Pump Track Comes to Ridgway
by Peter Shelton
Jul 21, 2011 | 1425 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RIDGWAY – Ridgway’s town councilors heard from former world champion mountain biker Sara Ballantyne about a new kind of bike track called a pump track at its regular meeting, July 13. According to Mayor Pat Willits, Ballantyne followed her power point presentation with a request for town help in locating and building a dirt arena for cyclists, with sculpted features analogous to a skate park.

The council decided, Willits said after the meeting, that a pump track was a great idea, and dedicated a portion of town property at the south end of the athletic fields as well as authorized town staff “to work with Sara and her group” in preparing the venue. This will consist primarily of donating some heavy equipment time (when public works staff are already on duty) and the use of a water truck.


Ridgway’s town council adopted at its July meeting via resolution a policy that speaks to the use of the taser guns.a resolution and police procedures policy amendment for the use of of electro-muscular disruption technology, or Taser guns, by the marshal’s department. The taser guns were budgeted for and purchased earlier this year. EMDT’s have become an important tool for law enforcement in controlling violent or potentially violent individuals without the use of excessive force, and Ridgway has now joined the list of departments with Taser capability.

“This was something we knew was coming,” said Mayor Pat Willits. “We had the philosophical discussion in the fall, last year during our budget discussions, when we decided to spend the money to acquire the devices. Then in January of this year we worked with the marshal’s department on their training and policy needs.”

Willits said, “In the last four or five months we were asked by our insurance carrier if we wanted to participate in trial training opportunities for small community departments like ours. We did some training with the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office, among others.”

The Taser use policy includes everything from verbal and visual warnings from the officer to when and how a second or third Taser shock can be administered to a recalcitrant individual.

Tasers work by delivering a high-voltage, low amperage electric shock (“a nasty shock,” according to a law-enforcement website), through clothing and skin, briefly incapacitating the suspect without causing lasting harm.


Mayor Pat Willits confirmed this week that the town has hired SE Group of Frisco, Colo., to update the Ridgway’s 1999 Master Plan.

“We put out a proposal,” Willits told The Watch. “We have budgeted $10,000 to this effort. I think the 1999 plan cost $50-60,000. We’re lucky to have [Ridgway native] Paul Donegan working as paid intern on this project, paid through a Denver University program, where Paul is a student. He’s a wonderful, talented guy, Ridgway High School valedictorian in 2008.”

SE stands for Sno-Engineering. The planning group got its start in Vermont 50 years ago. Principal Mark Kane has worked on the Town of Telluride Valley Floor Conceptual Land Development Study. Project Manager Melissa Sherburne has worked on the Town of Gypsum Eagle River Area Plan and the City of Fruita’s Community Plan as well as the Town of Mountain Village Comprehensive Plan.

In its proposal, SE Group said it envisions a “grassroots effort” in Ridgway, with the consultants “facilitating and advising.”


The previously announced July beginning for weekly recycling pickup in Ridgway has “taken a twist,” according to Mayor Pat Willits.

The emergency ordinance required to authorize the change in service could not be passed at this month’s regular council meeting because the necessary “super quorum” of six councilors was not present. “We have asked Jonathan Greenspan [the hauling contractor] to cease weekly pickups,” Willits said. “We won’t have an ordinance before a second reading at our August meeting. The town will be distributing postcards to residents advising them of the suspended weekly service.” Regular twice-a-month pickup will continue.


Ridgway’s Julie Ahern asked town council at its last meeting to authorize a parade route for Max Schuetz’s return home, sometime in late August.

Max is the Ridgway boy with leukemia who recently received a bone marrow transplant.

Council approved a parade route around Town Park and agreed, according to Mayor Pat Willits, to “set it up with the marshal’s department to control traffic along the highway for that section of the parade.”

Council will “look for you,” Willits said, referring to Ahern, “to choose the date, time, etc.”

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