Carbondale trustees to take up budget, Thompson Park tonight |

Carbondale trustees to take up budget, Thompson Park tonight

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE, Colorado – The town trustees tonight are expected to approve the proposed budget for 2012, including a 2 percent pay increase for town employees.

The trustees also will be discussing the Thompson Park annexation and development proposal.

Town manager Jay Harrington said town staff have had no pay increases since 2008.

A 2 percent raise, Harrington said, “is similar to what you’ve seen in municipalities throughout the area,” as governments try to hang onto employees rather than see them leave and be forced to train replacements.

The raise package will cost about $58,000, and will be drawn from the general fund and the water and wastewater fund.

Harrington noted that the town’s commuter van program for employees who live outside of Carbondale is being phased out next year, saving as much as $45,000 that otherwise would have been needed to buy a new van, fuel and maintain it.

The town has also cut back on year-end bonus checks and parties.

Raises, he said, make up in part for the loss of those perks.

Harrington said he is aware that some residents have questioned the town’s ability to afford the raises.

“I fully understand that, and I know things are tight” for employees everywhere, he said. But a 2 percent raise, he said, “is a pretty negligible increase” compared to the benefit of hanging on to valued employees.

Tonight’s meeting also includes a continued public hearing on the Thompson Park development proposal.

The hearings have been periodically continued since June, as developer Frieda Wallison jockeyed for position with the town council over different aspects of her plans.

Wallison hopes to build 45 houses on the 10-acre site bordering Highway 133 near the intersection with Weant Boulevard.

In return for development approvals, Wallison has agreed to dedicate the 123-year-old Holland-Thompson farmhouse, along with an acre of land, as a public museum and park. The house is to be leased to the Mount Sopris Historical Society.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in Town Hall.

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