June 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.

Quick reminder: Election Day is June 25. All ballots must be received either by mail or in person to Town Hall by 7 p.m. on June 25. On Election Day, the polling place at Town Hall will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Please contact the Town Clerk’s office at (970)369-6406 or via email for any questions.

May 16 Meeting Highlights:

  • As part of our annual budgeting process, we held a work session last month to establish and refine the budget goals for projects, programs, and infrastructure in 2020, as the Finance Committee and Finance Department draft the 2020 budget. The following goals were proposed:
    • Maintain town reserves at or above the 35% and continue to pay down debt when feasible.
    • Forecast sales tax revenue growth conservatively at 4% in anticipation of the expected impact of the Gallagher Amendment on residential property valuation and a projected 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 and bike travel in Mountain Village.
    • Continue to plan for the financial impact of the wastewater treatment plant upgrade and expansion. This includes a potential increase of 5-10% to the town water and sewer utility 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 the end of 2020.
    • Implement a cybersecurity plan to be developed from the 2018 consulting study.
    • Complete expansion of Village Court Apartments.
    • Increase available grant funds from $130,000 to $150,000 annually.
    • Address the Public Works Department’s need for expansion and improvement of the town shops.
  • We voted to approve on first reading an ordinance amending our Community Development Code (CDC) residential lighting regulations. These proposed changes are being considered to better balance our need for residential outdoor illumination that allows us to enjoy our homes while minimizing unintended negative impacts to neighbors and the surrounding community. There will be a public hearing and second vote on the lighting regulations at this week’s meeting.
  • We voted to approve a density transfer and rezone for the expansion area of Elkstone on Lot 600A, an increase of two condominium units and six person-equivalents of density. One of the conditions of approval was the new project must allow for the future construction and use of the Elk Pond Loop Trail, as envisioned in the Town of Mountain Village Trails Master Plan.
  • Town Council appointed Adam Miller to the Design Review Board (DRB) to fill the seat recently vacated by Luke Trujillo.
  • Last month was outgoing Council Member Dan Jansen’s last meeting. Town Council thanked Dan for his eight years on Town Council, four years serving as Mayor. His energy, commitment, and service to our community will be greatly missed.
  • Lastly, the Telluride Tourism Board, Colorado Flights Alliance, and Gondola Subcommittee provided their quarterly reports.

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. May’s meeting minutes will be posted online after they are approved at tomorrow’s meeting.

June 13 Agenda Topics

  • Town Council will consider authorizing of the sale of two deed-restricted units at Cassidy Ridge and Castellina. One unit will be sold to a Town of Mountain Village employee and the other unit will be sold to a long-time employee within the Mountain Village.
  • There will be a public hearing and second vote on an amendment to the CDC to allow for staff-level review instead of DRB review of roof repair and replacement applications using synthetic roof materials. This change should streamline and ease the process for property owners interested in replacing the cedar shake shingles with more fire-resistant materials as part of the Cedar Shake Incentive Fire Mitigation Program.
  • We will publicly thank and present Town Council Member Bruce MacIntire with a Service Award in gratitude for his four years of service on Town Council. During his term, Bruce served on the Town Hall and Village Center Subarea, Telluride Conference Center, Green Team and Parking and Transportation Committees. If you can, please join us to thank Bruce for his public service.
  • Lastly, Bill Jensen will provide the Telluride Ski & Golf quarterly update.

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

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

May Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

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

April 25 Meeting:

  • Karen Guglielmone, Town of Telluride Public Works Environmental and Engineering Division Manager, presented an update on the Telluride Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Master Plan (TRWWTP) and key milestones for 2018 and 2019. We also discussed the potential costs and funding options to finance the TRWWTP Master Plan implementation through 2030.
  • Town Council resumed discussions and took a first vote to approve an ordinance that would implement a dismount zone in the Village Center plazas for bicycles and skateboards. Simply stated, the dismount zone would require cyclists to dismount and walk their bike across the plazas, an area equivalent to one city block, or cyclists can choose to continue riding using the designated bike bypass routes. The town has worked extensively with Telluride Ski Resort, local bike shops, and the Parks and Recreation team to craft a mapped plan with bike bypass and test-ride zones, which aims to balance the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, and merchants.We all are looking forward to the upcoming expansion of the Telluride Bike Park and access via Lift 4, so it is important to all involved that we plan for a successful and safe biking season. We appreciate the many community members who have taken the time to share their thoughts about the proposed changes. This month, Town Council will hold a public hearing and vote on second reading. If approved, the dismount zone will go into effect this summer.
  • Town Council heard an update about the status of the Market on the Plaza. Our summer farmer’s market runs Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Heritage Plaza, June 19 through August 29. The 2019 Market will be 25 percent larger than the 2018 Market, with a record 35 vendors. This summer there will be seven vendors with fresh produce and prepared and baked foods; face-painting and stories read by our friends at the Wilkinson Public Library; live music; and loads of local art, jewelry, clothing and other regional goods. We hope you’ll come out and support our local farmers and merchants.
  • Lastly, we appointed Council Member Natalie Binder to the Plaza Vending Committee and Dan Caton and Laila Benitez to the Business Development Advisory Committee.

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 and March’s minutes will be posted online after they are approved at Thursday’s meeting.

May 16 Meeting: 

  • As part of our annual budgeting process, we will have a worksession to establish and refine the budget goals for projects, programs, and infrastructure in 2020. The Finance Committee and town staff will use this direction as they draft the 2020 budget.
  • We will hear on first reading and vote on an ordinance amending our Community Development Code (CDC) residential lighting regulations. These proposed changes are being considered to better balance our need for residential outdoor illumination that allows us to enjoy our homes while minimizing unintended negative impacts to neighbors and the surrounding community.
  • Town Council will also hold a worksession to consider a CDC amendment that clarifies the permitted uses of efficiency lodge units and adds the definition of “short-term accommodation”. These clarifications are being proposed to ensure that properties that were zoned to function as hotel rooms or “hot-beds,” are not used as a primary residence or as long-term rentals.
  • We will consider and vote on second reading a density transfer and rezone for the expansion area of Elkstone on Lot 600A. The proposed expansion area is located adjacent to Elk Pond, off Mountain Village Boulevard. If approved, the density would be increased by six person-equivalents.
  • Town Council will consider the appointments of one new member to the Design Review Board (DRB) to fill the seat recently vacated by Luke Trujillo. On behalf of the town, I want to thank Luke for his many years of service and commitment to Mountain Village.
  • Lastly, the Telluride Tourism Board, Colorado Flights Alliance, and Gondola Subcommittee will provide their quarterly reports.

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

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

April Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

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

March 21 Meeting Highlights

  • Town Council discussed whether a dismount zone is necessary for the Village Center plazas. Over the past few years, there has been an increasing number of incidents between bicycles and pedestrians in the Village Center. Bikes are and will continue to be an essential part of all our lives whether we are using them to commute, exercise, or just to have fun; however, with the upcoming expansion of the bike park and summer use of Lift 4 for bike park access, some changes to how or where bikes can travel will need to be made. We have been examining tactics used to reduce negative bike/pedestrian interactions in other communities such as Fort Collins and Durango. With help from our Parks and Recreation team, Police Department, local bike shops, and others, we are working to craft a plan that balances the needs of our residents, guests, pedestrians, bicyclists, and merchants.
  • We discussed proposed amendments to our Community Development Code (CDC) Residential Lighting Regulations. As we review and amend these regulations, we are striving to strike the balance between our need for residential outdoor illumination that allows us to enjoy our homes while minimizing unintended negative impacts to neighbors and the surrounding community.
  • Town Council discussed the two incentive programs dedicated to helping homeowners reduce their home’s risk of fire. The Wildfire Mitigation Incentive Program helps owners protect their home and surrounding areas from an approaching wildfire by landscaping the area around a home in a manner that reduces fire hazard. The Cedar Shake Fire Mitigation Incentive Program waives all town building fees when a cedar shake roof is replaced with a new, fire-proof roof. Council asked for improvements and expansion of the Cedar Shake program that will make participating simpler, quicker, and available to more households. We hope these changes will encourage increased participation and a safer community.
  • Town Council appointed five members to the Design Review Board (DRB): Liz Caton, Greer Garner, David Eckman, Cath Jett, and Ellen Kramer. The DRB functions as the town’s architectural review board and as the Planning and Zoning Advisory Board. On behalf of the town, I want to thank outgoing DRB members Phil Evans and Jean Vetter for their years of service and commitment.
  • Lastly, Town Council approved renaming the Village Court Apartments Community Garden as the “Michael Ruterbories Memorial Community Garden”. Michael, a longtime Mountain Village resident, gondola operator, and cherished friend to all who knew him, passed away unexpectedly in February. He is greatly missed by the Town of Mountain Village and the community he adopted.

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 and March’s minutes will be posted online after they are approved at tomorrow’s meeting.

April 25 Meeting:

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

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

March Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Community, Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

Below are some Town Council 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.

February 21 Meeting Highlights

  • The town is excited to welcome another new business, Sunshine Pharmacy, to the Mountain Village Center. They will be opening a second location in the Franz Klammer Building across from the Telluride Distilling Company’s new Tasting Room. In addition to prescription pick-up service, health and wellness products, and other sundry items, Town Council approved Sunshine Pharmacy’s Fermented Malt Beverage Liquor License application at their Mountain Village location.
  • Town Council discussed the continued use of lot OSP39 (commonly known as the wood lot) for tree removal staging. Since 2015, the town has informally allowed large private and forest-health property tree removal projects to drop-off chopped wood on the lot, where it is then picked up for use by local residents. The wood lot provides major cost savings for new home building and defensible space tree removal projects by reducing the transportation arborists’ charge for staging the wood outside of the Village. This cost savings further incentivizes community members to create defensible space on their properties in order to lower property owner’s wildfire risk.Town Council directed staff to conditionally keep the wood lot in the existing location as a courtesy with the provision that landscaping and trees are planted to shield the wood lot from being viewable from the Mountain Village Boulevard. The use of this area will continue to be observed and reviewed by Town Council in the future.
  • We approved the formation of a Plaza Vending Committee to facilitate an open and transparent vendor selection process. The committee bylaws will be approved at a future meeting.
  • Lastly, Michael Martelon provided  Marketing Telluride’s (MTI) quarterly update.

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 and February’s minutes will be posted online after they are approved at tomorrow’s meeting.

March 21 Agenda Topics:

  • Town Council will consider a Settlement Agreement resolving litigation related to 161CR and Ridge at Telluride. This agreement is the result of months of direct negotiations between principal designated representatives from Lot 161CR, The Ridge HOA, The Ridge Club, some of The Ridge owners, and the town.
  • Town Council will consider the appointments of five members to the Design Review Board (DRB). The DRB is made up of seven full-time members and two alternate members, who are all appointed by Town Council to two-year terms.
  • An ordinance to implement a dismount zone in the Village Center plazas for both bicycles and skateboards will be considered by Town Council. Over the past few years, there has been an increasing number of accidents and incidents between bicycles and pedestrians in the Village Center. With the upcoming expansion of the bike park and summer use of lift 4 for bike park access, the town has been examining tactics used in other communities such as Fort Collins and Durango. If approved, the dismount zone would go into effect this summer.
  •  We will hold a work session to discuss potentially amending the Community Development Code (CDC) Residential Lighting Regulations. The purpose of the lighting regulations is to balance our need for residential outdoor illumination that allows us to enjoy our property while minimizing unintended negative impacts on neighbors and the surrounding community.
  • Town Council will also hold a work session to consider a CDC amendment to clarify the definition of an Efficiency Lodge unit and to add a definition of “Short-Term Accommodation” as less than 30 consecutive days and no more than 60 days in a calendar year. These clarifications are being proposed to ensure that properties that were zoned to function as hotel rooms or “hot-beds,” are not used as a primary residence or as long-term rentals.
  • We will hear an update about our Wildfire Mitigation Defensible Space Rebate and Cedar Shake Fire Mitigation Incentive Programs and consider changes to the program that we hope will encourage increased participation in the programs.
  • Lastly, we will consider a resolution by the family, friends, and neighbors of Michael Ruterbories asking the town to rename the Village Court Community Garden as the “Michael Ruterbories Memorial Community Garden.” Michael, a longtime Mountain Village resident, gondola operator, and cherished friend to all who knew him passed away unexpectedly last month. He is greatly missed by the Town of Mountain Village and the community he adopted.

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

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

February Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Community, Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

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

January 17 Meeting Highlights

  • Town Council considered a proposed ordinance amending the Community Development Code (CDC), which would have allowed future applicants to propose subdivisions, rezoning, and density transfers on eight specific Single-Family lots in the Village Center Subarea, as envisioned in the Comprehensive Plan. But after significant discussion, we agreed that additional outreach and exploration was needed to better understand how the area has evolved since the Comprehensive Plan was approved.
  • The Bauen Group presented conceptual architectural plans and a rough order of magnitude cost estimate for the Village Court Apartments (VCA) expansion project. Preliminary plans call for breaking ground on the affordable housing project later this year with funding through a revenue loan, paid for by the collected VCA rents and dedicated funding from the Mountain Village Affordable Housing Fund. Project plans and specific funding mechanisms are still being finalized, but we anticipate this expansion will provide up to 42 two-bedroom and seven one-bedroom apartments.
  • Town Council voted to reinstate and extend until February 28, 2019, the term sheet concerning the settlement of the 161CR and Ridge at Telluride litigation and authorized me to execute any agreement. The term sheet is the result of months of direct negotiations between principal designated representatives from Lot 161CR, The Ridge HOA, The Ridge Club, some of The Ridge owners, and the town.
  •  Last month Town Council considered whether to begin negotiations with a new provider to become the town’s primary supplier of broadband services, which are currently provided by Century Link. Based on the service issues we have been facing, the town has decided to move forward with a request for proposals (RFP) for a new broadband provider. We look forward to an updated plan of action and service provider solution which addresses our need for redundant service, increased bandwidth, and improved reliability later this spring.
  • Finally, we received updates from Bill Jensen with Telluride Ski and Golf, the Gondola Subcommittee, the Telluride Regional Airport Association, and the Green Team.

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

February 21 Agenda Topics

  • The town is excited to welcome another new business, Sunshine Pharmacy, to the Mountain Village Center. Sunshine Pharmacy will be opening a second location in the Franz Klammer Building across from the Telluride Distilling Company’s new Tasting Room. In addition to prescription pick-up service, health and wellness products, and other sundry items, Sunshine Pharmacy has also applied for a liquor license to sell beer at their Mountain Village location. Town Council will consider their Fermented Malt Beverage Liquor License application tomorrow.
  • Town Council will discuss the continued use of lot OSP39 (commonly known as the wood lot) for tree removal staging. Since 2015, the town has informally allowed large private and forest-health property tree removal projects to drop-off chopped wood on the lot, where it can be picked up for use by residents. In the past, chopped wood was stacked at individual job sites, and people looking for firewood drove throughout the village looking for wood piles. Besides the reduction in the number of vehicles driving through Mountain Village neighborhoods looking for wood, the other major benefit of the wood lot is cost savings for new home building and defensible space tree removal projects.
  • We will consider the formation of a Vending Cart Committee for future vendor selection. Currently, vendor selection is at the sole discretion of the town’s business development and community engagement coordinator. Given the increased interest in new vending cart businesses in the Village Center, the creation of a vending committee would allow more opportunity for public comment, multiple viewpoints, and transparency in vendor selection. Recommended committee members would include members from TMVOA, Town Council, and representatives from the departments of Planning and Development, Plaza Services, and Community Engagement.
  • Lastly, Michael Martelon will provide Marketing Telluride’s (MTI) quarterly update.

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

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

January Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Community, Government, 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 Thursday’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

Quick note: We have heard numerous concerns from community members about the lack of a live operator answering the telephone at Town Hall. It is important to us that your calls to Town Hall are answered quickly and efficiently.

Therefore, our telephone system is being reconfigured this month to allow callers to speak with a staff member and make finding the resources you are seeking quick and simple. Please be patient with us while we make this change.

December 13 Meeting Highlights

  • Town Council approved the 2019 and revised 2018 budgets. Read more about the 2019 Budget and upcoming, approved infrastructure projects in the latest Mayor’s Minute: Budget Edition.
  • In response to new state legislation that became effective September 1, 2018, we adopted a new policy outlining how records containing personal identifying information will be destroyed, discarded, and protected. The new law requires us to not only adopt a policy regarding destruction and protection of these personal records but also contains requirements regarding protecting personal identifying information, reporting breaches of personal identifying information, and contracting with third parties that might handle personal identifying information.
  • Town Council voted to raise rent 2-3 percent depending on unit size at Village Court Apartments; rental rates were last increased five years ago. We also discussed the need for a rental increase policy to aid us in responding to occupancy fluctuations, keeping up with ongoing maintenance needs, and allow the town to avoid large future rental increases.
  • EcoAction Partners presented the results of the 2017 Town of Mountain Village Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report.
  • Lastly, we received reports from Colorado Flights Alliance, Marketing Telluride Inc., and the Town Hall and Village Center Subarea Committees.

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

January 17 Meeting Highlights

  • Town Council will consider an ordinance amending the Community Development Code (CDC), which could allow future applicants to propose subdivisions, rezoning, and density transfers on eight specific Single-Family lots in the Village Center Subarea, as envisioned in the Comprehensive Plan. We will not be rezoning or considering for rezoning any of these lots at Thursday’s meeting. Any future rezoning would require a development application to be submitted to determine if the application meets requirements such as CDC standards, any applicable ridgeline development covenants, and the vision of the Comprehensive Plan and undergo Design Review Board and Town Council review and approvals.These eight lots were designated as Multi-Family in the Comprehensive Plan; however, the lots are currently zoned Single-Family. In 2016, Town Council voted to amend the CDC to prohibit any rezoning of a Single-Family lot; at the time, Council did not realize there were Single-Family lots in the Village Center that had not yet been rezoned Multi-Family, as outlined in the Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan identified these lots in the Village Center Subarea as best served by condominiums to allow for a transitional buffer between the Village Center and the adjacent Single-Family homes in the surrounding neighborhood. Please note: the prohibition on subdivision and rezoning outside of the Village Center Subarea would not be affected by the proposed amendment.We have heard from numerous community members regarding this topic and as always, we encourage you to share your input with Council via email and/or by providing public comment at Thursday’s meeting.
  • We will review conceptual/schematic architectural plans and a rough order of magnitude cost estimate for the Village Court Apartments expansion project. The town contracted the Bauen Group to produce these drawings and a rough cost estimate for the project based on their determination of the maximum number of units possible within the building area given the site constraints, which include a delineated wetland, relocation of a sewer line, soils, topography, and necessary building setbacks.
  • Town Council will consider reinstatement and extension of a term sheet regarding settlement of the 161-CR and Ridge at Telluride litigation and authorizing me to execute any agreement. The term sheet is the result of months of direct negotiations between principal designated representatives from Lot 161-CR, The Ridge HOA, The Ridge Club, some of The Ridge owners, and the town.
  • The Gondola Subcommittee will provide an update on gondola long-term planning. They will also share initial analysis conducted by an independent research group regarding gondola use, economic impact, and ridership forecasts.
  • Town Council will consider whether to begin negotiations with Forethought.net to become the town’s primary supplier of broadband services, currently provided by Century Link.
  • Lastly, Bill Jensen with Telluride Ski and Golf, the Telluride Regional Airport Association, and the Green Team will provide their recurring updates.

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

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

Mayor’s Minute 2019 Budget Edition

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

Last month, Town Council approved the 2019 town budget totaling $32 million, after pulling out pass-through items (i.e., gondola, tourism and museum budgets). I would like to thank the Budget Committee, led by Dan Caton and Jack Gilbride, for working with the Town Manager and Finance Department to develop a budget that includes numerous large-scale investments in our infrastructure, focuses on community development, and maintains healthy general fund reserves of $10.2 million while simultaneously reducing debt. Below are a few highlights from the 2019 budget:

INFRASTRUCTURE & CAPITAL

Village Court Apartments expansion – $9.4 million to be determined
Preliminary plans were approved for an estimated 49-unit expansion of the Village Court Apartments, which would be paid for through a revenue loan and dedicated affordable housing funds. Project plans are still being finalized and pending Town Council approval. If the project plans are approved, the revenue loan would be funded by the collected rents and dedicated affordable housing funds.

Broadband system fiber capacity upgrades (1G project) – $1.5 million

This past year, the Town contracted with an outside firm to perform an audit of our broadband services to determine if our systems are sufficient for our growing needs, capable of providing robust redundancy protections, and to determine the feasibility of increasing our broadband capacity. Based on the completed study, the town is undertaking a major upgrade to our broadband network infrastructure that will allow us to offer improved 1G fiber services to every home. After completing the request for proposals process, design, and engineering in the first half of 2019, the town aims to begin construction this summer and complete the project by end of year 2020. The overall cost of the two-year project is $3.1 million.

Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant capacity upgrades – $800,000

Major upgrades continue at the  Wastewater Treatment Plant located at Lawson Hill.  All costs and responsibilities to improve the current facility are funded by The Town of Telluride and Mountain Village (65% and 35% respectively).

The two main goals are:

The project is currently estimated to cost Mountain Village taxpayers $5.8 million over the course of the next five years. Conversations with Telluride and key stakeholders are ongoing regarding whether to seek bond funding for this critical infrastructure upgrade. Both towns are looking at how to equitably distribute the cost of these improvements to shared users of the facility in future years. Mountain Village’s existing water and wastewater rates are adequate to cover operating expenditures through at least 2023, afterwards a bond or sewer district will need to be in place.

Trail improvements within Mountain Village – $300,000

Due to recent proposed developments in the Boston Commons area, a new pedestrian bridge will be constructed to maintain the Meadows Trail (between Lawson Hill and Adams Ranch Road). In addition, funds will go towards ongoing trail maintenance throughout Mountain Village.

Ski Ranches water system improvement plan – $250,000

The Ski Ranches water system has the oldest water infrastructure in the Mountain Village water system and is prone to ongoing, major leaks. The water from this system is critical to supporting possible future firefighting efforts should a fire occur south of Mountain Village Boulevard. The phased plan to replace the aging infrastructure commenced in summer 2018 and will continue over the course of many years.

Village Pond restoration – $115,000

As outlined by the Village Center Subarea Project, the Village Pond across from the Telluride Conference Center will be dredged and receive necessary maintenance to help revitalize this key natural asset in the Village Center.

Completion of wayfinding improvements – $100,000

The last phase of the two-year wayfinding project will conclude with gondola, parking, trail, and supplementary signage.

ON-GOING INVESTMENTS IN OUR COMMUNITY

New staff hires

Based on the results of the Town IT audit and broadband studies, Town Council unanimously voted to hire a new, senior-level director to oversee the upcoming 1G broadband capacity expansion, adoption, installation of essential cybersecurity measures and determine next steps with our cable system. This was the only new position approved for hire in 2019.

Financial transparency

Lastly, we are very excited about the launch of a new interactive tool that allows you to view all town budget and financial data in an easy, user-defined portal. The new financial transparency portal, in partnership with OpenGov, offers in-depth financial reporting with two years of actuals, current, and proposed budgets that can also be viewed in interactive charts and graphs.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of your other Council members with any questions or concerns you may have.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year,

Happy Holidays,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

December Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Bill Kight / Government, 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.

November 15 Meeting Highlights

  • Town Council voted to approve, on first reading, an ordinance to making minor housekeeping amendments to the Community Development Code. These are generally technical amendments identified by staff as needed to improve the zoning/development code administration.
  • The Telluride Distilling Company will open a tasting room on December 22 in Mountain Village Center with the recent approval of a State of Colorado off-site tasting room permit. Manufacturing operations will continue at their Lawson Hill location.
  • Town Council reviewed and approved, on first reading, the 2019 and revised 2018 budgets.
  • Uptown Services, LLC  presented their Broadband Feasibility Study results. In 2019, the town is undertaking a major upgrade to our Broadband network infrastructure, which will allow us to offer improved 1G fiber services to every home. After completing the Request for Proposals (RFP) process, design, and engineering in the first half of 2019, the town aims to begin construction next summer and complete the project by the end of year 2020.
  • Lastly, we received reports from Bill Jensen with Telluride Ski & Golf and the Town Hall and Village Center Subarea Committees.

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

December 13 Agenda Topics

  • Town Council will vote to approve the 2019 and revised 2018 budgets. A budget-specific email will be sent out later this month, which will review the coming year’s budget and the funding of upcoming projects.
  • In response to new state legislation that became effective September 1, 2018, the council will consider a proposed resolution to adopt a policy concerning the destruction, disposal, and protection of records containing personal identifying information. The new law requires government entities to not only adopt a policy regarding destruction and protection of these personal records but also includes requirements regarding protecting personal identifying information, reporting breaches of personal identifying information, and contracting with third parties that might handle personal identifying information.
  • As part of our ongoing efforts to secure workforce housing, Town Council will consider waiving the lottery sales requirement for a deed-restricted unit at Cassidy Ridge to allow the town to purchase this unit. If approved, we will also consider authorization for the town manager to negotiate the purchase of this condo on behalf of the town.
  • Telluride Ski and Golf (TSG) is requesting approval for an equestrian Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to provide horse-drawn sleigh rides. The third-party run operation will run seasonally from December to April. The application proposes four 45-minute tours daily.
  • We will consider adoption of a Village Court Apartments’ rental policy and potential rent increases. Rental rates last increased five years ago. A rental increase policy could allow the town to avoid significant future rental increases. In addition, a policy is necessary to aid in responding to occupancy fluctuations and to keep up with ongoing maintenance needs.
  • EcoAction Partners will present the results of the 2017 Town of Mountain Village Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report.
  • Colorado Flights Alliance, Marketing Telluride Inc., and the Town Hall and Village Center Subarea Committees will provide their reports.

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

November 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.

October 18 Meeting Highlights

  • Town Council approved, on first reading, an ordinance outlining the legal operation of drones within town limits.
  • To further encourage the development of workforce/deed-restricted housing, Town Council gave direction to town staff to waive and/or reduce related building fees in the 2019 Planning and Building Department Fee Schedule.
  • In an effort to implement the vision of the 2011 Comprehensive Plan, we discussed whether the Community Development Code requirement that major development applications be in “General Conformance” with the Comprehensive Plan is too vague and could hinder implementation of the Comprehensive Plan, as the term lacks clarity. Town Council asked staff to draft an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan that will provide more guidance and certainty as to what “General Conformance” means.
  • Town Council reviewed and prioritized the work plan recommendations provided by AECOM and the Village Center Subarea Committee. The following six items were identified as low-hanging fruit in the Village Center and prioritized as follows:
    1. Improve WiFi speed and connectivity
    2. Explore common consumption approach
    3. Install additional lighting, as needed for safety improvements
    4. Regulate trash and delivery service routes and times
    5. Explore installation of pop-ups in Heritage Plaza
    6. Utilize bus and shuttle drop-off at Blue Mesa to its full potential
  • Lastly, we received reports from the Telluride Conference Center, and Town Hall and Village Center Subarea Committees.

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

November 15 Agenda Topics

  • Town Council will review and vote, first reading, the 2019 and revised 2018 budgets. Once the last substantive changes have been incorporated in the 2019 budget, a budget-specific email will be sent out.
  • Consideration of an ordinance to make minor housekeeping amendments to the Community Development Code. These are generally technical amendments identified by staff as needed to improve the zoning/development code administration.
  • Telluride Distilling Company, who has a Manufacturing License and is located in Lawson Hill, has applied to the State of Colorado for an off-site tasting room permit in the Mountain Village Center. This is a state permit and the town does not approve the permit but as a courtesy we may provide comments.
  • Uptown Services, LLC will present the findings of the recently completed Broadband Feasibility Study. In 2019, the town is pursuing a major upgrade to our network infrastructure, with the goal of offering 1G fiber services to every home. Their assessment will help us to determine the timeline and financial viability of this undertaking.
  • Bill Jensen with Telluride Ski & Golf and the Town Hall and Village Center Subarea Committees will provide updates.
  • Lastly, we would like to publicly acknowledge Paul Major’s recent recognition by Colorado Governor Hickenlooper with the Governor’s Citizenship Medal for “Growth & Innovation.”

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

October Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Mayor's Minute, Uncategorized

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.

  • On October 10, Town Council convened a Special Town Council meeting focused on the 2019 budget where council members reviewed the details of each department’s budget, received the Grant Committee’s recommendations, and discussed upcoming capital improvement projects. Stay tuned for a more in-depth email dedicated solely to the 2019 budget.

September 20 Meeting Highlights

  • Town Council approved a Telluride Bluegrass Festival agreement increasing the cost of festival parking from $40,000 annually to approximately $120,000 annually. The five-year agreement will ultimately generate $600,000 in town revenue earmarked for future Gondola Parking Garage enhancements, after costs for additional support services. The Bluegrass Festival remains the only event to which the town extends an on-street parking privilege.
  • Town Council held a worksession to review the first draft of the 2019 budget. The following key capital expenditures were reviewed and are still under consideration:o    Village Court Apartments estimated 45+ unit expansion
    o    Broadband system fiber capacity upgrades (1G Project)
    o    Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant capacity upgrades
    o    Ski Ranches Water System ongoing infrastructure replacements
    o    Trail improvements within Mountain Village
    o    Village Pond restoration
    o    Completion of wayfinding improvements
    o    Consulting for a possible expansion of the Conference Center
  • Town Council directed town staff to initiate revocation of the Lots 126R and 152R (commonly known as “Rosewood) PUD. The proposed PUD revocation will remove all approvals for mass and scale, previously granted variances, building design, and certain other approvals granted by the expired PUD. Once revocation is completed, any future project on these lots will need a new application and review.
  • We approved a resolution opposing Colorado Amendment 74, a proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution, which seeks to amend the state constitution to include compensation for any government law or basic local land-use decisions such as zoning or liquor licenses, which might result in a reduction of fair market value of a landowner’s property. This proposed amendment contains expansive language that could result in significant costs to local taxpayers.
  • We reviewed the results of the recently completed Internet Technology Needs Assessment Report by Executech. In the coming year, we will be making changes and upgrades to our IT infrastructure based on this review.
  • Lastly, we received reports from AECOM, and the Town Hall and Village Center Subarea Committees.

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

October 18 Agenda Topics

  • On September 23, 2018, Mountain Village lost a dear friend and neighbor with the sudden death of local business (Tracks) owner, Jeff Jurecki. Jeff was an active member of our community, helping his neighbors with generosity and thoughtfulness, and bringing the community together for gatherings at the Meadows Playground. On Thursday, we will consider renaming the playground as the Jeff Jurecki Memorial Playground.
  • Town Council will consider a proposal by the Green Team and the Ecology Commission to pass an ordinance banning single-use plastics.
  • We will review an ordinance regarding the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) within town limits.
  • Town Council will discuss supporting the development and renovation of workforce housing by reducing and/or waiving building fees in the existing Planning and Building Department Fee Schedule.
  • We will discuss whether the Community Development Code requirement that major development applications be in “General Conformance” with the Comprehensive Plan is too vague and could hinder implementation of the Comprehensive Plan as the term lacks clarity. Town Council will consider whether an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan which gives more guidance and certainty as to what “General Conformance” means would be helpful.
  • AECOM and the Village Center Subarea Committee recently came up with expedited workplan recommendations for Town Council to consider. The following seven items were identified as low-hanging fruit to be addressed by December 31, 2018:o    Improve Wi-Fi Speed and Connectivity in the Village Center
    o    Regulate Trash and Delivery Service Routes & Times in the Village Center
    o    Utilize Drop-Off at Blue Mesa Building to its Full Potential
    o    Explore Installation of “Pop-Up” Businesses in Heritage Plaza
    o    Install Lighting for Safety Improvements in Village Center
    o    Explore Open Container/Common Consumption Approach
  • Finally, the Telluride Conference Center, Telluride Ski and Golf, and the Town Hall and Village Center Subarea Committees will provide updates.

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

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