During its Jan. 24 meeting, the Mancos board of trustees received an optimistic report on the town’s progress in 2017.
Town Administrator Heather Alvarez gave an update on the town’s work plan, a set of goals established at the beginning of the year for each department in the town government.
According to the update, the town met most of those goals, especially in the administration and street departments. Alvarez reported that the town completed nearly all its planned street projects for 2017 and made progress compared to 2016 in the parks and administration areas.
According to the report, the town’s administrative department issued a total of 19 new business licenses in 2017. The office received a total of nine open records request, the report said, and responded to each of them within 24 hours. The parks department helped to manage 58 total events in the community center and parks, an increase from 49 in 2016.
The water and sewer department reported it had completed three out of six goals for 2017, including changing the filter media in the water treatment tanks, improving the raw water system and repairing two water pressure reducing valves. In 2018, the department still needs to hire an engineer to complete further testing on an old water tank, work with Alvarez on changing the utilities section of the Mancos Municipal Code and review the town’s water and sewer rates to see if any changes are needed.
Street projects completed in 2017 included a flush of the town’s sewer main, maintenance on all the water main valves and grading on 20,000 feet of gravel road. The town didn’t quite meet that last goal, grading only 19,090 feet of road in 2017, but the streets department reported every project not dependent on a grant was complete by the end of the year. A few, like the purchase of cameras to assess the condition of the town’s sewer lines, are still waiting for funding.
“Despite being short-staffed, I’ve really appreciated the way that everybody on staff has really stepped up this last year,” Trustee Cindy Simpson said. “I think there’s a real good team concept going right now, and I find that very awesome and refreshing.”
Alvarez mentioned several departments have been short-staffed in recent years, but the marshal’s office had especially low staffing in 2016. In 2017, while two deputies left, deputies Ricky Shadden and Mark Adkins were hired to replace them, and Marshal Jason Spruell said that overall the department was able to be more proactive than it has been in the past. He reported a 27 percent increase in overall activity, a 32 percent increase in arrests and a 74 percent increase in checks on businesses.
Alvarez also presented the unaudited financial report for 2017, which showed the town spent less than it earned in every category except the water fund, which reported $847,089 in revenue and $931,737 in expenditures, a difference of about $84,000. Those numbers did not include sales tax information. The full 2017 audit will be available in April or May, Alvarez said.
In another agenda item, Alvarez informed the board that a 2017 survey had revealed an error in the mapped boundary of Cottonwood Park. As part of a Great Outdoors Colorado grant project, town staff plans to create a new plat to reflect that the fence on the park’s northern side is the correct boundary. The board also discussed possible solutions to the problem of poor attendance at planning and zoning meetings, but did not come to any final decisions at the Jan. 24 meeting.