All of Carbondale’s directors were present at the September 14 regular meeting with the exception of Heather Henry.
During public comments, three residents reported problems with the town’s waste hauler. Amy Krakow expressed her confusion about the overflow surcharges. Trustees said Mountain Waste was ordered to place a notice with details of what constitutes an “overflow” on containers subject to a fine. The Krakow neighbor had a similar concern.
Patricia Savoy expressed her frustration that residents cannot opt ââout of recycling without a monthly fee, given that she recycles at her workplace.
âI’m sorry Patricia,â Richardson said. “We tried to find the best policy that worked for the most people.”
Joyce Cohen joined Zoom from Beaver Creek to talk about puppy mills, asking the City to join a coalition opposing the problem. Cohen acknowledged that Carbondale does not have a store selling live animals, but urged administrators to pass a preventive order as a signal to the state.
During âadministrator comments,â Erica Sparhawk mentioned that she would be presenting climate change on a Colorado Municipal League panel with Colorado Communities for Climate Action.
Marty Silverstein thanked the Board of Directors and the business community for supporting the summer music series which ended on September 12th. The remaining funds will help support Potato Day.
Ben Bohmfalk announced that a new student advisor has been appointed and will begin attending meetings, saying, âI’m delighted to have the student perspective on the board again. Bohmfalk also attended a Garfield Clean Energy meeting and talked about the success of their recent ‘Solarize’ program which has completed over 170 residential solar installations this year.
Richardson announced that the RFTA traffic bus now has a stop next to City Market. This addition was strongly requested in the process of the compensation plan, in particular during the Spanish awareness meeting. “Those who stood up for him, know that your voice has been heard,” said Richardson.
First of three main items on the agenda, Coventure Executive Director Mike Lowe met with the directors for an annual recording. The business incubator started as GlenX in 2017 and, according to the meeting record, received a funding commitment of $ 20,000 per year for three years from the city.
Last summer, Coventure successfully helped raise capital for companies like Carbondale-based Revel Bikes, which Lowe described as a “big win”, explaining that Revel Bikes grew from a $ 2 million company. dollars to $ 8 million and doubled its staff.
Nonetheless, the services offered by Coventure, especially as a coworking space and networking facilitator, have undeniably taken a hit during COVID. The main need that Coventure is now seeking to meet is the labor shortage.
As its Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade funding commitment comes to an end, Coventure is exploring a partnership with the Colorado River Board of Cooperative Education Services for long-term financial sustainability.
According to Lowe, this trade school / career center is already gaining buy-in from local high schools and will train students in cybersecurity, digital media and more traditional trades. As an example of the potential, he explained that Coventure currently has six members of tech companies looking for employees with proficiency in the Python programming language. Internships through the trade school would put young adults directly in contact with such enterprises.
Lowe also spoke at length about Spring Born, a hydroponic lettuce farm near Silt. The company uses a 2.5-acre automated greenhouse design and recently hired 47 employees, Lowe said.
“The city’s commitment to us three years ago has been honored and I’m grateful for it,” he continued, asking administrators to extend the $ 20,000 funding commitment of the city. town for an additional year.
Asked about the impetus for continued city funding, Lowe explained that this would support their return to work initiative. âIt’s just kind of irony,â he said. âIt is now about employees. It is not about income. It’s not about customers. These are employees. And there must be a way to solve this. So we will try. “
Richardson explained that during the directors’ working session on September 21, they will review budget targets and can add this request to their list for review.
Then the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce joined in for an update. Executive Director Andrea Stewart explained that she has worked at the chamber for 13 years and is now president of the Association of Colorado Chambers of Commerce.
The Carbondale chamber recently changed office to Third Street Center, retains a modest staff of two full-time and one part-time staff, and now has memberships at pre-COVID numbers.
Stewart has requested increased funding from the City, from $ 20,000 to $ 50,000. âI think as times have changed over the last year and a half we have really proven ourselves,â she said, citing participation in the city’s emergency task force. In addition, $ 10,000 would specifically benefit the First Friday promotion, as FirstBank steps back after being the tradition’s tax sponsor for the past two years.
Asked about the synergy between the Chamber and Coventure, Andrea explained that Coventure helps businesses get started and âthen when they return the sign ‘open’ that’s where we come inâ, helping to market and promote this. business.
The request for an increase in funding will also be considered during the City’s next working session.
At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, the trustees entered into executive session “for a conference with the city attorney regarding the disputes that are the subject of pending or imminent legal action …”. The arrest of Michael Francisco at the City Market.
Chief Kirk Wilson joined the Trustees for this portion of the meeting.
In other city news, the Planning and Zoning Commission will elect a new chair and vice-chair and interview three potential members for two available seats on September 16.
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