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Carbondale Report: Planning to plan ahead

Locations: News Published

While Town Hall served as a polling place, receiving in-person votes on Election Day, the Board of Town Trustees gathered for their regular meeting at the Third Street Center. Trustees Marty Silverstein and Luis Yllanes were absent, as were microphones and a virtual viewing option. Nonetheless, the atypical meeting featured another full agenda.

Among the items approved in the consent agenda, more than $21,000 was dedicated to restore a bathroom at North Face Park which was lit on fire in late August of this year. The town will receive reimbursement through insurance, but Mayor Ben Bohmfalk expressed his disappointment with vandals defacing and destroying tax-funded, public properties.

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During the public comments portion of the meeting, Lynn Kirchner briefed trustees on the Carbondale Homeless Assistance initiative. Since 2020, the town has supported its shower program with $1,500 annually, which is essentially passed back to the Parks and Recreation Department for vouchers. This will remain in next year’s budget.

Next, trustees gave updates. Lani Kitching spoke about the Wild Rivers Film Tour hosted by Wilderness Workshop in October. The board will return to the topic of Wild and Scenic designation for the Crystal River later in November, she said.

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Moving along, the board approved a series of rate hikes for waste hauling (6.2% on average, effective Dec. 1), water (7.5% increase for base fees and 5% for rates), sewer (5% increase for base fees and rates) and recreation fees and charges (5% on average). Additionally, tap fees increased by 5% since last updated in 2018, based on a long-term plan approved in 2017.

The meeting proceeded with a series of check-ins, first from YouthZone, then from the town’s Historic Preservation Commission and Public Arts Commission. The Historic Preservation Commission spoke about their new program installing plaques for owner’s of historic homes; they suggested creating a local landmark register program beginning with the Dinkel Building and Thompson House; and they floated the idea of expanding courtesy reviews (currently offered to commercial properties looking to redevelop) to include old town residential units.

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“Carbondale has a very humble history, but it’s authentic,” said chair Nick Miscione. “Ordinary structures are worth saving and have intrinsic value in our story. Nostalgia is a value, and the story we have to tell is important.”

The Public Arts Commission, “CPAC, not to be confused with the Conservative Political Action Committee,” joked chair Michael Stout, mainly spoke about the need for a budget and schedule to maintain the 25 pieces in the town’s permanent collection, plus any future additions. Stout reported that Art Around Town has remained competitive for submissions among similar programs in the country, and the sculptures are selling.

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The meeting continued with Carbondale Marketplace Subdivision, south of City Market, requesting a change to the development agreement that stipulated the futsal court, now a public amenity, be complete by the time 50 housing units are built. Briston Peterson, representing the project on behalf of MSP Development Group and Brikor Associates, stated that by December, the third building will be complete and 54 units will be ready to occupy. Rather than hold four units arbitrarily until the futsal court is built, the agreement was extended through a unanimous vote until completion of a 55th unit or July 31, 2023, whichever comes first.

The second to last item on the agenda was an early discussion for developing a request for proposals for consultant services to prepare a Multi Modal Mobility and Access Plan, as advised in the draft Comprehensive Plan Update. Representatives of the Bike Pedestrian and Trails Commission, the Carbondale Age-Friendly Community Initiative and the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority were present.

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There was consensus that the plan should focus on bike and pedestrian infrastructure, utilizing past studies to develop an actionable, capital improvement-style plan with priorities.

“Plans drive action and decisions around funding,” stated trustee Colin Laird, “not having an access or mobility plan leaves us without a way to analyze what we’re trying to do on the transportation front.”

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Finally, the meeting concluded with an overview of community grant requests. The only changes made were to zero out YouthZone’s funding, because YouthZone received $10,000 from the tobacco tax in 2022, and to reallocate those funds toward meeting the Carbondale Historical Society’s full ask for paying the utilities at the town-owned Thompson House Museum.

Otherwise, the amounts granted remained the same and can be viewed in the packet at www.carbondalegov.org

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Tags: #Carbondale Marketplace #Carbondale Report #transportation #trustees
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