News

Sat
18
May

Council agrees to talk water rates with businesses

By Erin McIntyre

erin@ouraynews.com

 

Business owners concerned about skyrocketing water bills have the ears of town councilors, who agreed to meet and discuss possible solutions to the situation.

True Grit Café owner Tammee Tuttle came to the council meeting armed with her own history of water bills and those of 11 other local businesses, compiled by Ridgway resident and retired certified public accountant Bob Collins.

Collins presented spreadsheets of information to councilors at the May 8 meeting, stating he didn't understand why the businesses were bearing the brunt of the increased revenues to the water department. He explained his caluclations show the dozen businesses' water bills are covering more than half of the total budgeted increase in revenue to the department.

Sat
18
May

Vandals hit community garden, slated for opening

Chris Lance points to vandalism at the Ridgway Community Garden, which was found earlier this week. Anyone with information is asked to call the Ridgway Marshal's Office.

By Mike Wiggins

ouraynews.com

The first sign that something was awry was the sign itself.
Chris Lance arrived at the Ridgway Community Garden Monday morning and found yellow paint smeared across the lettering Ridgway Elementary School students hand-painted 11 years ago when the garden originally bloomed at the corner of Charles and Laura streets.
"I thought, 'Is this a mistake?' I mean, I'm not used to crime here."
It was no mistake.
Vandals caused damage inside and out the fenced and locked half-acre Green Street Park plot sometime Sunday night or early Monday morning, briefly casting a pall over organizers and volunteers who have worked for years to recreate a space for the community to dig together in the dirt.

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Sat
11
May

Plaindealer co-publisher earns writing awards

Plaindealer Staff Report
plaindealer@ouraynews.com
 
Ouray County Plaindealer co-publisher Erin McIntyre earned three awards for her journalism in the past year by the Society of Professional Journalists Colorado chapter last week.
The Top of the Rockies Contest, open to journalists working in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming, celebrates work published by radio, TV and newspaper journalists.
McIntyre won second place best investigative/enterprise reporting for her story headlined “Behind those bungled ballots.” Her reporting dug into the roots of a ballot-printing company serving one-third of Colorado counties, which imperiled the 2012 election due to a spat with another ballot printer and also caused a hand-count of the Montrose primary election in 2018.

Sat
11
May

Students to bid farewell to old playground

by Carolina King
news@ouraynews.com

Ouray students are preparing to bid farewell to their 30-year-old playground. On May 29, they will gather to say their goodbyes to the playground and take part in a “project launch” celebration complete with ice cream and popsicles.
Students will also have the opportunity to give input on the final details of the actual play equipment.
Construction will begin on May 31, starting with the wall at the west end of the playground. Proposals from local stone-building, excavation and landscaping professionals for the project were due on May 8. By mid-June project manager Danika Gilbert expects to be “dialing in details,” and Aug. 26 is already set for the grand-opening party.

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Fri
10
May

Sewage cleanup continues as businesses worry about repeat

by Mike Wiggins
mike@ouraynews.com

Fri
10
May

County Road 5 plowing debate to go to court

by Carolina King
news@ouraynews.com

Fri
10
May

Interim administrator sole finalist for top job

Justin Perry was named the only finalist for the Ouray city administrator position.

by Mike Wiggins
mike@ouraynews.com

The interim tag is close to peeling off.
The Ouray City Council voted unanimously Monday night to name interim City Administrator Justin Perry the sole finalist for the permanent position, a move that surprised few people.
Councilors emerged from a two-hour executive session and, with a motion, a second and a unified vote, announced their decision without any discussion.
Perry and City Building Inspector Dave Doherty were the only candidates interviewed for the position.
Councilors could name Perry as city administrator as soon as their May 20 meeting, but not before then. State open meetings laws require public bodies to wait a minimum of 14 days after identifying finalists for an executive position before making an appointment.

Fri
10
May

Property values shoot up

By Erin McIntyre
erin@ouraynews.com
 
Increased property values and recent sales have triggered higher property valuations, mailed to property owners recently by the Ouray County Assessor’s Office.
Residential property values in Ouray County had an overall increase of 16 percent since the last valuation in 2017, according to Assessor Susie Mayfield. Vacant land saw a 15 percent overall increase and commercial properties saw an increase of 18 percent overall, including everything from hotels and restaurants to mixed-use properties with combined retail and housing.
Mayfield said recent sales of commercial properties as well as residential homes have resulted in the hike taxpayers will see in their valuation notices.
“Because of the sales that are happening, people should not be surprised by an increase,” she said.

Fri
10
May

Beetles deterred by pheromone packets

Forester Austin Shelby of the Colorado State Forest Service uses a staple gun to attach a packet of pheromones to a Douglas Fir tree near Cascade Falls. Volunteers are helping him distribute the chemicals to 700 trees, funded by the City of Ouray. Trees on federal forest land are also being targeted for protective pheromone treatment this week, to guard against the Douglas Fir beetle.

Plaindealer photo by Erin McIntyre

By Erin McIntyre
erin@ouraynews.com

Fri
26
Apr

Planning board agrees on key wildfire mitigation standards

By Carolina King
news@ouraynews.com

The Ouray County Planning Commission tackled the difficult issue of wildfire mitigation regulations for additions and remodels and came to some agreements at an April 6 work session to continue their efforts to produce recommendations for updates of Section 16 of the Land Use Code.
The commission agreed to recommend that any new building addition would have to comply with the standards they have set for new construction. They also agreed that any addition or remodel that requires a permit would trigger an inspection paid for by the homeowner, but any interior remodel would be of no concern.
Members were in agreement to ask the Board of County Commissioners to add a permit requirement for new roofs, but not for new siding, as roofs are the most important element to make a home more fire-resistant, and there were concerns of over-burdening staff.

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