Town of Grand Lake, chamber officials to meet about chamber finances
March 10, 2009
Representatives of the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce presented to Grand Lake trustees a compilation of the chamber’s 2008 finances prepared by accountant Terry Meinen of Hiratsuka & Schmitt L.L.P of Winter Park and Denver.The Statement of Financial Position was prepared in response to the town’s request for a third-party review of the chamber’s financial books. It was never our intent to offend or accuse anybody of anything, it was really just to say it would be nice to know, said Town Manager Shane Hale about the chamber’s balance sheet. The town remits an average of $35,000 annually to the chamber in business license funds collected by the town and pays $8,183 per quarter for chamber operation of the town visitors center. Since 2007, the town has granted $70,000 to a snowmobile manufacturer’s media event called Snow Shoot hosted in Grand Lake. With the town’s Headwaters Marina, the town is also a chamber member.Grand Lake’s contracted service agreement with the chamber has always had the provision of an annual chamber audit, but has never exercised it, according to Hale. With the amount of public money supporting the chamber, Hale said, the town thought it prudent to review a third-party compilation of 2008 financials. It does make sense to have some sort of audit conducted, he said.The compilation has since served to locate possible bookkeeping errors, such as about $2,000 that was expected as fundraising revenue several years ago but was never received. On Monday, the town directed questions to chamber Treasurer Bob Freeman and chamber Executive Director Brad Taylor about other specifics in the compilation. After the review, both town and chamber officials discussed the need for a joint meeting of both boards to discuss the service agreement between the town and chamber. The meeting, now slated for sometime in April, would serve to set expectations on both sides by resolving the concerns and issues which have plagued us for more years than I’d like to mention, said Freeman. Even though the 2009 service agreement to manage the visitors center is already signed, Freeman advocated that before anything is finalized, both the town and chamber get a concept of what it is we’re doing and why we are doing it, as understood by both parties.Ruling in favor of townA Shadow Mountain Reservoir shoreline homeowner who lives in Grand Lake is required to pay $50 a day for every day there has been a setback violation since October 27, 2006, according to a recent court ruling in the Town of Grand Lake’s favor. In a case tried in District Court, Judge Mary Hoak found that resident David Mowatt’s newly enclosed breezeway built on the south side of his home encroached on the town’s side setback by more than 2.6 feet. The breezeway had been built, according to court papers, to allow the Mowatts to bring their exotic bird into the house by avoiding the elements that could endanger its health.But the court found Mowatt knowingly had the structure built into the town’s setback.It is in the public interest to discourage others from being tempted to encroach into setback areas in the hopes of reaping ill-gotten increased value in their property, Hoak set forth in her judgment.The fine Mowatt was mandated to pay could exceed $40,000, according to the town. It was also ruled that he has 30 days to remove the offending portion of the house. The town was also awarded court costs, which did not include attorney’s fees, according to the town manager.Seeking I-70 presenceMayor Judy Burke is attempting to get Grand Lake advertised on the I-70 corridor. Her request for a sign through the Colorado Department of Transportation touting Historic Grand Lake was turned down, due to Grand Lake’s lack of an official historic designation, the mayor informed trustees on Tuesday. But Burke is not giving up. She recently contacted State Rep. Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs for help in requesting that CDOT erect an I-70 sign informing drivers of Grand Lake’s western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, or something of a similar nature.Reconsidering trash mandateGrand Lake board members discussed putting a moratorium on its new trash-service mandate law, in light of public discord about the law and the fact that Grand County’s transfer station plans are a factor in any request-for-proposal the town would seek. Since answers about recycling and where the trash transfer station would be are still up in the air, Grand Lake board members said the best use of this time would be to form an ad hoc committee of town citizens to further examine recycling and trash solutions, and what an amended law might look like. – To reach Tonya Bina, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-887-3334 ext. 19603.