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Montezuma County Commissioners Delay Decision On Sales Tax Vote

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Montezuma County commissioners delayed a decision Monday about putting a sales-tax question on the November ballot, and authorized cost negotiations for a section of a trail between Mancos and Cortez.

The Montezuma County commissioners delayed a decision Monday about putting a sales-tax question on the November ballot and what that tax might be used for. The Planning and Zoning Commission has suggested seeking a sales tax for general purposes in the wake of falling revenues from carbon-dioxide extraction. But others have said a tax earmarked for a specific purpose such as providing  high-speed Internet throughout the county would have a better chance of passing. Commissioner Keenan Ertel worried about the costs of broadband, noting that rental fees charged by Empire Electric for stringing fiber on its poles could amount to millions of dollars. The board said it would revisit the tax issue on Monday, when they hope to have results of a phone survey assessing residents’ interest in broadband, and more news about Empire’s possible role in the project. County IT director Jim McClain urged the board to decide as soon as possible to allow time for marketing and education.

The Montezuma County commissioners authorized members of a team working on the proposed Paths to Mesa Verde trail to enter into cost negotiations with Loris and Associates, a Colorado-based civil engineering firm, to design a section of the trail. The commissioners are eager to see ground broken on the project, which they hope will eventually reach from Cortez to Mancos.
 

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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