The town currently has a resolution in place stating no chemical herbicides will be used within town limits, but council approved Resolution 10-04, establishing a temporary exemption to town policy, to allow for the one-time spraying of Milestone to control the spotted knapweed problem.
Since council enacted that resolution, a number of residents, with the organizing help of resident Kimah McCarty, have spent countless hours pulling the noxious weed, to avoid spraying as much of the affected areas near the river as possible.
“I believe we can cultivate good species and keep Rollins Park and bike path free from noxious weeds,” said McCarty, who has been working with the Ridgway Schools and River Festival sponsors on weed pulling efforts. “Their enthusiasm has been great. They didn’t know what was down there. We are bringing the community into their own park, and at the same time they are doing a community service that makes us all feel like we are owning the park.”
Ouray County Weed Manager Ron Mabry told council he is torn about the whole situation. “I can’t tell you enough about the amount of effort she has put into this project,” Mabry said of McCarty’s troops. “I still have questions about the sustainability of it and how long she can continue to create interest in pulling weeds. They have done a great job but there is still a lot of work to do.”
Mabry and council agreed to allow McCarty and the rest of the community to continue to pull weeds instead of spraying until September.
“I think it can go all summer long,” said Mabry, and then we will “reevaluate in the fall. “Fall treatments can be more effective.”
Mayor Pat Willits and the rest of council thanked McCarty for her weed-pulling organization work.
“You deserve a standing ovation from the whole town,” Willits told McCarty.
Council will formally revisit the weed situation at its September meeting, with help from councilmembers Rich Durnan and John Clark, who will work with Mabry and assess the weed pulling effort.
Council Upholds Need for Rooster Ban
Hours after Ridgway resident “Planet” Janet Smith was found guilty on charges of keeping a rooster in town limits and not guilty of creating a nuisance in within town limits, Smith asked members of the Ridgway Town Council at its June 9 meeting to begin the process to repeal the 2009-approved ordinance that bans roosters.
“I am requesting that my grocery be grandfathered in and that I am allowed to bring [the roosters] home,” Smith said during the public comments portion of the meeting. Smith said she also plans to appeal the three-member jury’s guilty verdict.
Mayor Pat Willits said that he would love to see more homegrown food businesses in the Town of Ridgway, but that roosters are not necessarily a part of raising eggs.
“They do create a nuisance,” Willits said. “We approved that ordinance with a lot of discussion and I am not interested in bringing that up again. The ordinance is important and I believe the ordinance was well founded.”
Councilmember Ellen Hunter said she agreed with everything Willits said.
Smith was fined $300 for keeping a rooster after the ordinance went into effect.
Buy a T-Shirt, Support the Music in Ridgway
The Town of Ridgway has T-shirts for sale to benefit this year’s Pickin’ in the Park concert series, which will be held July 8, 15 and 22 in Ridgway’s Hartwell Park.
The T-shirts are designed with this year’s Pickin’ in the Park logo on the back and front. Short sleeve, long sleeve and women’s tank-tops are available. Short sleeve and tank-tops are $20 and long sleeves cost $25 with all proceed benefiting the concert series.
The town has also received a donation of an original watercolor painting that is being used as a silent auction times to raise money for the music. The painting is on display at Cimarron Books and Coffee, where there is a bid sheet available.
The concerts are being entirely funded by sponsorships, donations and fundraising events to the tune of $20,000. So far, close to $14,000 has been pledged or raised.
The lineup for this year’s series of shows includes T Bird and the Breaks, an 11-piece band from Austin, Tex., taking the stage on July 8, followed by Bearfoot on July 15, featuring modern acoustic sounds. For the final show of the series on July 22, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside will take the stage.
Caitlin Switzer Named Business Representative of Ridgway Chamber
The Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce’s new Business Representative Caitlin Switzer was introduced to the Ridgway Town Council at its meeting on June 9.
Switzer, who has a background in writing and publicity, said she will be doing business development work for the RACC and is currently meeting business owners in Ridgway in an effort to make the chamber for effective in its role.
“We are hoping that the chamber can become a much more valuable resource,” Switzer told council. I empathize with small businesses and we want to empower the people that work here.”
Switzer said there is so much about Ridgway that people don’t know about, and that she has never seen the town “toot its own horn” the way that it should.
“I will be accessible and want to hear from business owners,” she said.