MONTROSE – Montrose City Council approved a contract with Colorado Flights Alliance Tuesday delivering $270,000 in contributing funds to promote the region's air services to expand tourism.
It’s matches last year’s contribution to the Regional Air Service Program (a collaboration between the CFA and the city), but this year, there’s a difference: the money is broken up and assigned to specific purposes.
According to Assistant City Manager Rob Joseph, $170,000, comprised of $100,000 from the city's general fund, $35,000 from the retail enhancement fund and $35,000 from the city tourism fund, goes to promote regional air service to Montrose (and the airline-guarantee program).
The other $100,000, however, goes to promoting summer tourism. "Montrose contributions are key to the success of our program," said Colorado Flights Alliance Chief Operating Officer Matt Skinner. By growing “both summer and winter flights,” he added, “we will continue to expand on our market partnerships with Montrose and other stakeholders in the region.”
It’s the first formal contract of its kind between the city and CFA (formerly known as the Telluride-Montrose Regional Air Organization) since TMRAO’s 2004 inception.
Skinner pronounced the partnership essential for attracting travelers through regional airports.
"It helps the overall vitality of the region. We know that nearly 65 percent of destination guests to Telluride stop to shop in Montrose, and spend nearly $120 per person,” Skinner said.
Councilor Carol McDermott voiced the hope that council would be presented with hard data to see how much of an economic impact the program provides to Montrose.
Joseph expected a report to be completed sometime in late April or early May.
For more information about CFA visit: coloradoflights.org.
New Water Meters and Ballot Measures Approved
The Montrose City Council approved a $735,000 purchase of new automated municipal water meters, which are capable of electronically reporting problems to the city's Public Works Department, with National Meter and Automation Inc.
The council also approved a pair of resolutions asking voters in April to decide if the city could re-establish its right to provide telecommunications services, such as broadband and cable television services.
City Manager Bill Bell said if approved by voters, the measure would "level the playing field" and allow companies the option of investing in Montrose. "We used to have the right to do that until these corporations came in with lobbyists and got that changed," City Attorney Stephen Alcorn explained.
Alcorn said the city could receive some "pushback" from large cable companies, but said "more and more communities are doing it."
Bell said the potential through public and private partnerships would create a better competitive market, which would lower costs for consumers. He said the real issue is attracting companies who can provide higher and reliable broadband speeds for local companies to use.
The second ballot measure updates language in the city's charter dating back to 1967. Some of the new language includes changing councilman to councilor; it will also address those who are transgender.
Per state statute, councilors may now be present physically or electronically to vote on resolutions and motions before council.
Other procedural changes were made to article seven of the city's charter pertaining to courts and legal services. The revised charter is available online at the city's website.
City Council Candidates File Paperwork
Candidates for office – Mayor Judy Ann Files, for the city's at large seat; Rex Swanson, for District Two (Carol McDermott will not seek a second term) and David Romero, who seeks to retain his District One seat – submitted petitions for the upcoming election. The deadline to file petitions for write-in candidates is Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.