Here are three things to take away from the March 24 virtual meeting of the Buena Vista board of trustees.
1 Trustees voted unanimously to make a $25,000 contribution to a fund administered by the Chaffee County Community Foundation to provide financial assistance for people in the county who are in need during the COVID-19 quarantine.
“We’d pool resources from around the county and get behind the Department of Human Services, which is already funded and staffed to provide direct support to individuals who are in need,” said town administrator Phillip Puckett. “What this emergency grant fund would do is basically back that. It would also give us the ability to combine financial resources with other municipalities and also tap into other donors through the county that are interested in giving.
CCCF executive director Joseph Teipel said “We anticipate cutting direct payment to individuals based on demonstrated need. We would not require receipt of payment before reimbursing. So the intent, as Phillip mentioned, is that those that are not able to access assistance through DHS’s program would be referred to us directly by DHS and we would be able to process assistance for them provided they meet some pretty basic eligibility requirements.
“We anticipate most of those needs will revolve around housing, whether that’s rent assistance or mortgage assistance or utility bills,” Teipel said.
The board approved a $25,000 match contribution to the emergency grant fund, paid for out of the town’s water fund.
The town is also waiving late fees related to water billing.
2 Lean times are likely coming for the town’s budget, but thanks to a program in which the Fire Department loans out its wildland fire brush truck, the town will still be able to purchase a new rescue engine without tapping into the town’s general fund.
The board approved Tuesday to purchase agreement between the town and the Northern Sonoma County Fire Protection District in Geyserville, Calif. for $200,000, to be paid for out of funds saved from the Infinite Deployment program over several years.
The 2011 Ferrara engine replaces one the town fire department has been using that dates back to the 1970’s.
It’s unknown when fire chief Dixon Villers will actually be able to make the trip out to Wine Country to bring back the truck, but Villers said he had right of first refusal for the truck.
3 The board appointed Brian Green as the town’s new Municipal Court Judge.
Puckett said Green was selected unanimously from a pool of 5 applicants for the post by a review board composed of town staff and trustees.
Green is a resident of Fairplay, and has served as Park County Court Judge for over 13 years. He is also the municipal court judge for the towns of Fairplay and Alma and was the Deputy District Attorney for the 11th Judicial District from 2004-2007. He will continue in his part-time positions in the Park County judicial system
Due to the timing of Green’s appointment, the trustees will have to consider reappointing him to the position at their next meeting, when all town appointed positions are brought up for reappointment as the new trustees are seated.