During trustee comments, at the regular meeting on Oct. 26, Ben Bohmfalk encouraged everyone to vote, announcing it is now too late to mail a ballot. There is a ballot drop-box located at Town Hall. Bohmfalk also reminded the public of the upcoming comprehensive plan update meeting, presenting the draft plan online via Zoom on Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. (for registration, visit https://carbondalekaleidoscope.org).
Luis Yllanes drew attention to Wine Time closing, suspecting staffing issues. Lani Kitching attended a Coventure meeting, reporting that their “back to work” initiative is underway. Marty Silverstein chimed in that a former Carbondale City Market manager informed him that stores from Aspen to Glenwood have dozens of openings each. “This is a problem that only keeps getting worse.”
Shifting demographics suggest, Mayor Dan Richardson said, it’s an issue that “won’t go away soon.”
As the Town’s representative to Roaring Fork Transportation Association meetings, Richardson reported that bus fares are getting cheaper.
Circling back to MANAUS’ invitation for the Town to participate in an anti-racism training (as reported in the Oct. 14 issue of The Sopris Sun), no action was taken. Bohmfalk suggested that with staffing challenges and bringing on a new town manager, a year from now may be better timing.
Three applications were presented to trustees for the appointment of planning and zoning commissioners. Following recommendations by the planning department, Kade Gianinetti and Elizabeth Cammack were selected to serve as alternates.
Applicant Anne Krimmer was encouraged to look at other boards, “each with their own flavor,” or to keep an eye on the planning commission for future vacancies.
At the request of Carbondale Arts, the stage rental fee and damage deposit were waived for Día de los Muertos festivities on Fourth Street on Nov. 5.
Next up, Police Chief Kirk Wilson gave an update, reflecting on staffing issues (the police department is currently more than 30 percent understaffed) and the recent Citizens Academy which had an average of 12 students per session. Based on feedback, the program will adopt a new name that does not implicitly exclude non-citizens. The department has not yet held the academy in Spanish and looks to organize that for the near future.
Wilson reviewed recommendations by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, identifying items that the Town’s department falls short of meeting, like conducting regular surveys to measure the public’s trust and forming an advisory committee to the police chief.
Bohmfalk called it admirable that Chief Wilson is seeking to make the Town’s department a model for the country, even amidst the present staffing challenges.
Moving along, trustees took another step toward ballot initiative for the construction of a new town pool, the costs of which are estimated to range from $7-8 million. Hilltop Securities will provide professional advice for financing, bonding and underwriting for $10,000.
Ballot language would have to be approved by the first meeting in January 2022 to appear on the April ballot. Otherwise, the data collected by Hilltop Securities should remain reliable for the November ballot, according to interim town manager Kevin Schorzman. If the ballot item passes, then the fee for getting underwriters and legal counsel for selling the bond is an additional $25,000.
Before the meeting’s conclusion, the municipal code was updated at the request of the Parks and Recreation Commission to increase the number of members that comprise that commission from eight to nine, with seven voting members and two alternates including one youth representation for a one-year term. The secretary position was also eliminated.
The public works capital improvement plan was reviewed. The extension of Industry Place to Eighth street and development of a second roundabout on Highway 133 are being considered for 2023 at an estimated cost of $2.5 million.
The public portion of the meeting concluded with trustees moving into executive session, not a part of the original agenda.