Letters

Thu
18
May
atodd's picture

What may lead to the erosion of Ouray’s Historic District

I am writing to follow up on comments I made at the Ouray City Council meeting on Monday, May 15, 2017 regarding language in the Planning Commission’s recommendation and draft ordinance that would seemingly sanction the use of intermodal shipping containers as residences or permissible as a building material. I was particularly disappointed because of the Planning Commission’s and Council’s apparent lack of knowledge and concern about Ouray’s National Historic District and the significant benefits and recognition it provides the community. In fact only five individuals, including my wife and myself, out of nearly 50 present, indicated that they were members of the Ouray County Historical Society.
The issue of Historic Preservation in both the City and County of Ouray goes back at least 35 years and perhaps more.

Thu
18
May
atodd's picture

Saving energy and money

Dear Editor,
One of the most cost effective government programs is the Energy Star Program administered by the EPA. President Trump has called for eliminating this program in his budget! This program benefits commercial businesses and residential homeowners to the tune of billions of dollars each year.  In addition it is a tremendous benefit to our environment.
The average home owner spends $2060 annually on energy bills for a single family home. If a homeowner purchases Energy Star appliances and LED light bulbs along with added insulation, weather stripping windows and doors, lowering the temperature of their home and hot water heater, that amount could be cut in half! My wife and I recently purchased a home in Ridgway and had an energy audit done. This cost us nothing because San Miguel Power Company paid for it. Thanks to the infrared equipment we discovered some leaks which we have since taken care of.  

Thu
18
May
atodd's picture

Road touch-up appreciated

Dear Editor,
Thank you to Road and Bridge’s Steve Calkins and his team for the excellent job done repairing cracks on the paved roads in Log Hill Village and the County Road 1 ascent.
After enduring years of deterioration on our paved roads, and feeling our complaints and concerns were being ignored, the current crack sealing work, along with other recent observable initiatives by the Road and Bridge team, does bring hope that the county is making progress in determining the best allocation and use of its funds and resources.   

Thu
18
May
atodd's picture

Marijuana stink

Dear Editor,
A lot of time has been spent by citizens of Ouray County to minimize the impact of development on the natural beauty of the local area. I find that (aside from the admiring scenery relatively free of the scars of human activity) one of the simple joys of living here is walking outside and breathing the crisp clear air.

Thu
18
May
atodd's picture

Satisfied with shortcuts?

Dear Editor,
Anyone who attended the recent Ouray School Board meeting was surely as baffled as I was when we read the accounting in last week's issue of the Plaindealer. Not that there wasn't accuracy in the figure amounts and educational programs discussed, but the results of the decisions made weren't clearly indicated to the reporter who, like the audience, lacked the transparency of a copy of budget figures under discussion. So I feel compelled to offer a clarification so the public will have a better understanding of the budget process which started in November and has considerably affected morale among the school staff.

Thu
18
May
atodd's picture

Whee do we stand financially?

Dear Editor,
The community needs to know where the Ouray School stands financially in real numbers and real terms due to a major fallout from state funding. The Ouray School Board meeting on 4/24/17 was supposed to address the possibility of adding $138,000 from the school’s reserves into the budget. Whereas it was reported that four out of five members voted on adding $104,000 back in the budget, the reality is that they approved $23,042. The fifth board member with the dissenting vote was trying to add the full amount to keep the school running at full strength. I respect all those involved and greatly appreciate their efforts, but I continue to have concerns.
The budget numbers fluctuated at an alarming rate throughout the meeting. I don’t feel everyone was on the same page. The confusion was evident.  

Thu
18
May
atodd's picture

Kudos to Road & Bridge

Dear Editor,
Food for thought: It's soon going to be time to discuss the condition of
roads again. While I support a county-wide increase in taxes to fund the Road
and Bridge Department, I have done some research on a portion of the existing
dollar allocation. This might surprise/shock some of you. Tax area2 consists
of 3,487 properties. These properties are all in the Ridgway Library
District.
Road and Bridge receives $143,250 and the library receives $319,860
from these properties. So, the library gets $176,610 MORE than Road and Bridge,
just from that tax district. And, the library constantly sends me a letter
asking to donate more. I am certainly not an anti-library kind of guy, but I
would think Road and Bridge is deserving of a reversal of fortune. I personally
could make do without a library (I am not suggesting we should), but none

Thu
18
May
atodd's picture

Debating school funding

Dear Editor,
Due to consecutive years of the state shortchanging K-12 education—Ouray has lost about $1.5 million over the past five years—the School Board is now struggling with how to fund our district this coming year and in future years. It is obvious to me that we cannot look to the state to help us; we have to help ourselves.
With our school’s dedicated staff making sacrifices and the administration and Board’s thrifty budgeting, we have continued to provide a full scope and high quality education to our students, being Accredited With Distinction by the Colorado Department of Education for seven years running. One tool that has been used to afford this full scope education has been to dip in to district reserves to make up for state funding shortfalls. By “full scope education” I mean the Three Rs plus a slate of electives, sports, and activities that graduates well-rounded adults, ready to lead productive and fulfilling lives.

Thu
18
May
atodd's picture

Acting ill-mannered

Dear Editor,
Who were those people at Congressman Tipton’s Town Hall meeting in
Montrose—shouting, interrupting, stomping their feet, booing, waving signs
and generally acting like the cheering squad at a hometown basketball game?
And why were they so ill-mannered as to badger our elected U.S. Congressman
in this unseemly fashion?
I was one of them, so let me explain.
Looking around the high school gym that night, I recognized quite a few among
the 400 or so folks acting up to get Rep. Tipton’s attention. I saw
teachers, farmers, medical professionals, community volunteers, business
owners—folks from just about every walk of life, from young parents with
their kids to retirees like myself.
These are not people who routinely act out of order or rudely. They generally
follow the rules, vote in elections and contribute to their communities—in
short, the backbone of our democracy.

Thu
18
May
atodd's picture

Dust control alternatives

Dear Editor,
The Road and Bridge department (Department) is currently researching alternatives to mag chloride. Mag chloride has been used on county roads for a number of years with varying degrees of success.
Mag chloride works well as a dust suppressant but it has not worked well as a road binder. The Department has been researching alternative products that have the possibility of working as a dust suppressant as well as a road binder. There are two products that have the possibility of achieving both. They are: Earthbind from EnviRoad LLC, and DustGard 80/20 from GMCO.

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