January Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Dear neighbors,

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are continuing to enjoy this great snow.

Last month was a busy one where we not only enjoyed all of the usual holiday festivities, but also got a lot of work done. We discussed our historical approach to the business development area where businesses were asked how the town can support their goals. While we want all of our businesses to thrive, any opportunities involving significant staff time or town expenditure will come through our budget process for full Town Council review. There was further discussion of the Telluride Venture Accelerator and co-working spaces. While I recused myself, Mayor Pro-tem Marty McKinley led the discussion where Council put a placeholder for each expense pending further budget specificity before the amounts are released. We passed our revised 2015 and final 2016 budgets, and set the mill levies for both the town and the Metro District (which precedes the town and holds some of the debt behind our assets). We had a good discussion of our recycling program given the changing nature of commodity markets, which are getting worse, and what are our real goals should be: reduction, recycling or reducing carbon footprint? The Village Pond was approved for use this winter as an experiment.  A Council off-site retreat was designed for early in the New Year so Council can coalesce on its goals and priorities for the town. We decided not to launch a plaza use committee, as staff continues to feel that they can handle the decisions needed and will escalate any issue that are contentious to Council.  Finally, we discussed joining a possible Regional Transit Authority and the Council consensus was to continue full participation in the process including intergovernmental meetings early in the New Year where specific issues will be negotiated to enable progress to a November election.

This week another full meeting has been agendized. We will have the opportunity to meet and hear from Bill Jensen the new leader of Telluride Ski & Golf Company (TSG).  Working with the Telluride Foundation, we will conduct a work session on a potential pocket park near the gondola station at Oak Street Plaza in Telluride. There will be a discussion of an ordinance prohibiting the possession of weapons on town property. We will also start to define a Town Hall Center Subarea planning process in concert with our friends at the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association and TSG. Finally, in addition to some routine land use matters, we will have a worksession about defining a budget granting process to ensure equity, transparency and coordination with other grant-making bodies.

As always, if you have any views on the above, or any other issues, please come to the meeting, listen online, or send us your thoughts.

Warm Regards,
Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor

Mountain Village Community Set to Brighten Holiday Season with Second Annual #HolidayMagic Light Show

Words by Nichole Zangara / Event

 
The Partners of Mountain Village, Colorado, are gearing up to host the second annual holiday light show-a festive spectacle that will delight guests and locals alike.

Madeline Hotel and Residences is partnering with the  Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association and the Town of Mountain Village to produce a light show with Paintscaping.com, the Los Angeles-based world leader in 3-D projection mapping who has produced a variety of light shows all over the world. The production titled #HolidayMagic will be showcased at Heritage Plaza in Mountain Village with four shows nightly at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. from December 24 to December 31, snow or shine. This year’s dazzling event is brought forth by the Mountain Village Community.

Each # #HolidayMagic show will last five minutes and will include musical accompaniment and a veritable rainbow of 3-D holiday imagery flashing on buildings throughout Heritage Plaza.

Breaks between shows will be offer participants access to great local shopping and dining available from show sponsors, retailers and restaurants in and around Mountain Village. Madeline Hotel and Residences will lead the action, offering live entertainment and dinner specials at the hotel’s new M Club and Black Iron Kitchen and Bar, recently upgraded to include outdoor “fire tables,” deep woods, dark steel as well as a revamped menu featuring “modern mountain cuisine” cultivated by fresh mountain produce and proteins. Additional sponsors include the Town of Mountain Village, Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association, Fairmont Heritage Place – Franz Klammer Lodge, Telluride Sotheby’s International Realty, Telluride Ski and Golf Company and Telluride Real Estate Corporation, Christie’s International.

“We’re thrilled to sponsor the light show again this year and welcome guests to the newly renovated Madeline Hotel and Residences,” said Todd Gehrke, director of sales and marketing at the property. “It’s been an exciting year for us and we look forward to celebrating this festive occasion with Telluride visitors and residents.”

Don’t miss out on a holiday light show you’ve got to see to believe – and that you won’t soon forget!

December Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Dear neighbors,

I hope you are enjoying our great snow on the re-opened mountain. The community is clearly sparkling with all of the holiday activities well underway.

This last month Town Council approved, on First Reading, the proposed 2016 town budget totaling $30.3 million, which after pulling out the pass-through items (gondola, tourism and museum supported budgets), represents more than a five percent reduction in expenses when compared to the prior year’s revised budget adjusted for pass-through items. Equally important, the proposed budget is balanced with revenues generating a net surplus of $240,000. That said, Town Council was still able to make some important investments including more road repaving, establishing a Telluride TV facility in Mountain Village, and adding Recreation Department resources, among other investments. In addition, Town Council extensively reviewed the new marketing and business development budget, which included some revisions and reductions while still working to achieve its mission. While I recused myself from the discussion, the balance of Town Council deferred the Telluride Venture Accelerator (TVA) sponsorship and co-working space funding requests pending a more specific proposal from TVA and the Telluride Foundation. In other business, Town Council appointed Larry Crosby and Richard Child to represent Mountain Village on the Telluride Regional Airport Board. Finally, in addition to some routine land use matters and reports, Council reviewed the town’s water policies and rights to ensure adequate supplies of water for years to come.

This week’s meeting will include some important discussions, too. Town Council will consider final approval of the 2016 and revised 2015 budgets. There will be a worksession evaluating whether to launch a Plaza Use Committee to ensure there is an appropriate nature and level of activity in the plazas throughout town. And related to this, a discussion surrounding possible uses of the Village Pond for this winter season will be up for consideration. Council will also evaluate the state of recycling in Mountain Village. Given that I will recuse myself, Mayor Pro-tem Marty McKinley will lead a follow-up discussion on potential funding of specific TVA programs and a possible co-working space in Mountain Village. Lastly, in addition to some routine land use matters and Council/staff reports, Council will conduct a worksession about Mountain Village’s possible participation in a potential Regional Transportation Authority.

As always, please join us December 10 in person, online or feel free to share comments on any topics of interest to you.

Warm Regards,
Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor

November Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Dear neighbors,

The snow is certainty building and the anticipation is growing. With that, we hope to see many of you for Opening Day later this month. It’s sure to be one of the best ski seasons yet.

As for government business matters, last month Mountain Village continued its budget process with a special all-day meeting in which we, as a Council,  took some specific actions. First, we approved temporary COWS (Cell Tower on Wheels) so that hopefully Mountain Village residents and guests will have better cell service this season until a permanent solution is provided. Continuing, Council conducted a detailed budget discussion with each town department director which included review of their goals, performance metrics and priorities. This turned into a day full of comments and follow-up questions too numerous to list here, but I encourage you to come to the November 19 Town Council meeting to hear the results. Worth noting, one concern raised by Council was that while many of the budget requests endorsed had merit on their own, in aggregate the level of spending has risen, thus Council needs to look for ways to limit that growth.

In addition, Council discussed the merits of hiring a specialist consultant to benchmark Mountain Village costs versus similar towns to inform next year’s budget process. Though a decision was not reached to move forward with such an idea, a project plan and potential costs will be discussed at a future meeting. That said, for this year, the November 19 meeting will include a review of an analysis that begins with last year’s budget numbers, adjusts for inflation, and then flags every item that represents a material increase. Council guidance from the Finance Department included deferring further staff 401K benefit reductions until Council hires a specialist consultant to analyze options. (I will note that Council was split on the issue of 401k benefits.)

Other informal actions taken by Council last month included increasing the road repaving program budget, examining the Marketing and Business Development budget, and indicating a willingness to support the new producers of Telluride Gay Ski Week as they work to become self-sufficient and Telluride TV as they plan to create a media streaming facility in Mountain Village. The usual array of community grants also received a head nod. All of these ‘actions’ are in draft form until the final budget is approved in December, though November 19 is when Council will take action regarding first reading of the budget ordinance.

Wrapping things up, Council touched on some issues pertaining to 2016/2017 projects. For example, it was noted that the town’s debt for theTelluride Conference Center will be paid off in 2017. That pay-down will result in an almost 1.5 mil reduction, which is effectively a tax cut for you. Moreover, town needs to think about any and all long-range plans for that facility. Council also mentioned the need for a large waste treatment facility project coming up in 2017 that will be shared with the Town of Telluride. The overall project cost could exceed $8 million and Mountain Village’s share could be 35 percent, so we are updating and reviewing an analysis to ensure that we will have adequate water and sewer reserves to cover this large cost.

Other items on the docket for Thursday includes an update from theColorado Flights Alliance, a worksession on the town’s water system, a discussion about supporting Telluride Venture Accelerator, a worksession on converting Village Court Apartment’s energy system, an action item on a new gondola blanket policy, and our usual array of staff/Council updates and standard land use matters.

As always, please reach out if you have comments or join us Thursday, November 19 if you can.

Warm Regards,
Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor

Holiday Prelude Returns to Mountain Village

Holiday Prelude

Words by Nichole Zangara / Event

Mountain Village is being transformed into the North Pole for this year’s Holiday Prelude celebration the weekend of December 11-13, 2015.  Holiday Prelude is a collaborative effort between Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association, Town of Mountain Village, Town of Telluride and local merchants to transform Mountain Village and Telluride into the regional destination for holiday cheer with a full two weeks of holiday activities commencing on December 2, 2015.

The Mountain Village Holiday Prelude magic starts at the Oak Street gondola station where the free gondola is transformed into a Trip to the North Pole on Friday, 12/11 and Saturday, 12/12 from 3-6 pm. Children of all ages will delight in the decorations and lights galore as our elves send you on your way to visit Santa in his workshop in Heritage Plaza.  Children can tell Santa what they want for Christmas, make an ornament with one of his elves, and enjoy free hot chocolate.

While at the North Pole, catch a ride on the North Pole Express!  Children and adults will be dazzled on the free train ride throughout Mountain Village’s festival of lights, with more decorations throughout the village than ever before.

The culmination of this year’s event will happen on the Mountain Village Ice Rink outside of the Madeline Hotel and Residences.  The North Pole on Ice professional skating performance will feature International and National ice skating medalists.  You don’t want to miss this show filled with triple jumps, dizzying spins, creative pair lifts, death spirals, and more.  The shows are scheduled on both Friday, 12/11 and Saturday, 12/12 at 6:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee show on Saturday.

For those who need to get some last minute Christmas shopping done, Mountain Village merchants are bringing back Jingle Jam.  Similar to Telluride’s Noel Night held the week prior, Jingle Jam is when Mountain Village Center businesses extend discounts and specials to customers. This year’s Jingle Jam is scheduled for Friday, 12/11, with stores staying open until 9pm.  Shoppers will receive some of the best discounts of the year, along with raffles, give aways, food and drink specials, and more.  And, in the true spirit of giving, Franz Klammer Lodge will provide an Angel baskets charity drive for donations and will offer free drinks in their warm and inviting lodge both Friday and Saturday from 4-7pm.

The fun continues on Saturday with free skating, or say hello to Frosty or the Grinch from 3-5pm at the Madeline Hotel and Residences.  It’s a roller rink flashback on the Mountain Village Ice Rink on Saturday night from 7-9pm where families can get their holiday groove on at the Madeline Annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Party.  Enjoy a free Skate with DJ Soul Atomic, and flaunt your stuff on the ice while enjoying drink specials throughout the evening from Madeline’s M Club outdoor bar and fire tables.  Parents can take advantage of the free Kid’s Night Out drop off from 7-9:30 pm at the Telluride Conference Center with holiday movie classics, games and snacks for ages 5 and up.

There is no better way to end your weekend of holiday fun than a pajama breakfast with Santa.  The Palmyra Restaurant at the Peaks is creating a special holiday breakfast menu on Sunday from 9-11am giving children one last opportunity to get a picture with Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas!

The Town of Mountain Village will be providing free day parking in the Gondola Parking Garage all weekend, and lodging and ski packages are available for those who want to extend the holiday fun.  For more information, visit visittelluride.com/event/holiday-prelude. Events and times subject to change so please check back often!

Budget Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Dear neighbors,

We have just seen our first snowfall and our summer toys are being swapped out for ski gear, with a palpable sense of winter fun and excitement growing in the air. Last month many actions were taken, and discussions underway. We approved our vending cart policies that will allow for an additional cart in Heritage Plaza, a new cart in Conference Center Plaza and the potential for some carts to operate extended hours when activity would support it (e.g. to serve long gondola lines). We also approved an ordinance allowing Cell Towers on Wheels (COWS), which are temporary expansions of our cell phone capacity to improve system performance. The hope is that our permanent solution will be in place within a year and this ordinance will truly be a temporary measure. We also agreed to participate in a task force with members from the Town of Telluride, TMVOA, TTB and TSG to analyze the potential for a transition plan for Gay Ski Week from its current fee-for-service TMVOA supported, to an independent producer model for this upcoming season. We will hear the task force’s initial thinking at this upcoming meeting. Finally, the Town received a decision from the ski company, consistent with their rights in our parking agreements, to offer free day-use parking for the customers of the ski company in the gondola parking garage, and we will work with them to implement that this coming season.

This week we will be conducting a special budget meeting on October 29. For those with an interest in the Town finances, this is a chance to see every manager present every department’s objectives, plans, and budgets for 2016. Please join us for this critical deep dive into our finances.

Going forward, we have set our Town Council meeting schedule for the coming year. Many of the meetings will be in our usual slot on the third Thursday of the month starting at 8:30 a.m. That said, based on feedback from some residents that daytime meetings are hard to attend, we have experimented with our March, July, and December meetings starting at 3 p.m. and going into the evening. Please go to the Town’s website to see the exact schedule and let us know if these changes help or hurt your chances of participating.

Warm Regards,

Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor

October Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Dear neighbors,

I hope you are enjoying the beautiful Fall colors and the wonderful addition of some snow on the peaks. Though shoulder season is beginning, there is still plenty of activity in our town.

Last month, Town Council took several important actions. Council declined the developer’s request to extend the closing deadline for The Lofts workforce housing project. As a result the developer has indicated that they will not be continuing the project at this time. Council also agreed to pursue a more detailed planning of the Town Hall Center Subarea, assuming that or our friends at TMVOA and TSG will join us. We also passed a first reading of an ordinance to allow an additional vending cart in Heritage Plaza and remove some constraints on the types of carts that can serve us. There was also another public forum called by the Telluride Hospital District to update on the new Medical Center. Topics included financing options for the Medical Center, updates on the wetland mitigation process, and discussion of the critical access hospital (CAH) designation, among others. The Hospital District Board is conducting these sessions every few months if you missed this one.

This week we have another Town Council meeting with several important issues, in addition to several routine land use matters. There will be an important work session reviewing the findings of a recent study we commissioned to identify long term operational options for the gondola. This will help to inform the long term gondola strategy that we need to develop with our neighbors. We will also finalize our vending cart policies. There will be an important discussion of COWS (Cells Towers on Wheels), which are temporary solutions that will help to increase our cell network capacity while a permanent solution is being designed. There will also be a discussion of the Gay Ski Week event which the Tourism Board is very concerned about its potential departure from our resort. And finally, an issue that I would guess many of us have personal experience with, our safety committee has raised concerns about the blankets being offered to our gondola passengers, and the extent to which they represent a safety issue and whether we should continue to offer them.

As always, we hope you will be able to join us for this week’s meeting, whether in person or via web access. Please share your thoughts in advance if you have a moment.
Warm Regards,
Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor

September Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Dear neighbors,

I hope you are enjoying the early signs of Fall. I wanted to share a few thoughts on the recent and near term activities of the town.

A concerning event occurred recently where a positive reading for bacteria resulted from one of our routine tests of the water system. This activated a series of actions by the State Health Department, as well as our local staff. Obviously, we were relieved to get the “all clear” decision from the Health Department which concluded that the initial results were a “false positive” and that our water system, as confirmed by independent third-party experts, was indeed safe throughout the process. Thanks again to our staff who piled in and handled the situation with speed and professionalism.

Last month our Town Council addressed several important issues. A discussion of employee compensation relative to benchmarks in other resort towns helped to ensure that we are competitive and not out of line with similar towns. Bear break in problems were also discussed and an education plan developed to ensure we all do what we can to keep our residents, visitors and bears safe. Please close and lock your ground-level doors and windows, especially during this late summer/early Fall season. A worksession on vending carts in our town plazas was conducted and a policy of adding appropriate vitality was agreed; a subcommittee will help to ensure that decisions are consistent with our overall vision for the Village Core. Budget goals were also reviewed and discussed to provide guidance to the Budget and Finance Committee. We are holding a fiscally conservative course with a balanced budget, strong reserves, and selective investments including, among other things, a more detailed Town Hall Center Subarea Plan, chondola and gondola strategies, and/or more recreational amenities. Our Budget and Finance Committee will take all of this input and bake it into a first draft budget for Council to review this month.

This week in our Wednesday Town Council meeting, many of these topics will be pushed into action. We will vote on a proposed vending policy. The full Council will get its first look at the total budget as the next step in our multi-month process to approve a 2016 budget, and we will provide guidance for each department to address in forthcoming detailed departmental meetings. While the last Town Council discussion identified many opportunities to invest, now the hard work of prioritizing those opportunities begins in earnest. There are more opportunities than money, so decisions will be needed. Another long running topic, the potential Lofts workforce housing project, will be discussed and a decision will be made as to whether we should add a year to the project timeline to ensure that full community input and the results of the proposed Town Hall Center Subarea planning process can be incorporated. Finally, we will have a worksession on the recent false bacterial reading in our water system to ensure that the community and Council is fully informed, has the opportunity to ask questions, and in the spirit of no emergency going to waste, we will look for learnings as to how best to handle situations like these in the future.

As always, we look forward to your input and participation.

Warm Regards,
Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor

August Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Dear neighbors,

Thank you for the trust you have placed in me and our new colleagues on Town Council. During the election I realized that we should be communicating more and these emails represent one option. I will try to send out a few thoughts before each Town Council meeting about what has happened recently, and what we will be working on in the upcoming meeting. My goal is to keep these brief by highlighting only a few topics that might be of interest.

Our July meeting represented an opportunity to seat a new Town Council. Bruce MacIntire, Laila Benitez, and Dan Caton joined me on the Council from a field of 13 candidates. Council then elected me as your mayor and Marty McKinley as our mayor pro tem. I would again like to thank John Howe, Dave Schillaci and Jonette Bronson for their years of service on our last Council. The new Council had a fairly light agenda with a series of routine land use matters, staff reports and financial updates. We had an informative worksession on our election and voter registration processes. It was also great to see the strong economic position of the town with strong reserves, growing sales tax and development revenues, and good cost control. If you would like more specifics, please review minutes from that meeting.

Our August 20 meeting this week will have some interesting sessions including a worksession on the growing bear problem in Mountain village. The 2016 budget process is also kicking off with an important worksession discussing ‘top-down’ budget priorities that the Town Council would like our Budget and Finance Committee to develop plans around. There will also be a worksession on vending carts in our plazas: how many, what types, and when/where they operate. As I will be out of the country, our new mayor pro tem will be leading the meeting. A full agenda has been posted on our website, and as always, we would welcome your input by any means you are comfortable with, and hope to see you at the meeting.

Warm Regards,
Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor

Mountain Village celebrates safe communities August 4

Public Safety

Words by Nichole Zangara / Event

Bringing together community members and emergency responders, the Mountain Village Police Department is hosting the fourth annual National Night Out Tuesday, August 4. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., the community is invited to join their neighbors, police and fire department teams at the Meadows Parking Lot (Adams Ranch Road) for a free ice cream social and tours of police cars, fire trucks and ambulance. Free gun safety locks will be available and the Telluride Fire District will offer free blood pressure readings. In addition to this year’s festivities, all children 17 and under may enter a drawing to win great prizes.

National Night Out, a part of the National Association of Town Watch, involves over 38 million people in 16,000-plus communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. This well-known and celebrated annual event was designed to heighten community awareness of safety and fire prevention issues, as well as to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnership.

“This is National Night Out’s 32 year, and we look forward to promoting future generations of police-community partnership through an evening of fun,” said Lieutenant Rachelle Redmond.

For more event information, contact the Mountain Village Police Department at (970) 728-9281.

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