Mountain Village celebrates safe communities with National Night Out Aug. 6, 2019, at Village Court Apartments

National Night Out Blog

Words by Kathrine Warren / Community, Event

Bringing together community members and emergency responders, the Mountain Village Police Department and Village Court Apartments are hosting the eighth annual National Night Out Tuesday, August 6 from 5 to 8 p.m.

The entire community is invited to join their neighbors, police and fire department teams at the Village Court Apartments (415 Mountain Village Blvd.) for a free barbeque (hamburgers and hot dogs), ice cream social, dunk tank, bouncy castle and tours of police cars, fire trucks and an ambulance.

“Village Court Apartments (VCA) is excited to host National Night Out to honor the police, firefighters, EMS and forestry,” said VCA Property Manager Cecilia Curry. “We hope to see everyone for a night of fun.”

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 partnerships.

Mountain Village Chief of Police Chris Broady said, “This is a night for the Town of Mountain Village and our neighboring communities to stand together to promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity. National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement in our quest for a safer community.”

National Night Out is one of many ways local police and fire departments become acquainted with our community in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

For more event information, contact the Mountain Village Police Department at 970.728.9281.

Mountain Village and CSU Extension Office presents Mountain Gardening 101: Tips for Success at High Elevation

Words by Kathrine Warren / Community, Event

The Town of Mountain Village and San Miguel Basin Colorado State University (CSU) Extension office are partnering to present “Mountain Gardening 101: Tips for Success at High Elevation” on Saturday, July 27, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Michael Ruterbories Memorial Community Garden located at Village Court Apartments at 415 Mountain Village Blvd.

Learn the basics of what you need to get started gardening in the mountains. Representatives from CSU’s Extension Office Yvette Henson, Paula Marlatt and Ellen Bradley will be on hand to answer questions about what grows best at our high elevation. Henson is the extension office’s director, Marlatt is an experienced farmer and gardener and Bradley is an area landscaper and extension office volunteer.

“We are pleased to offer the expertise of our CSU Extension Office to help our growers become educated and successful with their growing efforts,” said Mountain Village Planning and Development Services Director Michelle Haynes.

Come with all of your gardening questions for these expert gardeners, who will also be available for mini-consultations on garden plots. Keep in mind, this class is open to anyone interested in high altitude mountain gardening.

Additionally, there are still 12 addition plots available in the community garden to Mountain Village residents or businesses. The garden includes 31 raised, wooden garden beds available in two sizes – eight feet by twelve feet ($25) and eight feet by eight feet ($20) – and located next to Village Court Apartments.

“Although we have a short growing season, it is important to the Town of Mountain Village to provide a place where residents can grow plants, if they cannot otherwise on their property, or if they otherwise have spatial constraints,” Haynes added. “The community garden is also a way our community members can come together.”

To learn more and sign up for a community garden plot, please visit

“The community garden supports our overall environmental incentives and community ethos.  If community members have an opportunity to grow vegetables and herbs, then it supports reducing our overall carbon emissions and creates a more resilient community,” stated Zoe Dohnal Community Engagement Coordinator.

Market on the Plaza – recipe of the week – 7/24/2019

Words by Zoe Dohnal / Community


Yogurt Dill Sauce


Total Time:

5 minutes



  • 1 cup full fat plain yogurt (dairy free if needed)
  • ¼ cup fresh, chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons green onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper



  1. Whisk together yogurt, dill, chives, and mustard.
  2. Taste and season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Immediately serve or let rest in the fridge for one hour before serving (recommended).

**Last in fridge for one week.

Town Council elects Laila Benitez as mayor, Dan Caton as mayor pro tem; newly elected members Peter Duprey and Marti Prohaska sworn in

2019 Swearing In

Words by Kathrine Warren / Election, Government

Newly elected council members Peter Duprey and Martinique Davis Prohaska and re-elected council members Laila Benitez and Dan Caton were officially sworn in as members of the Mountain Village Town Council on Thursday, July 18, 2019.

Each new member stood before the community and repeated the oath, promising to faithfully carry out the responsibilities of the office. The council members will serve four-year terms and will join current council members Patrick Berry, Jack Gilbride and Natalie Binder on Mountain Village’s Town Council.

Following the Swearing-In Ceremony was the election of the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem positions. The Town of Mountain Village Home Rule Charter dictates the positions to be elected amongst the Council Members by a majority vote at its first organizational meeting held after the election. According to the Charter, the new Mayor presides at Council meetings and is recognized as the head of the Town government for all ceremonial, dignitary and legal purposes. In the absence or of the Mayor, the Mayor Pro Tem presides at Council meetings and takes over the powers and duties of the Mayor.

By unanimous vote, Laila Benitez was re-elected Mayor of Mountain Village and Dan Caton was re-elected Mayor Pro Tem. Benitez has been on the Council since June 2015 and has served as Mayor since July of 2017. She currently serves on the San Miguel Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART), the Telluride Medical Center Board of Directors and is a member of the Mountain Village Transportation & Parking Committee, Business Development Advisory Committee and Community Grants Committee.

Caton has been on the Council since June 2015 and most recently served on the Budget & Finance Committee, the Gondola Committee, the Business Development Advisory Committee and served as secretary/treasurer of the SMART Board over the past two years. On Thursday’s meeting was reappointed to serve on the Gondola Committee, Business Development Advisory Committee and SMART.

“Congratulations to Mayor Laila Benitez and the Mayor Pro Tem, Dan Caton. We are looking forward to working with the new and returning Council and appreciate the opportunity to continue serving the Mountain Village community,” said Mountain Village Town Manager Kim Montgomery.

In Mountain Village, the mayor serves a two-year term with the council’s approval. The mayor has several responsibilities, including overseeing the town’s finances and budget, enforcing town contracts and many other responsibilities with the town government.

For more information, please contact Town Clerk Jackie Kennefick at [email protected].


July Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

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

June 13 Meeting Highlights:

If you would like more specifics about any of these topics, you can watch a video of last month’s meeting on the town’s website. June’s meeting minutes will be posted online after they are approved at tomorrow’s meeting.

July 18 Agenda Topics:

  • First, the Town of Mountain Village will swear into office our four newly elected Town Council members: Dan Caton, Peter Duprey, Marti Prohaska, and me. Town Council will then vote to elect a Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem to serve the next two-year term. With the new team in place, Council will work together to assign roles for the various boards and commissions on which we serve.
  • Town Council will make three appointments to the Telluride Regional Airport Authority (TRAA): one resident to replace and serve the remainder of Jon Dwight’s recently vacated term and one regular seat and one alternate seat, each for four-year terms. On behalf of Town Council, I would like to sincerely thank Jon Dwight for his significant service on behalf of our community to this key regional organization.
  • The Green Team will present their quarterly report and offer for consideration the adoption of an initiative calling for a voluntary single-use plastics reduction (i.e. plastic straws, cutlery, to-go containers) for all grocers, lodgers, restaurants, and merchants. It is currently not legal to ban plastic products in the State of Colorado; however, the Green Team is proposing an effective and legal alternative to a mandatory ban that can still help us to reduce our use of single-use plastic products and replace these products with reusable and compostable alternatives. Additionally, the Green Team is working to identify options and locations to make composting locally a reality.
  • Council will hear and vote on the first reading of an ordinance considering a density transfer, rezone, and height variance for the 49-unit expansion of the Village Court Apartments. Preliminary plans call for breaking ground on the affordable housing project later this year with funding through a revenue loan, paid for by the collected VCA rents and dedicated funding from the Mountain Village Affordable Housing Fund.
  • On the tech front, we will consider for approval a number of items related to the upcoming 1G fiber construction project, which will allow us to provide high-speed internet services to every home and business in Mountain Village. Engineering, design, and initial construction has begun; the first phase of the project is estimated to be completed by the first quarter of 2020.
  • Town Council will hold a conceptual work session to discuss the proposed La Montagne, historically referred to as the Rosewood, Planned Use Development (PUD) rescission, density transfer, and rezone on Lots 126R and 152R and preliminary design review for the proposed Lot 152R development. The PUD rescission and revocation are a request to remove the existing site-specific development plan from the properties. The design, density, and zoning of the properties will be discussed but no application or approvals are being considered at this time. Historical information about these lots and the now-expired PUD are available for review here.
  • We will consider a pilot project to add a phosphate blend to our drinking water system in order to help reduce copper levels at the Telluride Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (TRWWTP). Mildly corrosive water and copper-containing infrastructure in both the Mountain Village and the Town of Telluride influent flows are thought to be substantial contributors to the copper levels at the TRWWTP.
  • Lastly, Alta Planning + Design will present a draft of the Trails’ Master Plan. This plan has been an ongoing project since last spring to update, refine, and expand upon the open space and recreation vision of the 2011 Comprehensive Plan. Alta Planning + Design conducted a series of stakeholder meetings, public events, online surveys, and a thorough review of the entire Mountain Village trail system. They will be presenting an analysis of our current transportation and recreation trail system and an assessment of trail conditions, user conflicts, an analysis of trail connectivity, opportunities to expand the network by identifying specific trail segments, and estimated costs for trail construction and maintenance.

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

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

Market on the Plaza – recipe of the week – 7/17/2019

Words by Zoe Dohnal / Community


Lemon Garlic Bok Choy


Total Time:

10 minutes



  • 1 head baby bok choy
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt
  • Half of a lemon, cut into wedges



  1. Remove any discolored outer stalks of the bok choy and discard them (or save for stock later). Place the bok choy into a colander and rinse with cool water, rubbing any grit or dirt from between the leaves. Trim the ends then slice each bok choy in half lengthwise. Or if they are large, cut into quarters. Pat dry.
  2. Add the oil, garlic and red pepper flakes to a wide room-temperature skillet. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oil begins to bubble around the garlic, but before the garlic starts to turn light brown.
  3. Toss in the bok choy and spread into one layer. Sprinkle with about 1/4 teaspoon of salt then cook, without stirring, until the bottom is starting to turn brown, about 2 minutes.
  4. Flip then cook another 2 minutes or until the green leaves have wilted and the white bottoms are beginning to soften, but still have some crunch.
  5. Transfer to a platter then squeeze 2 lemon wedges on top. A teaspoon or so of olive oil is nice, too. Serve with more lemon wedges on the side.

Mountain Village incentivizing composting units throughout the community


Words by Kathrine Warren / Environment

As part of its goal to be zero waste by 2025, the Town of Mountain Village is offering homeowners associations, hotels and multi-unit facilities rebates of up to $5,000 toward the cost of purchasing and installing an on-site composting unit. 

“Approximately 30 percent of our region’s waste is compostable material,” said Town of Mountain Village Community Engagement & Business Development Coordinator Zoe Dohnal. “We recognize there is room for improvement and we hope to encourage Mountain Village residents to start composting with this incentive.”

A portion of the $5,000 rebate can be used for equipment to mix compost, a scale to weight composted material or signage/educational material. 

“Our goal is to make the process simple and mitigate costs for residents,” Dohnal said. “Composting is vital to reducing landfill waste where it simply takes up space and releases methane, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.”

All composting units must submit the appropriate design review applications to the Town of Mountain Village’s Planning and Development Services Department for staff review to ensure town building and design codes are met.

In order to install a composting system on an existed structure, a licensed contractor will need to obtain a building permit through the town’s building department. In some cases, an associated electrical permit will also be required. The composting structure must also be bear-proof and approved by the town’s planning department. 

Once work is approved and completed, a composting rebate incentive program application may be submitted to Dohnal along with the project’s building permit, copies of all receipts for the purchase of the unit, HOA consent allowing the installation of the unit and photos of a completed composting setup, and eligible applicants can receive up to $5,000 of the cost of the system. 

In turn, the participating properties can then use their composted materials on landscaping and gardens, or provide to the town for landscaping public facilities throughout Mountain Village. 

“Diverting compostable waste simultaneously reduces greenhouse gas emissions while also producing a reusable asset that offsets soil depletion,” said Town Council Member Patrick Berry, who also sits on the town’s Green Team. “The Mountain Village composting incentive is an important first step toward building a culture that supports this effort.” 

For more information please contact Dohnal or please visit our website.

Telluride Art + Architecture takes place July 15-21

art and architecture

Words by Kathrine Warren / Event

The Telluride Art + Architecture Weekend is the ultimate art + design experience, set in Telluride and Mountain Village, CO. A week of free events that celebrate art, food, architecture, and design culminates in the ticketed main event, a spectacular home tour on Saturday and Sunday, July 20 and 21. 

This year, the event continues to feature local and visiting artists, designers, and architects, in both Telluride and Mountain Village. Homes on the tour provide plenty of inspiration from historic, contemporary, and alternative venues, each featuring exquisite views and elegant touches throughout.

The week kicks off on Monday, July 15 with an Artist Mixer + Marketplace Launch Party at the Telluride Distillery Co. Tasting Room in Mountain Village from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, July 19, Telluride Arts’ signature Twenty(by)Telluride event, which provides insight into what drives artists’ creativity through fun, fast-paced slide presentations, will be held at the Sheridan Old Bar from 7 to 9 p.m.

Wednesday, July 17, featured artist Meredith Nemirov will give an informative talk at Telluride Arts Headquarters at 5 p.m..

Also on Wednesday, Stacy Passmore will lead a community installation at the Transfer Warehouse — stay tuned for other pop-up installation sites by Stacy. Stacy is a visiting landscape designer based in Denver. She is committed to public projects that incorporate community engagement and environmental resilience. She will install a constellation of temporary landscape furniture pieces throughout Telluride and Mountain Village until Sunday, July 21.  

Also in the Transfer Warehouse from Wednesday, July 17 – Sunday, July 21 are visiting architects and entrepreneurs, Natalie Spencer-Clair and Brian MacKay-Lyons. Together, they present a life-size hut rendering and evening light projection to explore their latest venture: the intersection of essential, rugged, and elegant though tensile structure and rammed earth technique. Their mockup introduces a series of alpine and desert huts, part of a North American Haute Route, where ancient building craft and modern technology align to create pure alchemy. 

On Thursday, July 18, Patrons are invited to join us for a special evening at a stunning private home in Telluride. 

On Friday, guest artist Lindee Zimmer, from Denver, will collaborate with local artist Danielle DeRoberts of Telluride to begin a live installation in Elks Park in Telluride that will continue throughout the weekend, completion on Sunday. Lindee Zimmer is a public muralist, artist, painter, curator, collaborator and teacher. Tune-in to KOTO Radio on Friday, July 19 at noon to listen to Stacy Passmore as she moderates a panel discussion LIVE. At 330 pm on Friday, join us in partnership with Mountain Living at the Telluride Transfer Warehouse for an Industry Meet + Greet to network with peers and weekend participants over drinks and light bites. There will be a presentation on “how to get published” by Mountain Living’s own Publisher, Holly Scott. 

Be sure to catch the weekend events outside of The Tour! On Saturday, July 20, head to the Telluride Transfer Warehouse to join The Pinhead Institute for their annual, Science of Cocktails. Throughout the weekend, pop over to Ghost Town’s Patio to meet local artist, Brandon Berkel, and enjoy his Tell-I-Write telegram booth.  Come meet collaborating team, Lindee Zimmer and Danielle DeRoberts in Gallery 81435 Sunday morning at 10 a.m. over coffee and pastries. They will lead a discussion on their work. 

The penultimate highlight of the weekend is the self-guided tour spanning five different stops per day, ten total, with transportation between homes provided by Telluride Express. On Saturday, the tour takes place in historic Telluride, and on Sunday in Mountain Village.  The tour features new and historic homes, and one specially curated alternative stop each day. The alternative venue on Saturday will be at The Boarding House, featuring visiting Architect, Jim Kehoe of Charles Cunniffee Architects (CCA) and Amy Levek & Katherine Borsecnik of the Trust for Community Housing (TCH). The alternative venue on Sunday will be in the Village Center, featuring CampV.

Each venue will feature site tours with architects and designers, tastings by local chefs with wine and cocktail pairings, and rooms featuring the works of deeply talented local artists, dancers, and musicians. For more details on each stop and the creative teams involved, please visit their website and follow the event on Instagram and Facebook.

Tickets for the weekend home tours include a required wristband, bag, wine glass, and the tour guidebook, and are available for purchase online. They can be picked up beginning on Monday, July 15 between 12pm-6pm at Telluride Arts’ Headquarters.

The full event schedule and tickets for the weekend are available online at 

Mountain Village offers property owners deep savings when installing solar panels

Solar Energy Rebate Program

Words by Kathrine Warren / Community, Environment

The Town of Mountain Village is encouraging Mountain Village residents and businesses owners to harness the power of the sun and take advantage of significant savings when they install solar panels on their homes or businesses in Mountain Village.

As part of its robust incentive program, Mountain Village is offering a 40 cent per watt rebate when property owners install solar panels on their homes. There is a $2,000 maximum rebate per meter for residents (5,000 watts maximum) and $4,000 maximum rebate per meter for business owners (10,000 watts maximum).

The average home will install a 4,000-watt system which equates to a $1,600 rebate from the Town of Mountain Village.

Mountain Village Building Official Drew Harrington points out that property owners can benefit twice on their energy savings if they install solar on any project to offset exterior energy use, like a snowmelted driveway.

“For example, if you install a 2,000-watt solar photovoltaic system on your home, then there would be no renewable energy mitigation program fee paid to the town for installation of a 2,000 square foot snow melted driveway,” Harrington said. “One thousand square feet is exempt, and the two-kilowatt system would entirely offset the $7,700 fee for the additional 1,000 square foot driveway typically paid to the town. That is an additional $7,777 savings under this scenario,” Harrington continued. So in addition to the rebates, you can also save on the renewable energy mitigation fee payment associated with exterior energy use.

In Mountain Village, outdoor energy use like snowmelts, hot tubs or pools with new construction projects or building permits are charged a fee for their use to offset energy and carbon consumption. The fee goes into a restricted fund that the town uses for renewable energy projects.

Owners can also combine this with San Miguel Power Association’s solar rebate of $.25 per watt and the Solar Investment Tax Credit which allows property owners to deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. This applies to both residential and commercial systems and there is no cap on its value.

“One of the most important factors in preserving the beauty of our corner of the world is reducing the use of fossil fuels,” said Mountain Village Mayor Pro Tem Dan Caton. “This program makes that economical as well! Depending on your situation, the combination of these rebates and incentives can move us past the tipping point and make it possible to help ourselves while we help others.”

For more information please contact Drew Harrington or please visit our website at

Seeking two regular and one alternate board seats for Telluride Regional Airport Authority

Airport Board

Words by Kathrine Warren / Community

The Town of Mountain Village is currently seeking candidates for two regular board seats and one alternate board seat representing Mountain Village on the Telluride Regional Airport Authority board.

This opportunity is open to registered Mountain Village voters and this volunteer board meets the third Thursday of each month.

Those interested may submit a letter of intent and brief bio by 5 p.m. on July 10 to [email protected]

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