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Cortez council tables vote on streetlights a second time

Pair of property owners request delay
The Cortez City Council chambers.

On Tuesday, the Cortez City Council tabled a vote on a streetlight installation for the second time at the request of two property owners.

The installation of two streetlights on North Edith Street first came before the council on Nov. 14, when public works director Phil Johnson asked for it to be tabled because he wasn’t sure all the residents in the area had been given a chance to offer feedback on the idea.

On Tuesday, several of those residents spoke up in favor of the streetlights, saying they believed they would make their street safer, but Dave and Lana Waters, who own property on the street, said they hadn’t been notified about the proposal.

At their request, the council tabled the issue and agree to vote on it during the next meeting, on Jan. 23.

According to Johnson’s presentation, the streetlights would go on city property at the Melrose and Acoma Street intersections.

He said his department delivered surveys on the proposed lights to the doors of 22 houses on the street and received 10 back, the majority of which were positive.

Several Edith Street residents said they’ve had problems with car thefts, burglaries and crashes at night because of how dark their block is.

“We do need some lights there,” resident Jeff Bran said. “It’s dangerous.”

Dave Waters said his family owns several vacant lots in the area, although they don’t live there. He said he wasn’t against the idea of more streetlights, but asked for more time to examine the city’s plan and see if the installation would affect his ability to develop the property.

The Waterses agreed to meet with Johnson within the next week to learn more about the project.

Mayor Karen Sheek said she thought the council should vote on the lights as soon as possible, since so many Edith Street residents considered it a safety issue.

Council members voted unanimously to vote on the issue at their next meeting. Bob Archibeque was absent, and Orly Lucero recused himself from voting.

Other action

During Tuesday’s meeting, the City Council also:

Approved a rezoning of the property on 1002 E. Empire St. from residential to neighborhood business use, in order to allow the owners to start a coffee shop and farmers market there.Approved a joint chemical bid with Dolores, Mancos and the Montezuma Water Co., agreeing to pay $168,884.40 out of the total cost of water and sewer treatment chemicals.Scheduled a public hearing on a new retail marijuana store for Feb. 13. The store, which is doing business as Chronic Therapy, would be located in the building that currently houses Lotsa Pasta on 1020 S. Broadway.Voted to renew a three-year contract with Rudosky Golf LLC, which provides maintenance and other services at the Conquistador Golf Course.Voted to raise city manager Shane Hale’s salary from $106,304 per year to $110,025 per year.

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