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October 26, 2020

Candidate Questions, part 2…


will help strengthen the local economy and, in turn, help current and new businesses alike. In addition, our local organizations, such as DIRT, the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, the Arts Council, the Museum, and numerous fund-raising groups, along with other taxing entities such as the County, School, Fire Department, Medical Center, Library, and the Lodging Tax Board and Marketing Committee are also vital to mutually assist growth. The content on community websites and social media, especially those of public entities, can be reviewed with pertinent material added and easily accessed to familiarize residents, local businesses, and visitors with community regulations and resources. How important is the relationship between the Town and the County Commissioners, and why is this an important relationship? Comment on the Town’s Federal partners, such as the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Patrice Palmer: The relationship between the County Commissioners and Town Trustees is a very important one and should be treated as such. The Federal Partners are just as important, but we should also look at forming better partnerships for organizations such as the school. Jesse Kendall: The town and county populations are linked hand-in-hand. And having an efficient government with great communication that supports each other is the best way to interact with each other. The county north and south of town should also get broadband. I will work with the county to expand the chances for people up and down the county to have “location neutral” jobs. I went to my fair share of wildland fires in my fire district in the Houston area and way outside my fire department districts. I will work with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management and county when needed with fires, noxious weed mitigation, tourism, hiking trail maintenance… whatever! It’s all linked together. Crystal Brown: The relationship between the Town and County is symbiotic. We have many homes and businesses outside of town limits that are on the town water and sewer system. The county plows snow on all town streets and alleys. These are just two examples of the town and county working together. Hinsdale County is made up of more than 96 percent public lands. We have great potential for wildfires, avalanches, mudslides, and even flooding. The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management all work closely with county and town officials and employees to make sure residents stay safe. Lake City Area Fire Protection District and Hinsdale County EMS are both volunteer-based. Those volunteers come from both the town and county. All of these relationships are important to keep residents safe. Jud Hollingsworth: It is very important that the Town Trustees and Mayor work closely with the County Commissioners, as we share many of the same challenges. The County and Town work closely to maintain roads, including snow removal, within constraints of budgets. We work within Intergovernmental Agreements to accomplish this and share in funding the Sheriff’s Department. I am proud to have led efforts to bring back regularly scheduled joint meetings. It is essential that we work together for mutual Town and County interests. The Town Trustees and Mayor and staff work well and often with the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, both of whom have large holdings in our County, including adjoining areas to the Town. The Town has been working with the BLM to expand the ice wall and ski hill with positive results. Communications and cooperation are in the best interest of everyone. Michelle Martin: The relationship between the Town and County Commissioners is extremely important because of the overlap in services, infrastructure, and community needs. Most notably, the Town contracts with the County for law enforcement, building code enforcement, and road and bridge maintenance/ plowing. A strong working relationship between the Town and County promotes more effective and efficient delivery of services. The Town of Lake City is a gateway to the surrounding public lands managed by the USFS and BLM. As residents of this special place I believe we should be responsible stewards of our surrounding public lands. A strong working relationship with the USFS and BLM is also extremely important. The Town should continue to pay attention and have a voice as to how our public lands are being managed. In addition to those important partnerships mentioned above, in our small community it is also just as important that the Town maintain and strengthen a network of relationships with other community organizations (some examples include the school district, medical center, Lake Fork Valley Conservancy, Lake Fork Community Foundation, EMS, Fire Protection District, Women’s Club, Christian Community Services, etc.). Social capital and a strong network of relationships are what make communities resilient and able to navigate tough times. This was fully displayed last summer during the threat of flooding. Doug Hamel: Hinsdale County and Lake City are basically one and the same to me. It’s critical that we work together to maximize the support the Town and County are able to provide. Since we are surrounded by Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service, it is critical that we work together in such a way to maintain the beauty of the area and at the same time allow access to this spectacular area. The County Commissioners are more directly involved with BLM and USFS. Please rank from One to Four the importance of the following four infrastructure improvement projects, giving explanation for your reasoning: paving town streets, improving drainage and safer pedestrian crosswalks, continuing water and sewer line improvements, increasing broadband reliability and capacity. Crystal Brown: Water and sewer line improvements are most important, next is broadband reliability and capacity, then comes improving drainage and safer pedestrian crosswalks, and finally paving town streets. Water and sewer require deep trenching. Broadband lines require shallower trenching. Drainage issues and safer crosswalks would naturally be addressed right before the town streets are paved. Doug Hamel: • Continued water and sewer line improvements – water and sewer line improvement are critical for the city. Basic infrastructure improvements like this are a must to keeping the Town infrastructure viable. • Improving drainage and safer pedestrian Crosswalks – the Town just received a grant for this so I moved this to number two. There currently is localized flooding between 2nd and 3rd Streets on Gunnison Ave. This will resolve the flooding issue and takes advantage of getting this done before the HWY 149 repaving project in 2022. The pedestrian crosswalk at 3rd and Gunnison is an important safety feature. It will give pedestrians the opportunity to safely cross Gunnison Ave and at the same time slow traffic down on HWY 149 through town. • Increased broadband reliability – Increased Broadband and Cell reliability and capacity is critical to growing the town. A robust Broadband would provide the opportunity for on-line business and entrepreneurs to operate from Lake City. Our existing Broadband does not have the necessary throughput or resiliency to support high intensity use. • Paving town streets – I think we have all noticed a number of Town streets should be marked 4WD only. It certainly would be nice to pave the town streets. It doesn’t look like there currently is any funding to pave the Town’s street. I think we should be looking for redevelopment grants that could perhaps help. Jud Hollingsworth: Each of these are important issues and must be addressed when financial opportunities become available. The Town Trustees and Mayor are currently working on all four of these issues simultaneously. (1) Continued water and sewer line improvements, as well as monitoring the adequacies of the Water Treatment Plant and Wells. Safety is our number one responsibility for our citizens. I will never take that for granted. (2) Increased broadband and cell reliability and capacity is necessary for business improvements and expansion. The Trustees are working with the County, Region 10, and other companies to this end. Major progress has been made, but more is needed to provide exemplary service. This is a requirement for many individuals and businesses to relocate to our beautiful community. (3) As I stated, safety is a priority. The Town has added Pedestrian Yield signs around the Town Park, which are removeable for winter maintenance, and worked with CDOT to relocate a crosswalk to 6th Street by the school and a yield sign at 2nd and Highway 149 after input from residents and businesses. Improving drainage, safer crosswalks and walkways and resurfacing on 3rd Street are included in a recent $1.2-million grant acquisition by the Town from Region 10 at an outstanding 80/20 percent split! It will also address future broadband expansion by putting conduit under Highway 149. Look for work to begin this spring. (4) Paving Town streets goes hand-in-hand with drainage improvements which protect the viability of thoroughfares. In consideration of our environment and budget, chip and seal appears to be the most advantageous surfacing. The latest estimate was $60,000 (not including addressing drainage) for one block. Traffic volumes are currently sufficient to justify paving or, alternatively, chip and seal improvement, according to the Lake City and Hinsdale County Community Plan. Pacing has been a part of the Town of Lake City Capital Implementation and Funding Plan (CIP), 2014-2020. The resurfacing on 3rd Street, which begins this spring/summer, is evidence of the Town’s commitment to the CIP. My position is to resurface our roads as funds become available. Jesse Kendall: No. 1 – increased broadband (internet) capacity – it will bring growth to the city. The faster capability the better. And for all the town, both sides of the river. All homes in Lake City need to have it. No. 2 – Paving streets in town – dust and pot holes are always an issue, No. 3 – Improving drainage and safer pedestrian crosswalks = less pot holes and 3rd Street will be paved soon, improving drainage also. Safer pedestrian crossings – maybe put “Heavy Foot Traffic” signs north and south on Highway 149 during July in the historic district. No. 4 – Continued water and sewerline projects. The contracts are finalized and the work will be done shortly. The only caveat is maybe do more on the Ball Flats and on Ocean Wave Drive to the city limits. But it will mostly be done in the flat portion of Lake City this year. Keep Calm and Continue On! Michelle Martin: The Town has worked hard over the last several years to implement their Capital Facilities Plan. This plan, developed in 2013, has been the guiding road map at implementing capital improvements. I applaud the Town’s efforts in conducting the facilities planning process and implementing most of the items within the plan. I also appreciate the forethought that has been given to coordination of these improvements given that phasing is critical to their success. Water and sewer line improvements, currently underway, would be of higher priority. The remaining three projects would ideally be done concurrently keeping in mind that there will be challenges depending upon timing, funding, and construction logistics. Improvement of broadband services requires placement of conduit under streets. Ideally, this would also occur prior to street paving and drainage improvements. I believe the Town and County are already considering this approach. Per recommendations in the facilities plan, paving of town streets, drainage improvements, and safer pedestrian cross walks would need to be completed concurrently. Street improvements without adequate drainage could limit functionality, result in costly maintenance, and be detrimental to the life of the improvements. Patrice Palmer: It’s complex to try to rank the four infrastructure projects because one can’t be done without the other being done first, or so it may seem. The sewer and water lines need to be dug and finished so conduit for internet can be laid in there as well. Paving at 3rd and Gunnison can’t be started until that’s complete and proper drainage has been sorted. The town has been working on all these issues. I’m excited about the future pedestrian crossing that is being planned. However, having said that I feel that 3rd St. at Gunnison Ave needs to be graded down and given a solid base layer of shale before the summer season begins if the projected timeline for paving is not in sight.

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