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Mancos Library pursuing mill levy funding

The Mancos Public Library is pursuing a mill levy in the November election to supplement its budget.

At their meeting Wednesday, July 27, town trustees heard from library board member Jacqueline Doyle about the proposal.

Doyle said the library had more than 61,000 visits in 2015 and is vital for the Mancos middle and high schools, which do not have libraries.

“We need this for the library to stay relevant for the future,” Doyle said.

The library has a debt service of $1.5 million, she said. About $83,000 already has been cut from the library’s yearly operating budget, but the library is still trying to provide the same amount of programming with that decreasing budget, Doyle said. That funding method isn’t sustainable, so the board has decided to pursue the mill levy.

If approved, the measure would cost homeowners in Mancos about $2 per month, Doyle said. For businesses, the cost would be about $9 per month, she said.

Library board members also are considering refinancing the $1.5 million debt, but cannot do so until 2017, she said.

To continue with the same number of staff members and consistent programming, the library needs extra revenue from a mill levy, Doyle said.

“The library is an important part of our community,” she said.

Noxious weeds in town

Trustees authorized parks manager Terry Jennings to work with Premier Weed Management and Consulting to spray for noxious weeds in Cottonwood and Boyle parks. Applications of spray likely will take place in mid-September and again in spring of 2017.

Foxtail and cheatgrass weeds got out of hand at Cottonwood Park, and those weeds can be harmful for dogs. Since the park is a designated off-leash dog area, trustees agreed at a meeting June 8 that breaking the town’s organic parks management plan to spray chemical herbicides to mitigate the weeds was necessary.

After that meeting, town staff maintained the weeds by regularly mowing at the park, because it was too late in the season to effectively spray herbicide.

The town still wants to stick to the organic management plan whenever possible, said town administrator Andrea Phillips. The chemical sprays should bring the weeds under control to the point where the parks department can manage them with organic methods moving forward, she said.

Other trustee business

Representatives from SGM Engineering of Durango completed a full asset inventory and capital planning project for the Town of Mancos, looking at infrastructure and other town administration items.

The study was funded by a $73,000 grant from the Department of Local Affairs. Andrew Rapiejko of SGM said he was impressed by the town’s infrastructure, which is in good shape. He recommended the town formulate a long-term streets plan and consider developing a stormwater filtration system in the future.

Marshal Jason Spruell swore in the newest Mancos Marshal’s deputy, Shawnee Watenpaugh, at the meeting.

Also at the meeting, trustees approved a renewal restaurant liquor license for Chavolo’s Mexican Restaurant, 121 E. Railroad Ave.

Trustees also authorized a lease with Ballantine Developments LLC to create a pocket park at 129 W. Grand Ave., which is the vacant lot just west of the Mancos Common Press building. The lease is $1 per year, and the Mancos Creative District will maintain and improve the park at the lot, Phillips said.