Two Musical Acts Take Center Stage for the Free FirstGrass Concert

TBF17 FirstGrass

Words by Bill Kight / Event

Folky Americana duo Freddy & Francine and the hilarious GrassHipPop family Bluegrass band The Cleverlys kick-off the 44th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Mountain Village’s Sunset Plaza for the Eighth Annual FirstGrass Concert Wednesday, June 14. This free show runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and is made possible by the Town of Mountain Village and Planet Bluegrass.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival director Craig Ferguson notes The Cleverlys, who mix traditional bluegrass with humor, are likely to make an impression on the festival crowd. Ferguson also speaks highly of Freddy & Francine, a folky Americana duo that “has a soul sense to them.”

After the show, stick around for the 16th Annual Bluegrass Kickoff Party as Yonder Mountain String Band plays to a sold-out crowd at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the show beginning at 9 p.m.; all ages welcomed. For those without a ticket, take advantage of the culinary options in Mountain Village. For more information on the festival, including tickets, visit bluegrass.com.

FESTIVAL TRANSPORTATION & PARKING
The towns of Mountain Village and Telluride are connected by a three-stage gondola system starting at Town Hall Plaza in Mountain Village and ending in Telluride at Oak Street Plaza. It takes about 13 minutes to get from one town to the other. During the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, gondola operating hours are from 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Expect long lines during peak times. For those needing a ride to their vehicle parked on town roadways, the Planet Bluegrass Bus will pick up festivarians at Town Hall Plaza and drop off passengers near their vehicle. The bus will run Thursday through Sunday from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. To assist with locating one’s vehicle, signs denoting specific parking zones – A through G – will be erected. Vehicles left on Mountain Village roadways after 12 p.m. Monday, June 19 will be towed at the owner’s expense. In addition, Dial-A-Ride will remain open until 2 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Since the Town of Mountain Village becomes inundated with parked vehicles during the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the town has set aside specific parking spaces for its residents and businesses from Wednesday, June 14 through Sunday, June 18. Mountain Village residents who have procured a parking permit can park in the Town Hall Plaza Parking lot. Twenty-six spaces located along the rock wall are designated for permit holders and are available on a first-come, first-served basis; overnight parking is not allowed. Resident parking permits are also valid in the North Village Center lot; overnight parking is not allowed.

Individuals and festivarians without parking permits must park their vehicles where directed by parking staff once the Gondola Parking Garage is full. The North Village Center pay-to-park surface lot is another parking option though overnight parking is not allowed. Short-term parking will be available for those doing business in Mountain Village; times will be enforced. Alternatively, for those parking, shopping, dining or recreating in Mountain Village, we encourage the utilization of Heritage Parking Garage, located off Mountain Village Boulevard across from Hotel Madeline. Parking is $2 for each hour and $35 maximum in a 24-hour period.

COMMON CONSUMPTION AREA
For the FirstGrass Concert, the Common Consumption Area is in effect. The Common Consumption Area will allow people to purchase alcoholic beverages from participating licensed establishments attached to the Common Consumption Area and move freely with beverages within the defined boundary of the concert area. Only alcohol from the participating establishments is permitted in the Common Consumption area.

Market on the Plaza is a summer Mainstay in Mountain Village

Market On The Plaza

Words by Bill Kight / Uncategorized

Nothing says summertime in Colorado like an open air market, especially amid the sun-soaked scenery of Mountain Village Center. Beginning Wednesday, June 14, the pedestrian-friendly Heritage Plaza once again comes alive with white tents, and Colorado-proud vendors as Market on the Plaza returns to Mountain Village.

Now in its seventh year, Market on the Plaza is a vibrant local community market providing an avenue to support regional and local businesses that offer homegrown food and homemade products. The Market runs every Wednesday beginning June 14 through August 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Patrons can, of course, expect the basics: farm produce, including eggs, fruits and vegetables, goat milk and cheeses, jams and marmalades, and garden herbs and oils.

“Summer calls for outdoor community markets, and we invite locals and guests alike to come to Heritage Plaza on Wednesdays to shop and to visit our brick and mortar merchants,” said Bill Kight, director of marketing and business development for the town. “Let’s also not forget about the 18th annual Sunset Concert Series kicking off evenings June 21 in Sunset Plaza on the same day.”

Market on the Plaza will also have less traditional purveyors selling leathers, jewelry, quilts, textiles, handmade soaps, balms and lotions, hand-carved wood items, healing products, custom pet supplies, and kitchen goods, among other items. In addition, the town is partnering with the Wilkinson Public Library to bring more entertainment and programming to Mountain Village Center.

To learn more about Market on the Plaza visit townofmountainvillage.com/market. For Market highlights follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Mountain Village Holds Town Council Candidate Forum June 7

Candidate Forum

Words by Bill Kight / Election

The Town of Mountain Village will hold a Town Council Candidate Forum Wednesday, June 7 beginning at 5:15 p.m. at Mountain Village Town Hall. Wilkinson Public Library will moderate the event. There will be a candidate meet and greet starting at 5:15 p.m. followed by candidate introductions at 6:00 p.m. The format will include opening statements by each candidate and two questions pertinent to the election prepared by library staff. Each candidate will be given a specified amount of time to answer each question. To close, the moderator will ask for written questions from the audience if time permits. The Forum will be streamed live at townofmountainvillage.com/video and available to watch on-demand immediately following the event.

The Town of Mountain Village Regular Municipal Election will take place June 27 to elect three Town Council Members. Ten candidates declared their candidacy for the upcoming election, and are listed on the ballot in this order: Paul Oupadia, Suse Connolly, Marla Meridith, David Schillaci, Jack Gilbride, Angela R. Pashayan, Natalie Binder, Richard Child, Jonathan Greenspan, and Patrick L. Berry. To learn more about each candidate, visit http://townofmountainvillage.com/candidates.

The three Town Council seats up for election are currently held by councilmembers Cath Jett, Marty McKinley and Michelle Sherry. Jett is termed out after serving two, four-year terms. She first served on Council in 2009 and as mayor pro-tem from July 2013 to June 2015. Councilmember McKinley has decided not to pursue a second term and has served as mayor pro-tem since July 2015. He joined Council in March of 2014 by appointment, filling the seat of former Councilmember Richard Child. Sherry, who is eligible to serve another four-year term, decided not to run for a second term. She was first elected to serve on Council in 2013. The last regular municipal election held in 2015 had one of its biggest turn outs with 13 candidates vying for four open seats. Once elected, the new Council will convene July 20.

Ballots will be mailed to registered voters between June 5 and June 12, and may be returned either by mail or in person to Town Hall, located at 455 Mountain Village Blvd., on or before June 27 to be counted. On Election Day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Mountain Village Environmental Initiatives Lead The Way To The New Normal

New Normal

Words by Bill Kight / Environment

Mountain Village may cover just over 3 square miles but the small community has big ambitions to help fight climate change, starting at home. Over Memorial Day Weekend, the town will shine a spotlight on its Green Gondola Project, and launch four programs to reward local residents for conserving natural resources and protecting the environment.

These cutting-edge initiatives are part of a grassroots, community-wide movement to work toward The New Normal — the Telluride region’s audacious goal of achieving carbon neutrality.

The New Normal movement sprung from Mountainfilm, the annual film festival premiering Memorial Day weekend that has shared the powerful stories of grassroots movements for nearly four decades. As it pinpoints climate change as the defining issue of our time, the festival has identified specific ways the Telluride community can take simple, impactful steps to preserve the planet for future generations. Festival Director David Holbrooke says Mountainfilm can help propel action against climate change by leveraging the power of story to fuel innovation and community building.

“Can we do this? Can Telluride really go carbon neutral?” Holbrooke asks. “We don’t know, but given what is clearly happening to our planet, we have to try.”

The Mountain Village Resident Incentive Programs are one way the community is rising to the challenge, working to establish The New Normal. The town is investing more than $120,000 in four programs that educate and reward local residents and businesses for taking a range of environmentally friendly actions. The programs include:

  • SOLAR ENERGY: Mountain Village homes and businesses are awarded a rebate of $0.40 per watt for power generated by solar energy.
  • ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Mountain Village offers free controllers for heat trace systems, promising to save 30-50 percent of electricity costs per winter.
  • WATER CONSERVATION: Mountain Village is paying for the entire cost of efficient irrigation systems for lawns and gardens.
  • HEALTHY FORESTS: Mountain Village is reimbursing property owners up to $5,000 for creating defensible space that reduce wildfire risks.

“These incentive programs are a great way to engage local residents in meaningful actions to address climate change and improve the environment in our own community,” says Bill Kight, director of marketing & business development at Town of Mountain Village.

Kight notes that Mountain Village has a long history of environmental responsibility, from protecting area wetlands to working toward becoming Zero Waste. Mountain Village’s mandatory recycling programs, efforts to protect native plants from noxious weeds, green power initiatives, and electric vehicle charging stations contribute further to its status as a leader in the fight to protect the planet.

The gondola, of course, may be one of the most impactful and inspirational of Mountain Village’s commitments to green living and reducing the town’s carbon footprint. It’s certainly the most unique — the only form of free transportation like it in North America! Providing more than 2.6 million passenger rides annually, the gondola offers an efficient mode of transportation that reduces carbon emissions, resulting in cleaner air and a community that’s less reliant on cars.

The Green Gondola Project, launched a several years ago, has worked to offset the large amount of electricity needed to power the gondola with alternative energy sources by raising money from gondola riders. Key achievements of the Green Gondola Project to date:

  • Funds collected through the Project have been used to install LED lighting and on-site solar panels, and buy wind power to provide the electricity used to operate the gondola.
  • Since 2007, the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association has offset 100 percent of the gondola’s remaining traditional electricity needs with renewable energy Green Blocks purchased from its electricity provider, San Miguel Power Association. These Green Blocks support energy efficiency and renewable energy programs throughout the region. 200,000 Green Blocks of renewable energy have been purchased, offsetting 20 million kilowatt hours of dirty electricity.
  • The gondola’s solar panels now generate 240,000 kilowatt hours of solar energy and prevent 463,200 pounds of carbon dioxide from polluting the environment annually.

“The renewable energy the gondola produces from solar panels is still a small fraction of the total it uses,” notes Kight, “but the goal is to reach 20 percent.”

In the face of daunting challenges presented by a warming planet, it’s important to celebrate the community-led initiatives that are making a difference on a small scale.

“The results of Mountain Village’s many green initiatives are powerful,” says Mountain Village mayor Dan Jansen. “They have cemented the town’s role as part of the vanguard actively working to fight climate change, and they help lay the groundwork for the Telluride region’s movement to establish The New Normal.”

To learn more about our incentive programs visit townofmountainvillage.com/green-living and for more information on the Green Gondola Project or to donate online, visit townofmountainvillage.com/green-gondola-project.

Meet The Candidates

Prospect Mountain Village

Words by Bill Kight / Election

The Town of Mountain Village will hold a Regular Municipal Election June 27 to elect three candidates to serve on the seven-member Town Council. The town conducts all elections by mail ballot. Ballots will be sent to registered voters between June 5 and June 12, and may be returned either by mail or in person to Town Hall, located at 455 Mountain Village Blvd., by or before June 27. The deadline to become a registered elector is Friday, May 26 by 5 p.m. (in person) and Monday, May 29 by 5 p.m. (online). On Election Day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Ten candidate names are listed on the ballot in the order in which they appear below: Paul Oupadia, Suse Connolly, Marla Meridith, David Schillaci, Jack Gilbride, Angela Pashayan, Natalie Binder, Richard Child, Jonathan Greenspan and Patrick L. Berry. The order of candidates was determined based on a draw by lot. All personal content and photographs were submitted by each candidate; the town has not verified the content. To learn more about the candidates, visit townofmountainvillage.com/governing/candidates

May Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Greetings neighbors,

I hope you are enjoying the early signs of summer. Your local government continued its efforts this past month, which I’ve outlined below.

April 20 Meeting Highlights

1 > A report was presented to Town Council by President and CEO of Marketing Telluride Inc. on Telluride and Mountain Village’s winter season occupancy and the upward trend of the Average Daily Revenue (ADR). The ADR is a statistical numerical unit used in the lodging industry, which represents the average rental income per paid occupied room in a given period. The region’s summer occupancy and ADR are also trending well, aided by a large digital and social media marketing campaigns currently underway.

2 >Town Council recognized the great work of our Town Clerks by declaring May 3-7 ‘Municipal Clerks week‘ in Mountain Village. Thanks for all you do, Jackie!

3 > Town Council set June 27 as the date for the upcoming Mountain Village Town Council election in which three seats will be determined. Positions will be awarded to three of the 10 strong candidates running for the available seats. Please engage with our candidates to help our community nominate the most qualified representatives. Town Council appointed our town clerk, Jackie Kennefick as the designated election official.

4 > Town Council considered a new Community Grant Program process for supporting broader community goals that could be administered by the Telluride Foundation. Council will wait for the newly appointed committee to make a decision on what to recommend to Town Council for final approval. The action item was continued to our next meeting so that our Council representatives can attend and more community input can be received.

5 > Town Council formed a ‘Green Committee’ to maintain Mountain Village’s environment goals to focus on the town’s green initiatives. This decision was made since Town Council agreed to distribute the responsibilities of our former environmental services manager rather than replace her.

6 > Finally, Adam Chambers from the Pinhead Climate Institute presented creative ideas on a carbon off-set program to be considered in the future for the Town of Mountain Village.

May 18 Agenda Highlights

This week Council continues its work with a full agenda.

1 > Town Council is declaring May as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in concert with the good people at the San Miguel Resource Center.

2 > Town Council will discuss updates to our Community Development Code, drawing from the 2017 National Electric Code Amendments.

3 > Town Council is having a public joint work session with the Town Hall Center Subarea Planning Committee to look at proposed amendments to the town’s comprehensive plan.

4 > Town Council will update our community grant programs, leveraging the expertise of the Telluride Foundation for the benefit of our community.

5 > Town Council will discuss a few environmental issues including the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act and an update by the San Miguel Watershed Coalition on the Forest Health Landscape Assessment

6 > Finally, in standard meeting procedure, Town Council will consider routine land use matters and reports from council members and town staff will round out this month’s agenda.

As always, I hope you can join us whether in person, online or by providing your email input in advance of the meeting.

Warm Regards,
Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor

Town of Mountain Village Launching Resident Environmental Incentives

Mountain Village Scenic

Words by Bill Kight / Environment

Coinciding with this year’s Mountainfilm Festival theme, “The New Normal”, the Town of Mountain Village is announcing a handful of environmental incentives for residents. The New Normal focuses on how communities can work together to combat climate change, making seemingly small changes that collectively add up to have a larger impact on the environment.

“Mountain Village has long been a proponent of creating a greener community, and this is most evident by our free pedestrian Gondola, which has been providing a greener method of transportation for the community for more than 20 years,” said Bill Kight, director of marketing and business development for the Town of Mountain Village. “These new resident incentives speak to the importance of coming together as a community to address the larger issue of climate change. This really is the “New Normal” for us as a society, and we want to reward our residents for reducing their carbon footprint and working to affect climate change.”

Mountain Village Resident Incentives
The resident incentives focus on solar energy, energy efficiency, water conservation and forest health, and the Town is investing more than $120,000 in providing these incentives to its residents.

  • Solar Energy – This incentive program offers a rebate of $.40 per watt for power generated by the sun on participating Mountain Village homes and businesses.
  • Energy Efficiency – The Heat Trace Incentive Program offers a free heat trace system controller to each participant. These will improve the efficiency of heat trace systems commonly applied on roofs and gutters, and controls can result in residents saving between 30 and 50 percent of electricity costs per winter.
  • Water Conservation – When it comes to water, the Town asks that you use what you need, and will also pay for the entire cost of an EPA WaterSense certified smart irrigation control system with weather-sensing capability for a lawn or garden.
  • Forest Health – Climate change directly impacts wildfire risk, as forests are becoming drier and there is an increased chance of fire. When residents create defensible space on their property to reduce that risk, the Town will reimburse residents up to $5,000.

“As a community, it is important to educate and reward our residents for doing the right thing rather than regulating them into compliance, and our incentive programs do just that,” continued Kight. “Additionally, we are a firm believer of practicing what we preach to our residents and invite them to join our efforts to reduce our community’s impact on the environment through these incentive programs.”

According to Mountainfilm Festival David Holbrooke, “Mountainfilm’s New Normal initiative is designed to lower the Telluride region’s carbon footprint so we are really gratified that Mountain Village is taking real and substantive action to combat climate change.” In addition to residential environmental incentives, people can also address the New Normal simply by taking the Gondola, as part of the Green Gondola Project also launching during Mountainfilm.

Green Gondola Project
The Gondola has long been a mainstay of the Mountain Village and Telluride communities, providing a greener and energy efficient transportation option for roughly 2.61 million passenger rides per year. Electricity used to operate the Gondola comes from on-site solar energy and wind power purchased through from the San Miguel Power Association and prevents an estimated 45,000 tons of carbon dioxide in vehicle emissions from entering the environment annually. The Green Gondola Project is funded in part by donations by the community and visitors. To help combat the New Normal, check out donation boxes at Gondola stations in Telluride and Mountain Village.

Throughout Mountainfilm, Mountain Village representatives will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the Town’s dedication to The New Normal and how collectively the community can help combat climate change. Additional facts and information on the incentives programs can be found at townofmountainvillage.com/green-living and for more information on the Green Gondola Project or to donate online, visit townofmountainvillage.com/green-gondola-project

Mountain Village Town Council Election Set For June 27

Registered Elector 2017

Words by Bill Kight / Election

The Town of Mountain Village will hold a Regular Municipal Election June 27 to elect three Town Council Members. Ten candidates declared their candidacy for the upcoming election, and are listed on the ballot in this order: Paul Oupadia, Suse Connolly, Marla Meridith, David Schillaci, Jack Gilbride, Angela Pashayan, Natalie Binder, Richard Child, Jonathan Greenspan, and Patrick L. Berry. The order of candidates was determined based on a draw by lot. To learn more about each candidate, visit townofmountainvillage.com/candidate.

The three Town Council seats up for election are currently held by councilmembers Cath Jett, Marty McKinley and Michelle Sherry. Jett is termed out after serving two, four-year terms. She first served on Council in 2009 and as mayor pro-tem from July 2013 to June 2015. Councilmember McKinley has decided not to pursue a second term and has served as mayor pro-tem since July 2015. He joined Council in March of 2014 by appointment, filling the seat of former Councilmember Richard Child. Sherry, who is eligible to serve another four-year term, decided not to run for a second term. She was first elected to serve on Council in 2013. The last regular municipal election held in 2015 had one of its biggest turn outs with 13 candidates vying for four open seats. Once elected, the new Council will convene July 20.

“We are excited to see such a large number of candidates apply for Town Council. It shows that people are interested in making a difference in their community,” said Administration Director and Town Clerk Jackie Kennefick. “Several candidates have served on Town Council previously, and they are back wanting to serve again – that says a lot.”

The deadline to become a registered elector is Friday, May 26 by 5 p.m. (in person) and Monday, May 29 by 5 p.m. (online). Ballots will be mailed to registered voters between June 5 and June 12, and may be returned either by mail or in person to Town Hall, located at 455 Mountain Village Blvd., on or before June 27 to be counted. On Election Day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. To learn more about the election, visit townofmountainvillage.com/governing/election

Mountain Village Holds Election June 27 For Three Open Town Council Seats

MV TC Open Seats

Words by Bill Kight / Election, Government

The Town of Mountain Village will hold a Regular Municipal Election June 27 to elect three Town Council Members. To qualify one must be a registered elector who has maintained legal residency with the town for at least 120 days immediately preceding the June 27 election. A Letter of Intent and Candidate Biographical Information Sheet must be submitted to the Clerk’s Office via email by May 12 at 5 p.m. To learn more, visit townofmountainvillage.com/election.

The three Town Council seats up for election are currently held by council members Cath Jett, Marty McKinley and Michelle Sherry. Jett is termed out after serving two, four-year terms. She first served on Council in 2009 and as mayor pro-tem from July 2013 to June 2015. Councilmember McKinley has decided not to pursue a second term and has served as mayor pro-tem since July 2015. He joined Council in March of 2014 by appointment, filling the seat of former Councilmember Richard Child. Sherry, who is eligible to serve another four-year term, said she has yet to decide if she will run again. She was first elected to serve on Council in 2013. The last regular municipal election held in 2015 had one of its biggest turn outs with 13 candidates vying for four open seats. Once elected, the new Council will convene July 20.

In Mayor Dan Jansen‘s April Mayor’s Minute correspondence he encouraged anyone with interest in local government to consider stepping up and throwing their hat in the ring.

“The experience is fun, it will deepen your knowledge of the community, and I would be more than happy to speak to anyone with interest in running. Our town functions best when our citizens engage, and while it is difficult for some to step forward and serve, I would encourage any interested resident to consider running for Town Council.  It is a great way to deeply understand the key issues facing our town and contributing to the solutions.”

Ballots will be mailed to registered voters between June 5 and June 12, and may be returned either by mail or in person to Town Hall, located at 455 Mountain Village Blvd., by or before June 27 to be counted. On Election Day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

April Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Greetings neighbors,

I hope you are enjoying the early signs of spring.Your local government continued its efforts this past month, which I’ve outlined below.

March 16 Meeting Highlights

1 > Town Council received a fascinating report from our Gondola Subcommittee on the results of their benchmarking trip. Along with our partners from the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association (TMVOA) and Telluride Ski & Golf, the team shared their best practices, and future ideas to help inform Mountain Village’s long-range gondola strategic planning process. The committee will continue its work, and you can look forward to emerging plans for this wonderful community asset in future discussions.

2 > Town Council progressed our compensation study planning to ensure that our cost basis is efficient and comparable with similar towns.

3 > Town Council considered several important appointments to local and regional boards for the Design Review Board (DRB), Grant Committee, Region 10 and the Multi-Cultural Advisory Council.
We are pleased to announce that Council voted to re-appoint David Eckman, Greer Garner and Phil Evans as regular members; and Jean Vatter and Liz Caton as alternate members of the Design Review Board. For the Grant Committee, Council voted to appoint Marty McKinley and Laila Benitez as the Council representatives and Kim Montgomery and Jackie Kennefick as the staff representatives. For Region 10, Council voted to appoint Bill Kight to serve on the board. Lastly, Council appointed Laila Benitez to sit on the Multicultural Advisory Council.

4 > Finally, Town Council received some important reports on our energy use, the Historical Museum, as well as the routine staff and Council reports.

April 20 Agenda Highlights

This week Council continues its work with a full agenda.

1 > Town Council will hear from President and CEO of MTI (Marketing Telluride Inc.) Michael Martelon who will present a quarterly update on the recent winter season and plans for the upcoming season.

2 > Town Council will initiate plans for the upcoming Mountain Village Town Council election in which three seats will be determined on June 27. I would encourage any of you with interest in our local government to consider stepping up and throwing your hat in the ring. The experience is fun, it will deepen your knowledge of the community, and I would be more than happy to speak to anyone with interest in running.

3 > The town’s grant process for supporting broader community goals will be updated with a potential new approach.

4 > Town Council will receive an update on potential actions for Mountain Village’s environment goals, and revisit who on town staff will focus on different environmental initiatives.

5 > Finally, routine land use matters and reports from Council members and town staff will round out this month’s agenda.

As always, I hope you can join us whether in person, online or by providing your email input in advance of the meeting.
Warm Regards,
Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor

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