New Parking Meters, Already? … A New System for Electing a Mayor…
by Thomas Wirth
Aug 29, 2011 | 1962 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It’s time to replace Telluride’s aging parking meters. Telluride was one of the first communities in the country to install solar, autonomous meters in 1999, but new technology has left the town behind the times. The cost of repair and maintenance to the current meters, lost revenue from broken meters, technological improvements in new meters, and improved user experience are all reasons that the time is ripe to upgrade, Telluride town staff told council on Tuesday.

The new meters would have larger coin boxes and would accept credit cards, and would require less staff time and generate more revenue. The meters would also have wireless communication that would inform staff when meters needed to be emptied or maintained, and would provide more precise usage information that could help in setting future pricing.

Meter revenues pay the majority of the debt on the Carhenge parking lot. That debt is scheduled to be retired in 2015. The new meters could be paid off as soon as 2016, leaving meter revenue, averaging $102,000 a year over the last 13 years, entirely unencumbered.

Preparing for Instant Runoff Voting

As a result of a ballot measure adopted by voters in 2008, Telluride will use Instant Runoff Voting in this year’s mayoral election. Town Clerk MJ Schillaci and retired County Clerk Peggy Nerlin described the new system to the Telluride Town Council on Tuesday. While the system can be complicated for vote counters, the hope is that it will be fairly simple for the voter.

The IRV system is only used in the event of a race between three or more mayoral candidates. If that occurs, voters will be asked to vote for their second choice, a vote that will be counted only if a clear majority, at this point defined as 50% of the voters + 1 vote, is not achieved in the first round of voting.

The largest question for council concerned the acceptance of provisional ballots, which can take up to a week to verify. After lengthy discussion, Council decided to continue to accept provisional ballots, even though Mayoral election results may be delayed.

New Affordable Housing Units

The Telluride Town Council on Tuesday agreed to proceed with the process of purchasing deed-restrictions for eight free-market condominium units, known as the White House Condos, at a cost of $400,000.

Staff reported that recent deed-restricted housing projects built by the town had carried about a $60,000 - $70,000 subsidy, not including land costs. The $50,000 subsidy per unit on the White House Condos would allow the purchase price to be lower than previous town offerings, with units to be sold by lotter. If the units don’t sell, they will become part of the town’s deed-restricted rental pool.

Bikes on the Spur

Bicycles will be permitted to ride on the Hwy. 145 Spur from Society Turn to town, and will not be restricted to the bike path, following a unanimous vote by the Telluride Town Council on Tuesday.

The reversal in policy was in response to a request from road cyclists who found the bike path too crowded and damaging to expensive road bikes. Council asked that mountain bikers and those unaccustomed to road riding, especially children, continue to use the bike path.
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