Residents showed up in-person to comment at this week’s Cortez City Countil meeting for the first time in months.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, council met remotely for months and took public comment on Zoom. The governing body only recently began holding its meetings back at City Hall.
The few residents who attended Tuesday had their temperatures checked and were required to wear masks in council chambers. Comments from locals ranged from gratitude to City Council for its work on complaints that officials were not responsive to emails.
Mayor Mike Lavey started the meeting by sending condolences to the victims of the Boulder supermarket shooting.
“It’s a terrible tragedy, and we need to get beyond this and do better as a country,” Lavey said.
A moment of silence was observed.
City business included passing a new snow removal ordinance and signing off on the police department’s purchase of Tasers and body cameras.
According to Lavey, the snow removal ordinance is designed to simplify and streamline the rules for businesses and residents.
The ordinance defines a sidewalk as “that portion of a public roadway between the curb lines or the lateral lines of the traveled portion and the adjacent property lines which is constructed, designed, maintained and intended for the use of pedestrians.”
All snow and ice must be removed within 12 hours of the last measurable accumulation of snow.
The ordinance pertains to commercial and residential properties.
Citizens cannot face jail time for not being compliant. They will, however, face progressive fines.
Anyone who violates the ordinance will be fined $25 per day. The fine will double to $50 per day for a second offense, tripled to $75 per day for a third and so forth.
Failure to remove snow and ice after each snow storm will be considered a new and separate offense.
“We’re trying to make it easy on the people in the city, but want to make it safe so people don’t get hurt,” Lavey told The Journal.
The ordinance passed on first reading, and a public hearing is set for April 13. Councilor Orly Lucero was the lone dissenting vote.
Lavey also revealed Tuesday night that the city will likely receive almost $1.9 million dollars in coronavirus relief funding from the economic stimulus package signed into law by President Joe Biden this month.
Lavey told The Journal that he received the information from John Whitney, Sen. Michael Bennet’s regional director on the Western Slope, during a virtual meeting with the Southwest Colorado Council of Governments.