Cortez residents Dave and Lana Waters applied to the city for a permit to build a 4,000-square-foot facility in the vacant eastern lot of the Sagebrush Circle cul-de-sac. Powder coating is a type of metal finish that Dave Waters said is becoming more popular in the Southwest. The couple currently operate their business with an employee out of a residential garage.
“There’s a big demand for it here,” Waters said.
He said powder coating is a popular option for finishing metal because it doesn’t produce as much hazardous waste as liquid paint. The Waters’ business has been around for about a year, but before it started the nearest place to get the treatment was in Durango or Farmington. Waters said they expect to hire up to six employees once the new facility gets established.
All the commissioners were in favor of the site plan, but Parks and Recreation Director Dean Palmquist wrote to the board to ask if the business owners could include some shade trees in their plan to provide a buffer between the building and the nearby Geer Natural Area. Waters said he didn’t think that would be possible.
“I’m sorry, but every time you ask me to plant a tree, that’s more money,” he said. “We are willing to work with (the Parks and Recreation Department) and see if we can work something out, but I don’t really see a need for a bunch of expensive trees.”
Part of the new building site is also inside a floodplain, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s latest flood maps. But according to comments in the application by Planning and Building Director Sam Proffer, Waters has most likely raised the elevation of the area enough to get it out of any real danger. The board agreed that the business owners must resolve the issue before building, but they decided it wasn’t a big enough problem to stop them from approving the site plan.
“If it is just that little issue, I really don’t want to see (construction) tied up with that,” board member Tim Kline said.
Kline and fellow board member Tom Butler said having a powder coating shop in Cortez would help the local economy.
Waters said the building has arrived, and he plans to finish putting it up within a few weeks. But since parts of the project still need approval from the city, it will likely be some time before it can open for business.