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Rico starts off 2022 by filling vacancies

The mountain hamlet of Rico struggles to keep up with road maintenance on a limited budget.
Planning and attorney positions will be filled; proposal made for new town maintenance shop

The Rico Board of Trustees plans to fill various positions, including the jobs of town attorney, town planner and planning board, at its Jan. 19 meeting.

The meeting agenda, board packet and applications are available online, and the meeting can be viewed online. Visit https://townofrico.colorado.gov/ for the Zoom link.

There are nine letters of interest for four open seats on the planning board.

Applicants are Skip Zeller, Cristal Hibbard, Rebecca Adams, Brad Fox, Gerrish Willis, Raegan Ellease, Kathy McJoint, Andrew Romanyshyn and Leah Chmielewski. Terms of service are one to two years.

The planning board has five members and two alternates. Mike Contillo continues to serve his term until 2023.

May 23, 2022
Dolores County and Rico decide on funding questions

The three applicants for town planner are Christopher Hawkins of Alpine Planning, John Stranderg of Western Slope Planning, and Jen Stark, who previously served as Rico town planner.

For town attorney, the applicants are David Liberman, of Durango; the firm of Hockersmith & Whitmore, of Ouray; and the firm of Karp Neu Hanlon, of Glenwood Springs.

The town board will consider discussing a proposal by Joe Croke to form a public-private partnership for the purpose of redeveloping the town’s maintenance facility and the surrounding town property.

According to the proposal, a new maintenance building would be constructed with the addition of public restrooms and the potential for employee housing on site. It eventually would be deeded to the town of Rico through a public/private agreement.

In exchange for providing the new maintenance facility for the town, a to-be-determined limited liability company would be deeded the surrounding 9 acres of town property for initial use as a campground and related private development. The development would be subject to the town planning regulations.

Financing for the project would be a combination of private debt and equity as well as public grant and bond funding as may become available from the state and federal sources.

Infrastructure, water, power and wastewater treatment costs would be a public/private obligation based on a prorated share of those facilities between the town and the limited liability company. Long-term maintenance of all facilities would be divided among parties.

“This concept can provide the town with a much-needed maintenance facility and related infrastructure for public/private purposes,” Croke stated in the proposal letter. “We look forward to discussing the possibilities.”

Other Rico news
  • The town requests that residents complete two online surveys. One would help guide the town board in creating a short-term rental ordinance. The other would will help the town advocate for faster broadband internet. The survey links can be found at townofrico.colorado.gov.
  • The town is working toward a new diversion point for its water supply from Silver Creek to a well site. The proposal is ready to file with the Colorado water court.
  • At the Jan. 19 meeting, Jay Rhodes and Jeff Prillwitz will present a proposal to create a bus shelter in front of vacant parcel between 3 S. Glasgow Ave. and 5 S. Glasgow Ave.
  • The town is running out of room to store snow, according to public works officials. In its meeting packet, the town stated it has had a lot of snow from the end of December to the start of January. “As the town’s population continues to grow and vacant lots become developed, parking and snow storage are becoming an issue. Snow storage options are running low,” the documents state. It was noted that the way people are parking on the section of River Street from Mantz Street to Soda Street can block passage of the town loader.
  • Chauncey McCarthy is Rico’s new town manager. He replaces Kari Distefano.

jmimiaga@the-journal.com