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Mancos Mayor Pro Tem Baskin resigns

Board considers FoodShare’s proposal

Mayor Pro Tem Matthew Baskin has resigned from the Mancos Board of Trustees.

Board members accepted his resignation at Wednesday’s board meeting.

Mancos Town Administrator Andrea Phillips said Baskin resigned because he is occupied with other responsibilities, including his education as he pursues a master’s degree. He also holds a full-time job as long-term care ombudsman.

Mayor Ellen “Queenie” Barz said she was sad that Baskin could not continue serving on the board.

“We will miss him,” Barz said. “I was looking forward to working with him.”

Baskin was elected to a two-year term in April. His replacement will serve the remainder of that term. Phillips said the board will have 60 days to fill the position on the board, and town officials are looking for anyone who is interested in serving.

Also Wednesday, the board heard from Mancos FoodShare representatives Gretchen Groenke and Betsy Harrison. The group seeks to address hunger and food shortages in the Mancos Valley by distributing food and commodities, she said. The FoodShare recently has had trouble finding a reliable space in which to operate, she said.

Groenke proposed that the FoodShare occupy the Mancos Community Center in a year-long lease. The FoodShare would pay $450 per month to the town to use the space.

“Using the community center would grow our operation,” Groenke said. “We would be able to do great things. ... The more stability we have, the better our operation can be. If we move around locations people won’t trust our resources.”

The community center currently has only one recurring event — a weekly karate class, Phillips said. Occasional meetings and other special events take place in the community center from time to time, she said.

Board members expressed concerns about how the FoodShare’s occupation would limit other entities wishing to use the space. Groenke said food and commodities, which need to be locked up, could be moved out of the way into closets in the community center and secured when other events occur.

Barz pointed out that the Community Center was created in part by a grant from the Department of Local Affairs, and she said the board should make sure that the language of the grant agreement would not prohibit renting the space to a single entity. Trustee Fred Brooks asked about liability insurance, but Harrison said the FoodShare is part of Mancos Valley Resources, which already holds insurance.

Board members said they would need more information on those topics and did not take a vote on the issue. Brooks said it would be good for the town to work with the Mancos FoodShare. Trustee Michele Black agreed.

“This is definitely something that is needed,” Black said. “It would be a benefit for the town.”

Board members also heard from Chris Majors of Cortez-based accounting firm Majors and Haley, which performed a 2015 financial audit for the town.

Majors said Clerk-Treasurer Heather Alvarez is doing a great job and the audit did not reveal any problems or red flags. He said the town’s fund balances are healthy and the town is in good shape.

The board also on Tuesday appointed Perry Lewis to the town Planning and Zoning commission. Lewis fills a vacancy on the board and will serve until April 2017.