OURAY – For the first time in many years, a local is the winner of the Ouray Chamber Resort Association’s Annual Jeep Raffle.
Don Morris now winters in Arizona, and also owns a business in Grand Junction, but OCRA Operations Director Kat Papenbrock said, he still identifies himself as a Ouray local, and has been around long enough to remember the earliest years of Ouray’s Jeep raffle, which is now in its 49th season and is the longest-running Jeep raffle in the U.S.
Over 23,000 raffle tickets were sold at about 30 participating Ouray businesses all summer long, with the winning ticket chosen at Ouray’s annual Oktoberfest celebration last Saturday night, Oct. 5.
Morris was not present when his ticket was drawn. Papenbrock said that she had to call him back three times with the good news, because he kept thinking it was a crank call.
“He’s still in disbelief,” she said. Morris will pick up his prize later this month.
This was a “phenomenal year” for the Jeep raffle, Papenbrock said. “We ended up about $10,000 ahead of last year [which netted $60,000]. It was our biggest year to date.”
Some of that money will be set aside to purchase next year’s Jeep. Another portion will be used to purchase fireworks for Ouray’s Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve celebrations. Traditionally, OCRA uses whatever is left over to fund its annual scholarships for Ouray students.
Papenbrock attributes this year’s boost in raffle ticket sales to OCRA’s stepped-up marketing budget and improved website, as well as a concerted effort “to make sure the Jeep is prominently on display at every single event,” including new events such as the Mountain Air Music Series and the Ouray County Mud Festival.
BUDGET SEASON BRINGS REQUESTS
It’s budget season once again, and representatives of two regional organizations appeared at the Ouray City Council’s meeting on Monday, Oct. 7, to provide updates and request funding allocations from the city in the coming year.
Wendy Crank provided an annual update on behalf of San Miguel and Ouray County Juvenile Diversion and Services, and Western San Juan Community Energy Board and EcoAction Partners representative Kim Wheels made a presentation on her organizations’ behalf. Additionally, Mike MacLeod presented an annual update on behalf of Ouray Ice Park, Inc.
WATER RIGHTS RE-TABULATION
City Administrator Patrick Rondinelli reported that the City of Ouray has heard from the State Water Engineer and the Attorney General’s office regarding the City’s position paper and re‐tabulation request for water calls. A meeting has been set for Monday, Oct. 21, in Glenwood Springs to discuss the matter and understand the State’s position. Ouray County as well as the Town of Ridgway will also be in attendance, “as they have taken the same position as the City regarding the water call,” Rondinelli said.
REPORTING FOR DUTY
Ouray’s new Chief of Police Justin Perry began work on Monday, Oct. 7. Perry has already met extensively with Interim Chief Gene Lillard to get up to speed on department operations over the summer. Perry’s first task will be to complete final review of applicants for a remaining open officer position in the Ouray Police Department.
Council unanimously moved to enter into a professional services agreement with Energy Systems Group for a technical energy audit (TEA) on city facilities, to be conducted over the next two months. The audit will include the City Hall/Community Center, wastewater treatment plant, city shop, visitors center and other minor city facilities.
Following the audit, ESG will make recommendations on improvements that can be made to increase energy efficiency in the facilities, and recommend funding options to achieve the efficiencies, to be paid for by realized savings from implementing improvements. Mark Holmes, a representative of ESG, appeared at Monday’s meeting to conduct a brief presentation of the benefits of the TEA.
CAVALLO’S LIQUOR LICENSE APPROVED
Council unanimously approved a liquor license for Ouray’s new Cajun and Creole restaurant, Cavallo’s, at 630 Main Street.