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Cortez council endorses Phil’s World expansion, brewery

City will pledge $5,000 for new bike trails
WildEdge Brewing Collective soon will move in to the space at 111 N. Market St. in Cortez, becoming the city’s newest craft brewery.

At their meeting Tuesday, Cortez City Council members unanimously approved a liquor license for Cortez’s third craft brewery.

WildEdge Brewing Collective is scheduled to open next year at 111 N. Market St., and will serve craft beers, local wines and a seasonally rotating food menu, co-owner Tucker Robinson said.

“We’re looking to create a really good community space for Cortez,” he told council members.

The collective will brew beers on a five-barrel system, and will aim to produce about 250 barrels per year, Robinson said. The brewpub will sell house-made beers and selections from other local and regional breweries and wineries, he said.

Some 30 people were in attendance at the meeting to support the brewery, and several spoke in favor of granting the liquor license during the public hearing.

After a previous meeting about WildEdge, there was some concern from city officials that the location would be too close to Children’s Kiva Montessori school, which is at 25 N. Beech St. A liquor establishment must be at least 500 feet away from a school.

According to city documents, two measurements — one 503 feet and one 505 feet — were taken of the walking distance between the school’s property line and the front door of the WildEdge location. Two measurements were taken of the distance between the property line of the school and the property line of 111 N. Market St., and those measurements were 502 feet and 498 feet.

Also at the meeting, council members voted to authorize Mayor Karen Sheek to sign a letter to Colorado Parks and Wildlife in favor of a trail construction grant for the 27-mile trail expansion at Phil’s World. Councilors also voted to pledge $5,000 toward a cash match for the project if the grant is awarded.

The Southwest Colorado Cycling Association is pursuing the grant, which would be awarded in fall 2017. The expansion is pending final environmental assessment by the Bureau of Land Management, which must be completed by the grant’s Sept. 30 deadline. In addition to more trail miles, the expansion would add a trailhead and two parking lots for riders.

City Manager Shane Hale said the expansion would boost economic development in Cortez because people would travel to the city and stay overnight to ride at Phil’s World.

“This has long-term benefits for the city,” he said.

Sheek said Phil’s World was started by volunteers and has become an asset for the community.

Other council actions

Also at the meeting, council members voted to surrender the Cortez Airport’s Part 139 certificate on Oct. 1. Airports that serve scheduled commercial flights involving planes with more than nine seats must maintain the part 139 certification per Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

Boutique Air, the new airline that will serve Cortez starting next month, uses Pilatus PC-12 planes with eight or nine seats, and has no plans to upgrade its fleet of aircraft, so there no longer is a need for the Cortez Airport to maintain the certification, Airport Manager Russ Machen said Tuesday.

There are costs to maintain the certificate, including more frequent equipment upgrades and staffing costs, so the airport will save money by surrendering the certificate, Machen said. There will not be a decrease in the maintenance or care of the airport as a result of losing the certification, he said.

The council approved an amendment to the site plan for the Montezuma County Detention Center and Sheriff’s Office to include horse stables. The sheriff’s office plans to place portable stable units on the west side of the jail building to provide for a forthcoming Mounted Patrol Unit. The stables will provide a location for two horses in 2017 and two additional horses in 2018.

Also Tuesday, the council approved a $127,000 bid to Daniel’s Concrete for the 2016 concrete cost-share project. The project includes the installation of 12 accessibility ramps, 1,170 square feet of gutter pan, 1,760 square feet of new sidewalk panels and 1,512 square feet of replacement sidewalk panels.

Council members also approved a $56,559 change order for City Hall construction costs, bringing the total for the project to $2,595,847.

The council voted on first reading Tuesday to repeal two sections of the city code that prohibited loitering in public and nighttime juvenile loitering. A public hearing on the repeals will be held Sept. 27.

The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to Sheek saying that those sections of the code were unconstitutional and legally indefensible. City attorney Mike Green recommended the council repeal the ordinances, adding that they have not been enforced for more than 25 years.

The council also voted on first reading to revise the portion of the code prohibiting disturbing the peace to include public indecency and exposure. Green said the revision would make cases easier to charge and prosecute. A public hearing on the revision will take place Sept. 27.

The council approved the following items under the consent agenda:

A renewal liquor license for Teebox Liquors, 2410 Fairway DriveA renewal hotel and restaurant liquor license for Loungin’ Lizard, 2 W. Main St.A special event permit for an October 13 Cortez Area Chamber of Commerce event at Moose and More, 12 E. Main St.A special event permit for the Southwest Memorial Hospital Foundation to host an event on Oct. 9 at Parque de Vida.

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