Here are four things to take away from the Nov. 12 meeting of the Buena Vista board of trustees:
1 Town administrators in Chaffee County met with Angel of Shavano operator Mickey Barry last week to discuss the changing cost of the recycler’s services in 2020, Buena Vista administrator Phillip Puckett said.
Puckett had previously reported to the board that Angel of Shavano’s service fees would be increasing by 30 percent in the coming year and that the recycler would no longer be accepting glass. He had estimated that finding an additional third party glass recycler would raise how much BV spends on recycling by 118 percent.
At the Nov. 8 meeting with Barry, Puckett said that the recycler offered to take glass, but at a cost of an additional $2,730 to the town, bringing the total bill for recycling in 2020 to $15,807, 44 percent higher than the $11,011 Buena Vista spent in 2019.
Puckett referred to 2020 as a transition year for recycling in the area, and said that administrators are discussing possible grants, consultants and partnerships with Chaffee Green to look into the county’s options for 2021 and beyond.
2 Trustees were talking about camping again with code enforcement officer Grant Bryans, this time zeroing in on camping on private property.
Currently, RV campers are allowed to park at a residence for 14 days every 60 days, but Bryans said that was difficult to enforce. He suggested a permitting process which would allow the town to keep a database of who is camping where and for how long.
The mood of the board was clear that they did not want to restrict people’s ability to allow campers onto their land, but wanted to give the code more teeth to keep things from getting out of hand.
In particular, Libby Fay asked to include provisions disallowing advertising or financial compensation in the code to discourage people from effectively turning their yards into miniature RV parks or a new kind of vacation rental.
No modifications to the code were made Tuesday, but a future work session may be scheduled to give the board time to look more closely into the specifics of what such a permit would entail.
Bryans said that the town of Ouray and Park and Clear Creek counties had adopted similar ordinances.
3 The board heard a report from Buena Vista Police Department officer Megan DiGirolamo, or Officer Megan as she’s known to the over 1,000 students that make up the Buena Vista School District, where she serves as the Student Resource Officer.
The 2018-19 school year was the first that the district and town have partnered in the SRO program. The district and town agreed to share the cost of a new officer on the BVPD force in exchange for dedicating an officer to working within the schools while they are in session.
DiGirolamo spoke passionately about the many, many things she does as an SRO, including regular patrols of the school, coordination of safety protocols and education around both teen and child safety and police work.
DiGirolamo said she had 72 cases in the 2018-19 school year. As with all police work, each of those cases comes with at least an hour of paperwork. When she needs to take someone in a mental health crisis in for emergency care, she has to leave campus to take that person to Salida. If she has to arrest a juvenile, she needs to take them all the way to Pueblo. In those cases, the district is without an SRO on campus for 3-6 hours, she said.
Acknowledging that the town has more pressing staffing needs in its public safety sector that it needs to address first, DiGirolamo said that she’d like to see the program grow in size with the district’s growing student body, suggesting a 5-year goal of a team of three SROs.
4 No, Virginia, there will not be a trustees meeting Tuesday, Dec. 24. Trustees voted to cancel the meeting that would have fallen on Christmas Eve, meaning they’ll finish up their work for 2019, including approving the 2020 budget, at the Dec. 10 meeting.