Mancos may soon see the return of a historical museum.
Linda Simmons, president of the Mancos Valley Historical Society, told the Board of Trustees at their meeting Wednesday the group has found a location for a museum and is gathering inventory and donations to get it up and running.
“We’re really excited to have something happening in the near future,” she said.
The group has agreed to a ten-year lease with the Mancos Fire Protection District to house the museum in two bays of the old fire station at the corner of Main Street and Bauer Avenue, Simmons said. The Historical Society has set a goal to raise $57,500 through donations and grants to fund the museum, she said. Renovations won’t start on the space until the society has raised all of that money, she added.
Mancos previously had a history museum, but it was closed down several years ago, Simmons said.
The group’s vision for the museum is to include a variety of items and educational topics related to Mancos with an focus on the Old West, including mining, Simmons said. Also at the museum will be a collection of antique firearms owned by historical society member Ben Wolcott. The collection, which includes weapons dating as far back as the Civil War, is currently on loan at the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office.
The museum also will include historical books and educational programs that will serve all people in the community, Simmons said.
“We want to broadly represent the history of Mancos,” Simmons told the board.
The historical society will rely on volunteers to run the museum until they can hire some staff members, she said.
Board approves highway crossingAlso at Wednesday’s meeting, board members voted to approve a $233,550 contract with D&L Construction for a pedestrian crossing on U.S. Highway 160 at its intersection with Beech Street.
The crossing will feature flashing lights that will alert drivers to pedestrians trying to cross the highway, as well as a “pedestrian refuge” in the middle of the divided highway. Town officials and trustees said they hope the crossing will connect the north and south sides of town and improve safety.
“It’s a good step for safety in the community,” Trustee Lorraine Becker said.
Though the bid selected was the lowest of two, it is over the amount the town originally budgeted for the project. The total cost for the project is an estimated $304,000, about $44,000 more than a project estimate from 2015, according to town documents. That cost includes construction, materials, design and engineering.
The Colorado Department of Transportation will contribute a $75,000 grant to the project, and the Department of Local Affairs will contribute another $119,000. The town will contribute about $111,000 after originally estimating a $67,000 cash match.
“I think this will be a really important improvement,” Town Administrator Andrea Phillips said.
Board members also voted to approve an intergovernmental agreement with CDOT for a long-term access control plan for Highway 160. The plan is a vision for improved access along the stretch of highway in Mancos, including bike lanes on the highway, more sidewalks and extensions to the frontage roads. Also proposed are improvements to the highway’s intersections with streets that cross north to south.
No town money has been committed to the plan, Phillips said. It is a plan for what town and CDOT officials want the highway to look like in the future, she said.
Marshal’s department adopts policiesAlso at the meeting, trustees voted to approve and adopt a comprehensive policy for the Mancos Marshal’s Office.
Compiled by California firm Lexipol, which specializes in law enforcement policy, the document is more than 400 pages and includes sections on investigations, authority and patrol operations.
Marshal Jason Spruell said Lexipol’s policies are typically created for large agencies, so he worked for three months to adjust it for his small, four-deputy Mancos department. The Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office and Cortez Police Department also use Lexipol policies, he said.
Deputies will be required to read the policy in full, as well as take periodic tests on the material to stay up to date, Spruell said.
Other town businessAlso at the meeting, the board approved the following items:
A marijuana license renewal for Willow North LLC, also known as The Bud Farm, 385 N. Willow St.,A letter of support to the U.S. Forest Service for the Chicken Creek Recreation Area north of town, Replacement of part of a filter at the town wastewater treatment plant at a cost not to exceed $25,000, and A proclamation designating March as Women’s History Month in Mancos.