Dolores board bans marijuana stores

Town puts former manager on contract, OKs sidewalk bid

The Dolores Town Board of Trustees met Monday and took care of business in 50 minutes flat during a heavy summer rainstorm.

The ordinance to ban medical and retail marijuana stores passed 5-1 after a public hearing. There was no public comment, and Trustee Colette Heeney was the dissenting vote. The ban goes until December 2016.

Attorney Mike Green said that if Colorado decides to go to a wholesale type system, it may eliminate the requirement that retail stores grow 70 percent of their product.

"That would change their impact (on towns), so the board could choose revisit the issue then," he said.

The additional costs to regulate the growing facilities of medical and retail marijuana shops was one reason for the ban.

Former town manager on contract

Former town manager Ryan Mahoney was contracted for staff-support services for the town, but he won't make decisions. The rate is $55 per hour, as needed, and the contract is for six months. Officials said the search for a permanent town manager is on hold. Treasurer Lana Hancock is the interim manager.

"He has a wealth of information, and is familiar with the town and Colorado regulations," said Mayor Val Truelsen.

D&L wins sidewalk project

D&L Construction, of Cortez, was awarded the bid for Phase 2 of the sidewalk project after a low bid of $198,662. The project is being funded through a CDOT highway enhancement grant.

New sidewalks will be installed on the north side of Railroad Ave from Second Street, west to the crosswalk with Joe Rowell Park. Sidewalk will also be installed on the south side of Railroad Avenue from Dolores Public Library, east, to 11th Street. Also sidewalk repair and installation will take place on the south side of Railroad Ave. from Eighth Street to the post office.

The sidewalk work will begin this summer, and is expected to be completed by next year.

Sludge cleanup

The board also came up with a way to possibly delay cleaning out the first sewer pond to allow time for figuring out financing for a larger cleanup.

Decomposed sludge at the pond must be removed after 20 years, and the 20 years is up, officials said. The removal costs are expected to be $104,000.

In the meantime, the board agreed to try a bacteria product from BioLynceus, of Estes Park. One hundred gallons of a pro-biotic scrubber solution will be added to the pond over the next year. The cost is $4,088.

The bacteria has worked to reduce sludge loads, but is not guaranteed to work. If it does it is only a temporary solution, said interim manager Lana Hancock.

"It will buy us some time to get grants or loans for the sludge-removal project," she said.

A little crime in June

Dolores had a crime spree in June, said Montezuma County Undersheriff Lynda Carter. There were two sex-assault investigations, meth possession and use, fraud by check, a felony criminal mischief, 28 traffic stops, shoplifting, and vandalism.

"In the summer, the calls tend to go up," Carter said. "It was a dangerous Fourth of July, with a lot of accidents and quite a few fatalities."