April 17, 2009

Platte Canyon chamber eyes planning help

Tom Locke
Flume Editor

The organization that helped draw up the conceptual plan and cost estimates for the new Park County library in Fairplay may also be able to help Bailey with planning any of a number of different community-enhancing projects, such as a riverwalk, monuments, parks, signage, and more.

That was the message at the April 14 Platte Canyon Area Chamber of Commerce meeting from Judith Bergquist, associate director of the Colorado Center for Community Development at the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver.

"We're the planning department for communities that don't have planning departments," Bergquist told The Flume in an interview after the regular meeting.

Chamber member Jerry Humphrey asked if her organization could help with planning a riverwalk for Bailey.

Those are "the kinds of projects we can do," she said.

Her organization pays college interns $13 an hour for most of the work and typically creates the designs and plans for a project for $3,000 to $5,000, with about half the money usually coming from her organization through money from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, and half coming from the local entity requesting the plans, she told The Flume.

Once the plans are in hand, the local entity can then use them to seek grant funding, and Bergquist's Colorado Center for Community Development can suggest a number of possible places to seek those grants.

The county is looking at rezoning downtown Bailey, with input from citizens. Might the Colorado Center for Community Development get involved in that if requested? "Yes, we have helped rewrite zoning ordinances," Bergquist said.

It could look at what other towns of the same size have done, she added. "We go out and get you the information."

Might they get involved in signage and other aspects of the Grant/Park County side of the $92 million redevelopment of the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway Road that is planned by the Federal Highway Administration for the 23.7-mile road between Grant and Georgetown?

"Possibly," she said. Typically a town or county or similar entity would need to come to her organization to request it.

During her presentation, Bergquist provided a whole range of planning projects that her organization has worked on, including banners in Alma in northwest Park County, a ball park and RV park in Empire, trail designs for a conservation easement in Hayden, highway signage for Idaho Springs, mapping for Sheridan, store fronts for Granby, a recreation center for Calhan, and more. Her organization has been doing this for 30 years, she said.

Property taxes

Park County Assessor Dave Wissel announced that property owners can expect a "new level of value" on their property tax notifications on May 1. The May 1 notifications will present a value for properties as of June 30, 2008, whereas the previous effective date for property values was June 30, 2006. Wissel noted that the 48 months prior to June 30, 2008, are used in calculating the June 30, 2008 value. By using 48 months instead of an 18-month period, the assessor's office "takes peaks and valleys and makes it more of a rolling hill," Wissel said.

Benefit for Lynda James

Carrie Marsh, owner of Bailey-based Carrie Marsh Insurance, announced that she is spearheading a fundraiser for Lynda James, a former Park County Commissioner who recently ran unsuccessfully for commissioner. James, who also works as a correspondent for The Flume, has been receiving treatment for cancer.

"She's just done so many things for the community," said Marsh, who said the fundraiser has been OKd by James.

"We're still in the planning stages," said Marsh.

She hopes to have something at the end of May, possibly at Sweet Fanny Adams west of downtown Bailey, but that has not yet been confirmed. The idea is to have a potluck and silent auction, along the lines of the recent fundraiser for Bailey-area Realtor and musician Barry Gordon, who has also been hit by cancer.

Those interested in helping out can contact Marsh at 303-838-0554.

"I Love U Guys"

John-Michael Keyes, board member of the "I Love U Guys" Foundation, noted that he will make a presentation on April 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the fire station at the top of Crow Hill in Bailey, and another presentation on April 27 a 7 p.m. at Elk Creek Fire station at Richmond Hill Road in Conifer. In part, the presentation will cover what the foundation has done over the last two and a half years, including the disbursement of more than $170,000 to organizations that support its mission, with 90 percent of that going to organizations along the U.S. 285 corridor. It will also cover the establishment of the National School Safety Collaboration, a program of the foundation that helps show parents how to get involved in safety programs at their schools. (See story, Page 2.)

Bailey Day

Bailey Day will be held on a single day this summer - Saturday, June 20 - and at a single location - Main Street in Bailey, chamber President Mary Sasser announced.

Last year it was held for two days and at two locations, including the Farmers Union, but the Farmers Union is no longer available because of a 10-year lease that was signed.

A pre-Bailey Day street dinner and dance is planned for the Friday night before, on June 19. The chamber is looking for volunteers for setting up and cleaning up.

"Z" trying out Parachute

Zdenko Novkovic, a spearhead of the Destination Bailey group that is aiming to improve and promote Bailey, is moving to Parachute, Sasser said in the meeting.

In a follow-up interview, Novkovic told The Flume he would be moving to Parachute on a trial basis on April 19 to open a civil engineering branch for Parachute-based Metcalf Excavation Inc. He'll be tackling problems such as remediation and water run-off for oil and gas companies. He sees the move as a trial, and if it works out, he and his wife, Marijana, will sell their Bailey house and move to Parachute. Right now she's staying in Bailey and he's moving out there to see how it works.

Bailey Country Store

Bailey Country Store owner Eric Keto announced that he has signed a lease and will be restocking and building up the store's inventory while also making a few changes inside the store. He anticipates more focus on the store's deli, including special-order sandwiches.

County clean-up days

Park County clean-up days have been scheduled.

They will be: Bailey, June 13; Fairplay, June 27; and Lake George, July 25. All times are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There will be some changes from the past. "Recycling is not much of a possibility this year because of the economy," said Park County Commissioner Dick Hodges. People will have to pay for disposal of some items, such as computer monitors, to reimburse its cost of disposal, he said. For instance a 15-inch computer monitor will cost $7.

Park County Commissioner John Tighe expressed his appreciation to Duke Dozier, the owner of the land at the top of Crow Hill who has allowed it to be used for Bailey clean-ups.

School advertising OKd

Platte Canyon Superintendent Jim Walpole said the board of education for the district has approved the use of advertising to generate dollars for the district. "I think we're going to start on the school buses," he said. The school board will tackle some of the issues about where to allow advertising in its May meeting, he said.

Women empowered

Barbara Jerome Behl, broker/owner of Deer Creek Realty in Bailey, announced a benefit on April 23 that will feature three local speakers. The function is tied to Business Women Empowered Every Day.

She also mentioned the Mountain Area Home and Garden Show on May 2-3. It will be at Conifer High School.

Platte Canyon Animal Hospital

The Platte Canyon Animal Hospital in Bailey will have an open house on Sunday, April 26 from 1-5 p.m.

Amy Webber, client relations specialist for PCAH, said at the meeting that the Bailey vet clinic has become an accredited animal hospital by the American Animal Hospital Association.

That happened a little more than a month ago and part of the reason for the open house is to celebrate that, she told The Flume in a follow-up interview.

"Fourteen percent of all the veterinarians in the country have this accreditation," she said in the interview.

The other reason for the open house is to introduce two new veterinary doctors at PCAH - Mary James and Jason Johnson.

PCAH and Conifer Veterinary Hospital, both owned David Palmini, are the only vet clinics on the 285 corridor that have the American Animal Hospital accreditation, said Webber.

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