Topics

  • We will receive an update on the Telluride Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Master Plan (TRWWTP) regarding the ongoing and future major upgrades to the plant located at Lawson Hill. The two primary goals of the plan are upgrading facilities to comply with new federal treatment and outflow standards and increasing capacity to manage current and future demand.
  • Over the years, Town Council has adopted a public comment policy through the Rules of Conduct of Public Meetings Policy but has not strictly followed nor publicized this public comment policy. This worksession will provide an opportunity for us all to discuss best practices in adopting and implementing an open, fair, and robust  public comment policy.
  • As part of our annual budgeting process, we will have a worksession to help establish and refine the budget goals for projects, programs, and infrastructure in 2019. The Finance Committee and town staff will use this direction as they draft the 2019 budget.
  • Town Council will hear on first reading a Community Development Code (CDC) amendment regarding Village Center roofing requirements. Due to the unavailability of the original burnt sienna concrete tiles, the proposed amendment would allow for more permitted materials in the Village Center.
  • Lastly, the Town Hall and Village Center Subarea Committee will be providing their monthly update and Marketing Telluride Inc (MTI) will present their quarterly report.

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

Reminder: Beginning June 5, I will be hosting monthly walks on the first Tuesday of every month. I’m looking forward to this opportunity for us to talk about current events and projects in our community. Stay tuned for more info.

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor