The recent Buena Vista Board of Trustees meeting was full of agenda items related to preparing for the coming summer. With mayor and trustee elections around the corner, many citizens attended the public comment segment to stay informed of various changes underway.
The meeting’s first big item focused on the end of the moratorium on outdoor patios in front of businesses on Main Street. The moratorium was first introduced in April 2016, and trustees voted to extend it in November.
Now that the moratorium has expired, the policy allows more outdoor seating similar to The Lariat’s patio in the business blocks of East Main Street, excluding two blocks from Railroad to Court streets because of their prime parking locations.
Although the areas allowing the new outdoor usage are near some residential buildings, the board approved the overall acceptance of these new patios. Restrictions include no banners or signage and adherence to the town’s 10 p.m. noise compliance standards. Trustees said residents living near the business patio renovations can bring up any further issues during public comment at future meetings.
Jed Selby, owner of South Main LLC, addressed the board about his application to the state for a liquor license involving Surf Chateau, a new hotel near projected to open May 1, and The Beach and courtyard area of South Main.
Selby seeks to offer an all-inclusive entertainment area in which guests can walk around without restrictionwhile consuming alcoholic libations, both indoors and outdoors. Approval of this license anda multi-location permit is a state affair, but Selby brought the matter to the board because people within the designated area would be crossing town roads with open containers.
“What we found is there’s not an easy solution in creating a permit such as this,” Selby said. “The idea being presented here is actually the state’s idea. Essentially the hotel and resort liquor license encompasses a venue, a restaurant, the hotels and the private outdoor area we own surrounding The Beach. The original code of this nature was written on behalf of the Broadmoor Hotel — which the state did say is easy to get.”
Because the area encompasses both private and public property and because representatives of South Main and the state are still working out details, additional discussions are a certainty. The board also wants to do its own research on the matter and reconvene at a later time to discuss it in more detail.
In another agenda item, Sangre de Cristo Electric Association is applying for a government grant to build three new electric vehicle charging stations in downtown locations, including a level 3 charger in the central parking lot of South Main. The two current charging locations are level 2 and take two to three hours to fully charge a vehicle.
A level 3 station would decrease the charging time to an optimal 30-60 minutes per vehicle. Additional parking zones will require on-going discussions among town representatives, but the board did approve the use of spots in this parking lot for the new charging stations with the stipulation that rates be comparable to those of existing stations owned by the town.
There was also discussion about a report from Shawn Williams, Public Works director, to update and improve water systems in town. The report proposes constructing another water tower at South Main similar to a tower already in place west of town.
It also proposes making improvements to water pipelines for more direct channeling and the repair or replacement of fire hydrants in school zones. The project, if financed by a $500,000 DOLA grant from the state, could begin construction in May, following complete approval.
A “Meet the Candidates” forum of trustee and mayoral candidates will be held 6 p.m Wednesday, March 14, at the Buena Vista Community Center.