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Mancos officials discuss town survey, 2017 goals

People gather for a parade in downtown Mancos in 2015. The Mancos Valley Chamber and town board members discussed downtown beautification at a meeting March 1.

Mancos trustees and chamber of commerce board members discussed results of a town survey and laid out goals for the year at a joint workshop session on March 1.

Mancos Valley Chamber of Commerce Administrator Marie Chiarizia said the chamber sent out a survey to residents of the 81328 ZIP code, which includes the town of Mancos and surrounding valley. They received 140 responses to the survey.

“We wanted to see what people are thinking about Mancos,” Chiarizia said.

Just over half of survey respondents said they had lived in Mancos for more than 10 years, with nearly a third saying they have lived there for more than 20 years. About 15 percent said they had lived in town for less than a year, and the remaining third of survey respondents said they lived in town for 2-10 years.

When asked what brought them to Mancos, most survey respondents said quality of life, proximity to Durango and a job. Other responses included relatives, proximity to Cortez, opening a business and outdoor activities.

Most people said they wished to see better roads in town, including paving or fixing potholes. People also said they would like to see more shopping in the form of small, local businesses, but no chains.

Survey respondents said they would like to see the chamber be supportive for businesses and make it easier for them to be successful in Mancos. They also said they would like to see the chamber encourage more new small businesses and provide more publicity for existing businesses.

Board members brainstormed things that are going well in Mancos and things that could be improved. They came up with the top three goals they could realistically achieve in 2017 by collaborating between the town and the chamber.

One goal was to install more flower barrel planters downtown along Grand Avenue and enlist businesses along that stretch to help maintain them. Town trustees and chamber board members agreed that beautification of the town should be a priority.

Another goal was to capture lodging taxes from businesses in town that should be paying the tax, including private property owners who are temporarily renting out rooms on websites such as Airbnb.com and VRBO.com. The third goal was to install signs around town that direct tourists to attractions such as downtown businesses and town parks.

Mancos Town Administrator Andrea Phillips said the town is growing at a steady and healthy rate. There are now just over 1,400 residents in Mancos, and revenues are increasing, she said.

“Our sales tax is growing,” Phillips said. “It was higher in 2016 than it has ever been before.”