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Salidan John McGowan gave a counter presentation to the Nestlé Waters North America economic impact study and Tom Bomer of Unbottle Chaffee County gave comments during the 1041 permit hearing Tuesday.

Commissioners also heard from representatives of Bonfire Entertainment, which is seeking a permit for a 2-day music event to be held Sept. 24-25 at the Meadows in Buena Vista. The company produced Campout for the Cause in prior years.

Chaffee County Economic Development Corp. announced Wednesday that Jake Rishavy will assume the role of executive director effective July 1.

Sales tax returns for March 2021 were 42.46% higher than in the same month last year, according to town treasurer Michelle Stoke.

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The Salida Hospital District Board of Directors heard a presentation May 18 on a new program designed to assist those with lingering effects from COVID-19.

The Post COVID Rehab Clinic is a multidisciplinary program geared to “provide a pathway of relief for community members suffering from lingering COVID symptoms and restore quality of life.”

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The Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce staff, membership coordinator Jon Cobb and executive director Melissa Traynham, stand outside their new offices in the Wedge building at East Main Street and Cottonwood Avenue.

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A new regional option for mental health care in the rural central mountain region was one step closer to reality as ground was broken Thursday for Solvista Health’s Regional Assessment Center on the Heart of Rockies Regional Medical Center campus.

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Q How would you describe what your business is/does? 

A local bakery creating plant-based, better-for-you baked goods, snacks and custom orders with organic, quality ingredients and gluten-free options. 

Colorado-based Collegiate Peaks Bank is pleased to announce its Community Heroes Campaign, providing a way for its customers and the public to nominate the nonprofit organization of their choice for a $3,000 donation from Collegiate Peaks Bank that will go directly to the cause.

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Included in the application for the Meadows’s Outdoor Theater is the result of an economic impact study of the largest event to be held on the property – the Seven Peaks Music Festival.

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Chaffee County entered the post-dial phase of its COVID-19 pandemic response April 16, as the county public health department announced a new public health order in response to the statewide devolution of the dial system implemented last fall.

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Buena Vista code enforcement officer Grant Bryans submitted a report on short-term rental activity in the first quarter of 2021 to the town board of trustees Tuesday, finding that 118 total licenses for STRs were issued in town.

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The Surface Transportation Board denied the notice of exemption filed by Colorado Midland & Pacific Railway to lease the 163.1 mile Tennessee Pass line between Parkdale and Sage from the Union Pacific March 26.

The line stretches through Fremont, Chaffee, Park and Eagle counties.

The Midland filed the request with an eye toward passenger and freight service.

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Through this month, the staff of the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce will be moving their headquarters from the historic St. Rose of Lima church to another historic building.

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On April 8, Angel of Shavano Recycling will terminate its contract with Chaffee County and close its Poncha Springs recycling plant, according to a news release Tuesday from County public affairs specialist Beth Helmke.

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SOIL Sangre de Cristo membership awarded its second round of zero-interest farm/ranch loans Badger Creek Ranch and Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy, LLC. To date SOIL Sangre de Cristo has awarded $20,000. in its first year.

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As new homes in Poncha Springs pop up like spring crocus, the retail and commercial landscape has been nurturing change as well. Here’s a roundup of what’s new in Poncha Springs:

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Buena Vista treasurer Michelle Stoke presented the first sales tax reports of 2021 to the board of trustees this week, and for the 29th month in a row, returns were up in January 2021 compared to the same month last year.

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SOIL Sangre de Cristo membership awarded its second round of zero-interest farm/ranch loans Badger Creek Ranch and Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy, LLC. To date SOIL Sangre de Cristo has awarded $20,000. in its first year.

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As new homes in Poncha Springs pop up like spring crocus, the retail and commercial landscape has been nurturing change as well. Here’s a roundup of what’s new in Poncha Springs:

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Buena Vista treasurer Michelle Stoke presented the first sales tax reports of 2021 to the board of trustees this week, and for the 29th month in a row, returns were up in January 2021 compared to the same month last year.

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Next Wednesday, Buena Vista’s craft beer lovers’ long sentence will have been served as the Jailhouse Craft Beer Bar reopens for the first time since it closed its doors on March 16, 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic mandates.

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The Class 2A top-ranked Demons hit the gridiron for the first time since November 2019 last weekend and brought home a 42-6 victory over No. 6 Manitou Springs.

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A motion to amend notice of exemption submitted to the Surface Transportation Board by Colorado Midland Pacific Railway Monday would specifically restrict the line from transporting crude oil, coal and hazardous commodities over the Tennessee Pass line.

Poncha Springs collected $410,357.86 in sales tax in 2020, higher than the $291,260.11 collected in 2019, town administrator Brian Berger reported.

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As of press time Tuesday evening, one could squint at the lawn in front of the offices of The Chaffee County Times on East Main Street and see scattered sprigs of green grass venturing out of the earth otherwise covered in last seasons’s dry yellow shoots.

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As of press time Tuesday evening, one could squint at the lawn in front of the offices of The Chaffee County Times on East Main Street and see scattered sprigs of green grass venturing out of the earth otherwise covered in last seasons’s dry yellow shoots.

While Chaffee County, like The Times’ lawn, isn’t quite ready to green just yet, on Wednesday it did move from the Yellow level on the state COVID-19 dial to Blue, representing a relaxation of pandemic restrictions as vaccines are distributed and the county, state and nation grow cautiously optimistic.

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Fading West Development laid down the foundations for the Farm in 2017, a 218-unit housing development in Buena Vista that sought to bring attainable housing prices to the Upper Arkansas Valley with manufactured homes.

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Since opening in 2018, Sorelle Delicatessen has grown quickly in popularity.

Chaffee County Times readers voted for the deli in multiple categories in Best of BV 2020, earning the restaurant a Buena Vista-most four awards: Favorite Employer, Favorite Restaurant, Favorite Lunch Spot and Favorite Curbside Takeout Service, the fourth award tied with Simple Eatery.

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Buena Vista closed out the year 2020 with a year-to-year increase of 20.7% in sales tax returns in the month of December.

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Cause + Medic, the spa and retail supplier of environmentally friendly cleaning products, was voted Best New Business in 2020 and Favorite Massage/Body work.

Coming in first in addition to those two in the Best of BV poll, Cause + Medic’s hydrochloric acid based Clean Republic hand sanitizer was named the town’s favorite as well.

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In December, Chuck and Lindy Chicowitz sold the whitewater rafting outfitter they started on the Upper Arkansas River in 1983. Noah’s Ark will now have two longtime employees at the helm.

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Sangre de Cristo Electric Association’s wholesale electricity provider, Tri-State Generation, filed a plan with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission at the end of last year that states the wholesaler would double its solar and wind resources by 2030.

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For 2021, “Discover – the Heart of Colorado” will be published in spring featuring summer activities and events with a fall-winter edition to follow.

The popular Arkansas Valley Publishing Co. magazine will take the place of the Summer Adventure Guide and Upper Arkansas Winter Guide which have been published for something like 40 years, in addition to Discover.

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Charles Forster, the former president of Buena Vista’s Collegiate Peaks Bank, was a Salida resident, but his commitment to the town’s businesses and community outreach affected the Buena Vista area as well.

The decision on exemptions for the lease of the Tennessee Pass Line by Colorado Midland & Pacific Railway Company from line owner Union Pacific Corporation will have to wait, pending consideration of arguments presented to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board in opposition to the actions.

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Salida lost a leader and friend with the death of Charles “Charlie” Forster, 72, following a long battle against a type of lymphoma cancer.

A family friend confirmed late Thursday that Mr. Forster, the former president of Collegiate Peaks Bank died peacefully Thursday at his home in Salida.

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The Chaffee’s Got Heart Committee is proud of local businesses, organizations and individuals that have gone above and beyond during the pandemic and recently recognized Eddyline Restaurant and Brewery.

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Even during a pandemic, new dining opportunities have developed in Buena Vista, with more coming in 2021.

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Speculation over what kind of freight a proposed reactivation of the Tennessee Pass line by the Colorado Midland & Pacific Railway Company has sparked much discussion between different interest groups in Chaffee County and beyond.

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Sales tax returns for the town of Buena Vista were up 9.81% in October and 18.04% in November 2020, town treasurer Michelle Stoke said in a memo to town trustees.

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One aspect of the 2020 market that is not disputed by the statistics is that demand for real estate remained strong, and prices continued to increase over previous years.

At both ends of the county, the percentage of pending, closed and new listings were remarkably similar, as were the increases in the median closed prices.

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As the early phases of work to reactivate the Tennessee Pass Line begin, local and regional officials are voicing concerns about the proposal to once again run trains along the long-dormant track.

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The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association released the results of its 2020 waste audit at the end of December, which tracks the trash disposal and recycling habits of Chaffee County Residents.

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“I have some of the top brokers, in my opinion, in the county. I’ve got a great group of brokers,” said Full Circle owner Catherine Fisher. “Mona (Bellantonio) has been in this for over 28 years. I’ve got Bruce Ward, 35 years; Mary Kale, 16 years. I believe they’re some of the top brokers.”

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While many unknowns still linger about the lease of the Tennessee Pass rail line announced on New Years’ Eve, rafting outfitters are concerned about the return of train service on the tracks along the Arkansas River, which have been unused since 1997.

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The final day of 2020 brought unexpected news to the Upper Arkansas Valley with the announcement that a rail company was making moves to resume service on the Tennessee Pass Line, renewing the possibility that trains may again travel the rails for the first time in decades.

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It’s been almost 25 years since the last trains rolled through Chaffee County, and over 56 years since the last passenger train offered service to and from Salida over Tennessee Pass.

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 The passage of the bipartisan SB20B-001 allocated $35.15M to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for grants to certain small businesses across Colorado, struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic. SB20B-001 was sponsored by Sens. Faith Winter and Kevin Priola, and Reps. Leslie Herod and Shane Sandridge.