On Wednesday, Mancos town board members discussed plans for welcoming guests from their French sister city, Feins, in September.
Mancos and Feins, a small agricultural town in northwest France, became sister cities in 2015. Since then, they’ve honored the relationship by exchanging gifts and celebrating each other’s national holidays, and now a group of about nine people from Feins plans to visit Mancos in September. During the town board meeting, the trustees agreed to contribute $250 to a community dinner for the guests on Sept. 4, to be held at the Mount Lookout Grange.
The money will come out of the town’s administrative training budget, where expenses have gone down significantly this year, Town Administrator Heather Alvarez said. Other organizations around town, including the Mancos Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Mancos Creative District, have also pledged to donate money for the event.
Trustee Lorraine Becker said she planned to attend the dinner, which will be open to the public, and she suggested someone from the town government write a welcome proclamation that could be read at the event. Alvarez said she would write a draft and present it to the board for a vote at the Aug. 23 meeting.
Mayor Queenie Barz said she wished the dinner could be held at the town community center rather than the Grange.
“It is the town’s sister city, not the Grange’s sister city,” she said.
Becker pointed out the Grange has a new kitchen that would be better suited for cooking a large meal than anything at the community center. She also said the visiting group is interested in learning more about Mancos area agriculture, so the Grange makes sense as a welcoming venue. Trustee Fred Brooks said it was too late to second-guess the location now.
“The Grange planned this,” he said. “I think it would have been really good if we could have had it at the community center, but that’s not going to happen at this point.”
But the board members did agree to fly the French flag at the town hall during the visit. Brooks suggested the board work harder to plan future events like this in conjunction with organizations like the Grange and the Chamber.
During the meeting, the board also discussed ongoing problems with the volunteer group Four Corners Recycling, and agreed they would probably not continue funding the group in 2018. Alvarez gave an update on the preliminary 2018 budget, which board members will continue to discuss at their Sept. 6 workshop. The board voted unanimously to appoint Alexander Costen to the Mancos Planning and Zoning Commission.