Center increases power

Center’s Director of Public Works David Mehaffie described utility projects in the works for town board trustees Jan. 12.

CENTER — Shortly after Town Administrator Brian Lujan took his position in October 2017, collaboration between the town of Center and Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) grew while the town’s to-do list shrank. In a DCI press release dated Jan. 12, 2021, Lujan said, “The Town of Center decided to shape our own future and stop kicking the can down the road.” During the town board meeting Jan. 12, Lujan credited Trustee Bill McClure with the can-kicking quote, adding that recent accomplishments reveal the future taking shape today. Crews recently installed water meters for the Center system, repaved streets and routed electric wiring underground.  Lujan explained how “The Challenge Program and DCI helped the Town build a team of dedicated partners, consultants, and resources that keep momentum going and help us move our strategy forward.”  Steering momentum in 2021, the Town of Center received a $20K grant from Colorado Housing and Financing Authority to support local placemaking, beautification and entrepreneurship. Lujan described mobile “parklets,” which are like large booth spaces for dining, presentations or commercial sales operations. Although it was not in the press release, Lujan noted how the 2% sales tax increase that voters approved in April started feeding the coffers in July, and 0.5% will be directed toward the town’s Economic Development Fund currently in development. Combining funds with utility operations will bolster infrastructure projects.  Lujan emphasized economic development possibilities throughout the meeting, particularly for downtown revitalization and the 90-acre annexation of town-owned land within Saguache County. Mass Design, an international housing and design firm, is developing a planning proposal for the 90-acre parcel to feature housing, broadband infrastructure and a civic and educational campus. Meanwhile, as Center’s Director of Public Works David Mehaffie noted during his update, crews extended connectivity in town and will be able to manage increased power to match increased need. CF Altitude LLC is taking ownership of Alta Convenience Stores and requested a temporary liquor license while all 92 locations in Colorado seek approval. The board approved the ownership transfer and directed staff to issue the temporary license. Local ownership reveals renovation work on six properties in town, some in progress and others on the 2021 calendar. On the town board calendar, trustees agreed to continue meeting on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month, starting at 6:00 p.m. so they can schedule work sessions at 4:30 or 5:00 p.m., if necessary.

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