By Ruthanne Johnson
MONTE VISTA— Earlier this year, business coach and investor Ron Douglas signed a six-month contract with the city of Monte Vista to provide local businesses with free coaching services. The city-funded economic development project pays Douglas monthly for his coaching services, which includes soliciting businesses to open up shop in Monte Vista.
Douglas presented an infomercial project during the Aug. 2 city council meeting. The promotional video, he said, will help him sell Monte Vista to new businesses. The video would be produced within 30 days of council’s approval, be less than three minutes in length and cost $1,000 to produce. The short length, he explained, is because owners don’t typically have time to watch a long video. “They just want the facts about why they should want to open a business in Monte Vista.”
The city would own the rights to the footage, whether or not it is used in the infomercial. “The extra footage could be put on the city’s website and the city could change the message or do whatever they want with it,” Douglas said.
The city council unanimously approved the expenditure.
Douglas also addressed Charlie Spielman, who had heard Douglas talking at a previous city council meeting about difficulties securing appraisals for businesses wanting to open in Monte Vista. Douglas had said appraisals here take some three months or more, which had become a deterrent for businesses. Spielman was an appraiser before retiring and reported to the city council that he had connected with four appraisers who said they were available to do appraisals from mid-August to early September. The city council and Douglas thanked Spielman for his work.
The city council also approved donations of $300 each for the Fallen Hero Fund and Crime Stoppers. Police Chief John Rosecrans reported that two felon fugitives were recently tracked down and arrested based on Crime Stopper tips. “So, rewards are coming,” he said.
Rosecrans swore in the city’s new ordinance officer, 34-year-old Shane Porter, who by his third day on the job had sent out 34 courtesy letters to properties that need tidying because of garbage, junk cars and unkempt vegetation.
“Properties like this reflect badly on our city, and I am going to do my best to get things cleaned up,” he said. Porter hails from North Carolina, where he once worked as an armed guard at the Charlotte Douglas Airport. He says he’s also a huge animal lover. “One of my biggest things is that I want to help people better understand about how to care for their animals in more humane ways.” He will be working on educating pet owners as well as new ordinances that address issues such as longer dog tethers and improved shelter for pets kept outside.
City Manager Forrest Neuerburg reported to council members that the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) grant for funding toward the city’s new Ski Hi Park plans was submitted by the July 31 deadline. “We’ll probably hear back from them in September,” said Neuerburg. “So fingers crossed.”
Neuerburg also said Monte Vista’s Urban Renewal Association is moving forward on demolishing at least two blighted properties in town. “One of the properties accepted our offer to buy and there’s one that we are negotiating with,” he said. It’s now a matter of paperwork, which includes documenting potential environmental hazards and things like historical preservation issues. “We’ve also identified three other properties that we’ll be working towards acquiring,” he added. “Realistically, we’re looking at demos in the spring.”
More on the beautification front
Monte Vista citizen Margot Alexander stood during the city council meeting to give a shout out to the store owners of Shades, Quilts, Etc.; V&V True Value and Rainbow’s End for watering the flower pots on Adams Street. The flowers are alive and looking great, she said, thanks to the help of these folks.