Family closes Packer site

LAKE CITY – The tourist attraction denoting the Alferd Packer prospecting party of 1874 has been closed by property owners Van and Pamela Evans. It is located in the Vickers Ranch subdivision.

The place where Packer allegedly killed and ate five men has been open to the public since 1928 and is commemorated with a bronze marker. Since July 7, it’s been closed with padlocked gates and video surveillance. They Evans bought the property five years ago from Joe and Sandra Jarman. It has increasingly become a bathroom stop for travelers and tourists. When confronted, the visitors become abusive and refuse to leave. Trash is continually dropped at the site as well.

Later this month, the Lake City Historical Society will consider including the Packer gravesite area as part of an organized tour to be included with current tours of other local sites.

Armed teacher talk continues

NORWOOD – The decision to arm schoolteachers in Norwood will continue to play out and be on the school board’s July 20 agenda. Students, teachers and parents have spoken for and against the measure. Norwood’s isolation and the time it would take for law enforcement to arrive on scene, if there is a school shooter, has prompted the discussion.

OHV issue will go to voters

SILVERTON – A special election will be held Oct. 12 to determine the future of OHV usage in the town limits. Town council earlier this summer banned OHV from town limits, but eased those restrictions after protests.

Thus far, there hasn’t been protest for the referendum and ballot language is being developed.

Mining party coming Aug. 14

SILVERTON – Hardrocker Holidays, which took a break in 2020 due to COVID, will return Aug. 14. The three-day celebration will feature friendly competitions such as tug of war, horseshoes and other events that celebrate the town’s mining history.

The events will be held the Kendall Mountain Ski Area.

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unnison Valley Health expands office space

GUNNISON – Gunnison Valley Health will soon have an expansion of office space as the Gunnison County commissioners okayed the purchase of the former Dollar Tree store on Tomichi Avenue. The building cost was $1.45 million. Renovations to accommodate staff and equipment will push the price tag to $2.69 million.

GVH vice-president of administrative services, Wade Baker, noted how several departments had outgrown existing spaces. They had plans to build a new office, but current construction costs compelled GVH to look into other options. GVH is a 24-bed hospital with critical care credentials.

Meeker festival to aid charities

MEEKER – The Mountain Valley Bank will again host its fall festival, but with a new date. It’ll be Aug. 28. In the 17 previous years, the fundraiser for local non-profits was held in September. The idea to move the festival to August would hopefully raise awareness, attendance and not be impacted by weather. More than 700 people attended the last festival in 2019 which raised $13,800 for non-profits.

There will be games booths, exhibits, food booths. It will be at the Mountain Valley Bank parking lot on Fourth and Main streets. It will also be a food-raiser for the Meeker Food Pantry. Attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for donation.

Moab considers property tax

MOAB – A property tax for Moab residents is being considered by the city council. Currently, residents pay zero tax on their property, but city leaders have made a case for Moab’s understaffed police department and overdue infrastructure needs like roads, sewer and other capital improvements. The price for these upgrades would be $60 million with $14.4 million needed for “critical projects.”

The proposed tax would generate $3.3 million annually and would be capped at that amount.

The tax and what it would mean to Moab and its property owners was discussed at a Moab Chamber of Commerce meeting July 12. The zero pe rcent property tax was put into effect in 1991. Then, residents were negatively affected by the uranium market bust and the zero tax rate was seen as a stimulant to help the community face economic issues.

Today, Moab is overly reliant on tourism, say city officials. They want a steady stream of income to support police, address infrastructure and add to the rainy-day fund. With the $3.3 million, eight police officers could be hired and all of the capital projects would be renovated.

The city council Aug. 4 will present a Truth in Taxation program to hear opinions from residents on the proposed tax. The council will then decide to raise the property tax or not, and at what rate.

Allred retires from foundation

TELLURIDE – Ron Allred, founder of the Telluride Foundation, will be retiring from the board, it was announced by Allred at the foundation’s July 6 meeting. Allred, former CEO and president of Telski, and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, gathered financial commitments from 13 “friends at Telluride” to start a non-profit which addressed educational and employment opportunities in Telluride.

The foundation’s president and CEO, Paul Major, updated the board on recent projects. More than $1.6 million of COVID relief was raised locally with $1.2 million distributed directly to individuals who were impacted by the pandemic.

SOURCES: Silverton Standard, Lake City Silver World, Gunnison Country Times, Norwood Post, Telluride Daily Planet, Moab Sun and Rio Blanco Herald Times.

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