TELLURIDE – Seth Cagin was re-appointed to the District 1 seat on the San Miguel Library Board of Trustees at the March 6 meeting of the San Miguel Board of County Commissioners.
With Commissioner Art Goodtimes abstaining from the vote, commissioners Elaine Fischer and Joan May approved Cagin’s appointment to a four-year term on the library board.
Wednesday’s appointment comes after the commissioners extended the application deadline to allow more time for possible applicants\. Besides Cagin, the only other applicant to apply was Eileen McGinley.
“I do appreciate that Eileen wanted to participate,” May said following the appointment. “I have no regrets that we postponed the deadline.”
Facing budget cuts as a result of declining property values, the Board of Trustees’ recent unanimous decision to close Telluride’s Wilkinson Public Library on Sundays came under fire from the community. May said she believes Cagin and the board have been responsive to public concerns, something she hopes it will continue.
“This is not going away as quickly as I thought it would,” May said. “There are issues out there, and I agree to appoint Seth because the board is listening to those issues.”
Editor’s note: Seth Cagin is publisher of The Watch.
Cost-Sharing Proposal to Repair Bridal Veil Road Rejected by Commissioners
The San Miguel County Board of County Commissioners rejected a cost-sharing proposal to repair a damaged section of Bridal Veil Road.
According to county Open Space and Recreation Coordinator Linda Luther, a section of the road collapsed at the end of last summer, and the Idarado Mining Co. and the Town of Telluride have requested that San Miguel County participate in a three-way partnership to repair the road, at an estimated total cost of $50,000.
The Idarado Mining Co. has offered to contribute $34,771 in county-held Idarado Liaison Committee funds to repair the road, if San Miguel County and the Town of Telluride agree to split the remaining cost of repairs. The Idarado Liaison Committee, funded by Idarado when the Idarado Mining Remediation project launched in the 1990s, had earmarked the $34,771 as part of its settlement contributions, for community work, but the funds remain unused. The committee last met in 1998.
Now Idarado wants to use the $34,771, in the county-held account, to cover its portion of the cost of road repairs.
Commissioner Art Goodtimes quickly rejected that proposal because those funds, he said, were given to San Miguel County and they are San Miguel County funds, not Idarado funds.
“They are giving nothing,” Goodtimes said, of Idarado’s proposal. “If we give the $34,000, that would be our contribution, not theirs.”
Goodtimes said he would be willing to spend the Idarado Liaison Committee funds on the road repairs if Telluride and Idarado split the difference of the remaining costs.
Luther and other county staff members were directed to renegotiate the cost-sharing with Idarado following the discussion.
Commissioners Open to Discussion on Dog Prohibition Regulations
Following a lengthy discussion at its March 6 meeting in Telluride, the San Miguel Board of County Commissioners agreed to further discussions on the possibility of amending or removing an overall prohibition of dogs in mapped wildlife habitat areas.
Wednesday’s discussion surrounded San Miguel County’s 1041 regulations, specifically Land Use Code Section 5-407, which was adopted in 1990. In his report, county Planning Director Mike Rozycki said overall the regulations have worked to reduce adverse impacts of wildlife and wildlife habitat in unincorporated areas of the county. The biggest challenge, however, is that it’s difficult for the county to enforce the regulation and has not enforced them outside the small number of Planned Unit Developments in the county.
Perhaps the biggest enforcement tool, Rozycki said, is the county’s requirement that the developer of PUDs must include private covenants that prohibit dogs and that the PUD must enforce them as well.
The discussion comes after a survey was completed by the Aldasoro Ranch Property Owners Company that indicated a majority of its homeowners would like to own dogs. Rozycki brought several options of handling the regulations to the commissioners with his including leaving the regulations as they are, modifying the types of classes of habitats where dogs are prohibited in and removing the blanket prohibition in favor of setting out specific requirements for land use applications, such as PUDs.
The commissioners general agreed that the third option was worth exploring. If the commissioners ultimately remove the blanket prohibition it wouldn’t lift the dog bans automatically in subdivisions or PUDs like Aldasoro Ranch or Lawson Hill. Representatives from those PUDs would have to bring a specific proposal, as it pertains to their PUD agreement, to remove the dog ban individually and the would be required to provide a Wildlife Assessment to address mitigation measures and impacts.
The commissioners directed Rozycki to continue to work on a possible LUC change and no ultimate decisions were made on Wednesday.