Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Palisade Board of Trustees opened with the introduction of newly hired Police Officer Zack Adams, the promotion of officer Jesse Stanford to the position of Sergeant, as well as the return of Officer Tom Carline to the position of Code Enforcement Officer. Congratulations to all three.
Seats on the Palisade Planning Commission and the Park and Rec Advisory Committee (PRAC) were also filled at the regularly scheduled meeting on April 14, 2015. All trustees were present for the meeting, as well as town staff department heads.
Faith Maciejko-Krenek was chosen to fill the seat on PRAC, which meets monthly on the last Thursday of the month in the meeting room of the Civic Center. With a degree in community health education and an advanced degree in nursing, her experience in the field of health awareness could be of value in planning activities or facilities. She also put in an application for the planning commission seat but admitted that she thought PRAC might be a better fit.
Two other applicants spoke to trustees seeking appointment to the vacancy on the Planning Commission.
David Fisher, currently a PRAC member, also submitted an application for the opening. Fisher, employed by Plum Creek Winery and an active bicyclist explained that he “sees Palisade as a community concerned with the quality of life,” and that he wants to attract people to open businesses and move their families here. A resident of Palisade, Fisher has previously served on the town board of Oak Creek, during which time many large-scale civic improvements were undertaken.
Rick Gibson, also a Palisade resident, moved here from Grand Junction about 18 months ago where he owned two businesses and had numerous dealings with the Mesa County planning department. Gibson also served with Grand Junction organizations such as JUCO, the Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP), and the Chamber Board. He regards himself as being pro-business, and in answer to a question by Mayor Roger Granat, Gibson replied “Vacant buildings break my heart, downtown Palisade has such great personality.” He wondered if there was a way of filling those buildings so people could prosper, and would like to reach out to more types of businesses. He has attended planning commission meetings here in Palisade recently and has dealt with the Planning Commission in Grand Junction.
After ballots were distributed by Town Administrator Rich Sales, votes were tallied and decided in favor of Rick Gibson.
After thanking all applicants, Mayor Granat then moved on to the evening’s business, consideration of two resolutions.
First to be considered was Resolution 2015-10, amending the town fee schedule. Trustee Susan L’Hommedieu questioned EMS and Fire Chief Richard Rupp regarding the increase in EMS fees. Rupp explained that all fire districts that transport patients in Mesa County are using the same fee schedule. The resolution was adopted unanimously.
Resolution 2015-11, regarding approval of a 5-year contract with Dependable Waste Services invited a longer discussion. Town Treasurer Joe Vlach pointed out that the company had not raised their rates over the past 10-year period, they have very few complaints, and their customer service record is good.
Dependable Waste Services has also agreed to add glass collection to the recycling service offered, but will need to add one more container to the recycling area of the Civic Center parking lot. Glass recycling requires separation of glass by color, so an entire bin will be needed to give separate spaces to each color. Vlach questioned them about curbside recycling, but feels it is still cost prohibitive. He also pointed out that changing vendors would also require the change-out of each citizen’s trash container, an inconvenience.
After some discussion regarding trash being left at the recycling area, how to get more people to recycle, and the length of the contract, trustees approved the resolution unanimously.
Chief Rupp updated trustees on the outcome of the public meeting the previous week concerning the re-addressing of certain parcels and residences around Mesa County. The purpose of the readdressing is to make it easier for first responders to find the correct address in an emergency. The project is being conducted by a county-wide task force consisting of representatives from the US Postal Service, Fed-Ex, UPS, Xcel Energy, and various other utility and delivery services plus all the emergency response agencies in Mesa County.
Town Administrator Rich Sales informed the trustees of an invitation to all trustees to visit the Children’s Nature Center in Fruita. The current location is quickly being outgrown, and the center is looking to expand into a bigger facility. The director contacted Sales to see what possibilities Palisade might be able to offer, and ideas are still being investigated.
April was proclaimed as the Month of the Young Child, as well as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Official proclamations were presented by Trustee Thea Chase and by Trustee Bennett Price to the Director of the Noah’s Ark Preschool. It was revealed that one of the graduates of Noah’s Ark Preschool was currently sitting in the audience, Palisade police sergeant Jesse Stanford!
Trustee Robynn Sundermeier reported on the approval of three short-term vacation rental homes in Palisade from April meeting of the Planning Commission, and also approval of a sign variance for the new C.A.V.E. office on 3rd Street.
Carol Mueller, owner of the Lavender Lady Boutique, asked trustees and town staff to consider a layout for the summer’s upcoming Sunday Markets that would include the area in the block of Main Street directly south of 3rd Street.
Mayor Granat, reporting on the monthly meeting of the Tourism Advisory Board, recognized the efforts and contributions of local resident and business owner Stan Stephens of Long Point Digital, and Teri Cavanaugh of Cobb & Associates, for their contributions to the town’s marketing efforts with the donation of website improvements and digital marketing and tracking efforts, enabling a better understanding of how to attract visitors to Palisade.
Public Works Director Frank Watt reported on the progress of the Main Street renovation, as well as his meetings with business owners and residents to resolve any issues they might be having. He said proposed date of completion before the Bluegrass Festival in mid-June is still on target. Ben Dowd Construction, in charge of the project, has been sending regular emails and newsletters to residents and business owners along Main Street, keeping them informed of the progress.
The next public meeting of the Board of Trustees will be Tuesday, April 28 in the Civic Center meeting room at 341 West 7th Street at 6 p.m.