Planet Bluegrass’ FirstGrass Concert Kicks Off Summer Festival Music in Telluride and Mountain Village

FirstGrass 2018

Words by Bill Kight / Community, Event

Nashville-based dynamic, fast picking bluegrass prodigy Billy Strings and Montana bluegrass rock band The Lil Smokies kick-off the 45th annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival at Mountain Village’s Sunset Plaza for the yearly FirstGrass Concert Wednesday, June 20.

Led by two of the most exciting young bands in the progressive bluegrass scene, this promises to be an epic way to begin your Bluegrass weekend in Telluride. This free show runs from 5 to 8 p.m. and is made possible by the Town of Mountain Village and Planet Bluegrass.

After the show, stick around to dine in Mountain Village and for those lucky enough to have a ticket for Planet Bluegrass’ evening celebration with Dierks Bentley and the Travelin’ McCourys head to the Telluride Conference Center as they play to a sold-out crowd. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the show beginning at 9 p.m. For those without a ticket, take advantage of the culinary options in Mountain Village. For more information on the festival, visit bluegrass.com. 

FESTIVAL TRANSPORTATION & PARKING

The towns of Mountain Village and Telluride are connected by a three-stage gondola system starting at Market Plaza (formerly Town Hall Plaza) in Mountain Village to Village Center, and ending in Telluride at Oak Street Plaza. It takes about 12 minutes to get from one town to the other via Mountain Village Center.

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 Market Plaza and drop off passengers near their vehicle. The bus will run Thursday through Sunday from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., and 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 25 will be towed at the owner’s expense. In addition, Dial-A-Ride will remain open until 2:30 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Mountain Village’s Gondola Parking Garage located at 455 Mountain Village Blvd., behind Town Hall and the Mountain Village Market and northwest of the gondola terminal is free to park. 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.

ABOUT MOUNTAIN VILLAGE

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

ABOUT PLANET BLUEGRASS

For 25+ years, Planet Bluegrass has been redefining the music festival, creating exceptional experiences that protect our planet through environmental leadership and strong communities. Producers of Telluride Bluegrass, RockyGrass, and Folks Festival.

Mountain Village’s Market on the Plaza Opens Wednesday, June 20

Market-on-the-Plaza

Words by Bill Kight / Community, Event

Colorado summer is here, and nothing says summertime in Colorado like an open-air market, especially amid the sun-soaked scenery of Mountain Village. Beginning Wednesday, June 20, the pedestrian-friendly Heritage Plaza comes alive with tents, food, and crafts made up of Colorado-proud vendors as the annual Market on the Plaza returns to Mountain Village, Colorado.

“Summer calls for outdoor community markets, and we invite locals and guests alike to come to Heritage Plaza in Mountain Village Center 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 20th annual Sunset Concert Series kicking off evenings June 27 in Sunset Plaza on the same day.”

Now in its eighth 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 20 through August 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Patrons can, of course, expect farm produce, including eggs, fruits and vegetables, goat milk and cheeses, jams and marmalades, garden herbs and oils, and a wide variety of artisan crafts.

Market on the Plaza also features 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, and our local law enforcement teams will be on hand to answer questions about our community and fire awareness and restrictions.

To learn more about Market on the Plaza visit townofmountainvillage.com/market.

For Market highlights follow us on FacebookInstagramNextdoor, and Twitter.

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions Now in Place Countywide

Stage 2 Fire Blog

Words by Bill Kight / Community, Emergency Preparedness

June 15, 2018 — (San Miguel County, CO) – Stage 2 fire restrictions in effect throughout San Miguel County to include U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Town of Telluride and Mountain Village.

San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters issued a temporary order June 4th enacting Stage 2 restrictions. San Miguel County Board of Commissioners is set to formally adopt these restrictions via Resolution at their Wednesday, June 20th regularly scheduled meeting.

The following acts are prohibited under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are in effect across San Miguel County, including US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management property in the county. These restrictions also apply in the Town of Telluride and Town of Mountain Village who passed their ordinances.Fire Restrictions

  • OPEN FIRE: Building, maintaining, attending or using an OPEN FLAME, including fire, campfire, stove fire, charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves, and devices (stoves, grills or lanterns) using a liquid fuel such as white gas or kerosene.Exception: Operating a stove, lantern, or other device using pressurized gas (natural gas, propane or isobutene) equipped with a valve that allows the operator to immediately turn the flame on and off.
  • SMOKING except in an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building or on paved, hardscape areas in compliance with applicable clean air acts. All cigarette butts must be fully extinguished and disposed of in a receptacle designed for cigarette butts.
  • CHAINSAW operation without an approved spark arresting device, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (8 oz. capacity by weight or larger and kept with the operator) and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available
  • WELDING or operating acetylene or other torches with an open flame (check with Town of Telluride for exceptions)
  • EXPLOSIVE USE. This includes but is not limited to fuses or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, and tracers or incendiary ammunition.
  • TARGET SHOOTING ON BLM LAND – To include discharging a FIREARM, air rifle, or gas gun.
  • MOTOR VEHICLE OFF ESTABLISHED ROADS, motorized trails or established parking areas, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the vehicle (except for parking overnight in developed campgrounds and trailheads).
  • FIREWORKS: The use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited on federal lands.

A poster is attached to assist with distribution of this information. A website with restriction information for west region counties has been created www.westslopefireinfo.com. It has information for Montrose, San Miguel, Ouray, Hinsdale, Gunnison and Delta counties as well as our federal partners.

Contact: Susan Lilly, Public Information Officer  (970) 729-2028, or email.

Town of Mountain Village Continues Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

Fire Restrictions Blog

Words by Bill Kight / Communications, Emergency Preparedness

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

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

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

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

Permitted actions include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay informed and connect with Mountain Village:

 

Mountain Village Media Contact and Public Information Officer
Bill Kight
(970) 369.6430 (o)
(970) 729.2179 (c)
[email protected]
https://www.linkedin.com/in/billkight

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

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

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

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

June Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Bill Kight / 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 tomorrow’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

May 17 Meeting Highlights

  • Town Council held a worksession to determine best practices in adopting and implementing an open, fair, and robust public comment policy and this month we will review a proposed policy based on this discussion.
  • We discussed our project, program, and infrastructure goals to assist and guide the Finance Committee and town staff as they draft the 2019 budget. The key goals and projects identified were:

    o    Maintain town reserves at or greater than 35%
    o    Pay down debt, whenever feasible
    o    Hold grant funding to 2018 levels
    o    Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades & Expansion
    o    VCA Expansion Project – debt funded by net revenues
    o    Fund Improvement Projects as identified in 2018 Technology & Cybersecurity Audit
    o    Ongoing Town Hall Subarea projects – Mountain Village Boulevard Realignment & Roundabout, Elk Pond & Park
    o    Possible projects & studies as identified by the 2018 Village Center Subarea Committee
    o    Mountain Village Trails Plan implementation

  • Town Council approved on first reading a Community Development Code (CDC) amendment regarding Village Center roofing requirements. Due to the unavailability of the original burnt sienna concrete tiles, the proposed amendment would allow for more permitted materials in the Village Center. This month, Council will hold a public hearing and vote on this amendment.
  • Public Works Director Finn Kjome provided an in-depth update on current drought status and water restrictions. Council has requested monthly water updates until restrictions are lifted.
  • Chief Broady updated us about our current wildfire risk and direction was given to make the community aware of the Stage 1 fire restrictions currently in effect.
  • Lastly, the Town Hall and Village Center Subarea Committee provided their monthly update, and Marketing Telluride Inc. (MTI) presented their quarterly report.

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.

June 14 Agenda Topics

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

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association & Beyond the Groove Present Music on the Green June 15 – September 7, 2018

Music on the Green

Words by Bill Kight / Community, Event

The Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association and Beyond the Groove Productions are excited to announce the 2nd Annual Music on the Green in Mountain Village, Colorado. Music on the Green, a free concert series taking place Fridays, June 15 through September 7 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Mountain Village Reflection Plaza, adjacent to the Madeline Hotel and Residence.

“Music on the Green is a great way to start to your summer weekends,” said Anton Benitez, president of TMVOA. “Meet with friends, grab a drink, a bite to eat, and enjoy live music in Reflection Plaza.”

The concert series line-up features a wide variety of bands and musicians who will start the weekend with a celebration of music and art amid the backdrop of the San Juan Mountains surrounding Mountain Village.

The 2018 Music on the Green line-up includes:

  • June 15 – Jeff Plankerhorn (Country)
  • June 22 – Sarah Slaton from Edison (Indie Folk)
  • June 29 – Brent Cowles (Blues/Folk)
  • July 6 – Jim Parker (Country/Americana)
  • July 20 – Freddy & Francine (Bluegrass)
  • August 3 – McCarthy Jazz Trio (Jazz)
  • August 10 – J.S. Ondara (American Blues)
  • August 17 – Lo Moon (Indie Rock)
  • Aug 24 – McCarthy Jazz Trio (Jazz)
  • Aug 31 – You Knew Me When (Country/Folk)
  • September 7 – Kolars (Performance Rock)

“These free Friday shows at Reflection Plaza offer an intimate experience with top class local and national acts, it is quite an eclectic line-up,” said Denise Mongan of Beyond the Groove Productions. “It is a chance to relax, and socialize while enjoying live music performances in a small intimate outdoor venue.”

The Music on the Green concert series is provided free of charge by presenting sponsor TMVOA, Madeline Hotel and Residences, Telluride Ski & Golf, the Town of Mountain Village. The events are rain or shine.

To learn more about Music on the Green contact the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association (TMVOA) at  (970) 728-1904 or visit tmvoa.org and facebook.com/BeyondTheGroove.

Mayor’s Minute Rosewood Update and Walk with the Mayor Event

Mayors Minute

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

Hello neighbors,

On May 31, a Special Town Council Meeting was adjourned to consider an amendment to extend the February 15, 2018 Standstill Agreement between Town of Mountain Village and Northlight Trust, the owners of Lots 126R and 152R. The Standstill Agreement required a new PUD application be submitted by June 15, 2018. Due to extensive public comment and other factors, the landowner requested that the deadline be extended by approximately 90 days to September 14, 2018, to consider the feedback they have received and further evaluate their Alternative Development Plan. Town Council approved the extension as the speed in which the application is filed is not as important as having plenty of opportunity for dialog, reflection, and refinement. You can review minutes from the meeting or watch the video at the town website.

More information about the history of this proposed project is available for review:

Walk with the Mayor – I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow for our first monthly walk and a chance to talk about current events and projects that interest you. The monthly event takes place from 10 to 11 a.m. and meets at the Heritage Plaza Fire Pit in Mountain Village.

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

Mountain Village Farm Share Community Incentive Program Adjusts Income Criteria and Extends Application Deadline to June 8

Fresh From The Farm Blog

Words by Bill Kight / Community

The Town of Mountain Village adjusts household income qualifications from 60% to 80% Area Median Income (AMI) and extends program application deadline to June 8, 2018. The town hopes to target more families and adjusted the income qualifications upwards in hopes of providing the farm share program to a broader range of community members. Mountain Village recently announced a community-wide income qualified ‘Farm Share to Community Incentive Pilot Program’ for up to 45 Mountain Village residents that meet the annual household income qualifications shown in the chart below. Eligibility will be on a first come first served basis for households that meet the requirements and have completed the necessary application by June 8, 2018.

 

Farm to Community Income Chart

“We are excited to offer our residents a community-supported agriculture program (CSA) directly linking our income qualified community members to local farmers,” said Planning and Development Services Director, Michelle Haynes. “This program is in alignment with many community goals. A community’s resilience depends upon implementing strategies that reduce reliance on non-renewable energy, develop local food sources and increase local transportation and energy security. The program will also educate our community members regarding the many local food sources available to us and provide low cost high nutrient food to our residents who may not otherwise have the income or time to participate in a similar program.”

The farm share program puts income qualified individuals and families at the centerpiece of the model, subsidizing farm shares based on income, and providing convenient during or after-work pick-up hours to distribute locally farmed, high-quality, sustainably grown, and affordable food and produce. Participating members can purchase “shares” of a farmer’s crop for the entire growing season (approximately nine weeks), at minimal cost.

To best serve our community members, understand the food habits and desires of our residents, and to enhance this pilot program, we have asked applicants and community members alike to provide their comments and input through an online survey by visiting townofmountainvillage.com/farm-to-community.

Haynes goes on to say, “Supporting local agriculture on this scale reduces the distance food is transported and incrementally lowers our carbon emissions. It also supports our local farms through the CSA model providing money in advance of a growing season for the purchase of seed and food planning. This program creates an important regional bridge and cooperative relationships that we hope will continue to grow.”

Participating farms and partners of the Farm to Community Program include Mountain Roots Produce based in Mancos, Colorado and F.R.E.S.H Food Hub, a community-run food co-op based in Norwood, Colorado. F.R.E.S.H Food Hub purchases food from local farms and producers such Indian Ridge Farm and Bakery, Buckhorn Gardens, Birdhouse Farm, Laid Back Ranch, South River Aquaponics, and many more small-scale producers on the western slope offering the best possible prices on wholesome, and healthy food in the region.

The F.R.E.S.H. Food Hub will have a presence at our Market on the Plaza. In addition to the Market on the Plaza being the primary CSA share pick up location, local produce and food items will be available for sale to residents and visitors.

For more information about our Farm to Community Incentive Program, please contact Planning and Development Services Director, Michelle Haynes at  (970) 239-4061, or email.

Mountain Village Sets Stage 1 Fire Restrictions to Begin Monday, May 21

Fire Restrictions Blog

Words by Bill Kight / Uncategorized

In conjunction with San Miguel County, Telluride Fire Protection District, Norwood Fire Protection District, and Egnar Fire Protection District, the Town of Mountain Village will be placed under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective Monday, May 21 at 6 a.m. due to exceptional drought conditions in the region.

Sheriff Bill Masters said that it is each citizen’s responsibility to do their part to prevent human-caused wildfires. “Fire danger is unusually high for our county and neighboring counties. Everyone needs to know and obey all fire restrictions.”

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

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

The following shall be considered exempt from such open fire restrictions:

  • Any federal, state, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty;
  • Any fires contained within liquid fueled or gas fueled stoves and fireplaces;
  • Campfires or bonfires required in religious ceremonies for which the Chief has granted a valid written permit in advance. (Ord. No. 02-04 § 3)

Permitted actions include:

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

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

Ouray, Montrose, and Delta counties are also being placed under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective Monday. Dolores and San Juan counties have had restrictions in place since May 1.

Telluride Fire Protection District Chief John Bennett said while the Telluride region is not currently at as high of a risk as the western part of San Miguel County, this is a prudent measure. “Our job is to protect our people and property in our district from fires, and this is one very important step to help reduce that risk.”

May Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

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

Hello neighbors,

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

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

April 26 Agenda Topics

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

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

May 17 Agenda Topics

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

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

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

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

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