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Carbondale to show off new downtown

Lynn Burton

Carbondale’s downtown brick pavers are barely planted, and folks already want to party on them.The Carbondale Board of Trustees agrees, and Tuesday night it approved a $3,500 appropriation for a June 8 celebration to dedicate $450,000 in downtown improvements.The day’s highlights will include more than 30 musical acts at four venues, plus a Valley Cruisers car parade and free hot-dogs while they last.”This started small, then turned out to be a large party,” Downtown Historic Preservation Committee member Carol Bruno told the trustees. “We want to show off the improvements.”Those improvements include pedestrian-friendly bulb-outs on Main Street at Third and Fourth streets. The sidewalk extensions have turned curb-to-curb sprints across the street into more leisurely strolls.A plaza is being completed on the east side of the U.S. West building at Fourth and Main Street. That’s where bands will set up on June 8. Other music venues include Steve’s Guitars, the Village Smithy and Peppino’s.Bruno said the bands agreed to play for free, and the lineup includes a veritable who’s who of downvalley talent, including: Louie and the Lizards, Trunk, Big Daddy Lee & the King Bees, Devon Meyers, Howard Berkman, T-Ray Becker, and Friends of Your Mother.”It will be a musical celebration of downtown,” said Preservation Committee member Ron Robertson.To facilitate the celebration, Main Street will be closed for three blocks, from Weant to Third Street.The Valley Cruisers Car Club will be making their third straight appearance in Carbondale’s Sopris Park on Saturday, June 8. Robertson said the classic cars might be incorporated into future downtown celebrations, and serve as mobile artwork around town.”There are a lot of great possibilities,” Robertson said.Robertson said future downtown celebrations could tie in with the town’s new economic development efforts.”Bring on the malls,” Robertson said, referring to the proposed Crystal River Marketplace on Highway 133. “We’ve got a special downtown. People should come check us out.”The June 8 party will be from noon to 9 p.m.Carbondale town manager John Hier raised a cautionary flag Tuesday about Carbondale’s sales tax revenues for the first four months of 2002.He told the trustees retail sales tax collections were up 6 percent in January and up 7 percent in February compared to 2001, but tax revenues dropped 16 percent in March and 9.9 percent in April.Hier told the trustees the staff will present sales tax reports each month, and wait until May and June reports are in before recommending any spending cuts.Unlike most other local towns, Carbondale’s sales tax reports do not divide collections into categories such as food, liquor sales, hardware sales and restaurants. Trustee Susie Darrow asked Hier if there’s any way the town can figure out how the tax collections break down into categories.Hier said the state doesn’t provide categories in its monthly reports, but rather lists individual businesses in alphabetic order. State law prevents towns from releasing sales tax figures from individual businesses.Municipal sales taxes are collected by the state, then remitted to towns in which they were collected. Hier said the town could convert the state’s monthly collection list into categories, “but it would be a pretty daunting task.”-In other business, the trustees:-Continued discussion of the creation of the Carbondale Public Art Commission. Residents who have agreed to serve on the commission, which will advise the trustees in matters of public art, are Chris Chacos, Sue Hontz, Virginia Lappala, Ro Mead, Krista Paradise, Dan Troutman and Frank Norwood.-Appointed Tyler Henderson as student member on the Carbondale Parks and Recreation Commission. In his letter to trustees, Henderson said he is active in the biking community, and recently put together a team for the High School Mountain Bike Championships in Crested Butte.-Continued a public hearing on the town’s lighting ordinance to June 25.


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