Town of Rico
October 2002 Newsletter

Rico Courthouse Restoration Project

The Town has selected Klinke & Lew, a reputable construction firm specializing in historic restoration, to perform Phase I of the Courthouse Restoration Project.

Most of Phase I consists of exterior work such as repointing and replacing deteriorated brick and stone. The west entry steps will also be restored to its original condition or repaired. Additional structural reinforcement of the attic will be the only interior work conducted during Phase I.

Future phases of this project will focus on the courthouse interior and foundation.

The restoration work will begin next Spring.

Rico Mercantile Building

The Town is sponsoring a historic restoration grant for the Rico Mercantile Building. The owner of the building is planning to reopen the Rico Mercantile as a grocery store/general mercantile. The Colorado Historical Society will approve (or disapprove) the grant application next Spring. If the grant application is successful, restoration of the building should begin Fall 2003.

The Town is expecting this project to be approved.

New Town Prosecutor Appointed

The Town has appointed Jon Kelly, a practicing attorney from Cortez, to be the new Town Prosecutor. The Town is proud to have someone with Mr. Kelly’s experience on-board.

Todd Plewe, the Town’s former prosecutor, had to resign due to his appointment to become a Montezuma County judge.

Municipal Court is conducted on the 3rd Wednesday of every month.

Storage of Material and Dumping in Town Streets and Right-Of-Ways

The Town would like to remind everyone to please contact the Town before storing construction material and other debris in town streets and right-of-ways. Permission from the Town is required for such activity.


The Town is waiting for its Preliminary Engineering Report to be completed before preceding further with its grant applications with federal agencies. Funding for the Main Street Core System looks promising. The Town is less certain about the availability of funding for a town wide system at this time.

The primary funding for any sewer project will be coming from the EPA, USDA-Rural Development, and the Economic Development Administration. The Town should know where it stands with these federal agencies by the end of the year.

It is unlikely that the State will be able to provide grant assistance in 2003 due to a $300 million revenue shortfall in the state budget. However, the Town will continue to seek state assistance in case the state budget recovers by 2004.

Once the availability and amount of funding becomes more certain, the Town will conduct public meetings in order to provide more in-depth information to the public and obtain citizen input.

2003 Dog Tags

The 2003 Dog Tags are now available. Friendly Reminder: All dogs are required to be registered with the Town.

Not-So-Alternative Home Tour

The Not-So-Alternative Home Tour will be held Sunday, October 6th. The event will be a walking tour of alternative homes in the Rico area.

Ticket prices for the tour are as follows:

For more information, contact Donovan or Kjersten at 967-2967 or

Draft 2003 Budget

A draft of the 2003 budget will be available by October 15th. The Town Board will be conducting a budget work session on this date. Citizen input into the budget is welcome.

School Reorganization Plan

The Rico School Reorganization Committee approved final revisions to a plan for the Rico area to change from the Dolores County School District to the Telluride School District at a meeting held at the Telluride High School on September 11th. The Final Reorganization Plan will be voted on at a special election on January 14th, 2002. Committee chairperson Barb Turrin, a Rico resident and parent, led the Committee through a number of outstanding issues that needed to be addressed in order to finalize the plan.

The Colorado Department of Education required the detaching area in Rico to physically connect to the Telluride School District area. The legal description of the detachment area was amended to include sections following the 12 mile stretch of Highway 145 north of Rico to Lizard Head pass and the San Miguel County line. Other additions to the legal description include hillside areas adjacent to Rico that were added to include potential development areas recently proposed by Rico Renaissance.

A list of other concerns were addressed by the Reorganization Committee. Dolores County School District representatives expressed concern about a reversionary clause for the Rico elementary school building property and adjoining playground. Under the terms of the Reorganization Plan the school building and playground would transfer to the Telluride School District but would “revert back to the Dolores County School District if the property is not used primarily for educational or school related purposes.” Obligations by the Telluride School District to maintain the building were also desired by the Dolores County School District representatives. The Committee felt a reversionary clause with maintenance obligations could be worked out to the satisfaction of both school district boards prior to the election. The Rico School Reorganization Plan proposes that the school building and playground be transferred at no cost to the Telluride School District, but that the teacherage house and trailer on 4 lots, as well as 3 other vacant lots by the maintenance barn, would be sold to the Town of Rico at fair market value determined by an appraiser.

The issue of completing improvements and installing insulated windows in the Rico elementary building raised some pointed discussions. Dolores County School District representatives were opposed to language that required remaining improvements to be completed prior to the election. Husky stated that the Dolores County School Board did not want to put more money into the school when it did not know when the school would open or who would own the school. Telluride School District Superintendent Mary Rubadeau felt that the Committee had agreed last spring that the Rico elementary school would be transferred in a condition that met state building codes for schools. Davis stated that installing insulated windows was roughly estimated to cost $70,000.00. Keith Lindauer, a Rico resident, parent and member of the petition committee, reminded the Dolores County School District representatives that the Dolores County High School Bond was proposed with a specific allocation to the Rico elementary school of up to $300,000.00 in expenditures and that Rico was obligated on the High School bond repayments.

Approximately $175,000.00 has been spent in improvements to the Rico elementary school building in the last year. Remaining improvements include installing R38 insulation in the ceiling, installing insulated windows, installing window coverings, and completing door trim. The Plan was amended to require the remaining improvements to be completed within one year after the election.

The Final Reorganization Plan has been referred to a special election scheduled on January 14th, 2002. The Reorganization Committee appointed Earlene White, the Dolores County Clerk, as the designated election official for the special election. Copies of the Final Reorganization Plan are available at the Rico Town Hall.

The Reorganization Plan must be approved by the voters in both the Dolores County School District and the Telluride School District in order to take effect. The Rico petition committee members will schedule informational meetings before the election to answer any questions about the Reorganization Plan. The Rico petition committee consists of Barb Turrin, Jen Taylor, Keith Lindauer, Jerry Akey, and Dave Allen. The Town conducted a survey of Rico voters in Spring of 2000 which demonstrated strong support for changing school districts. The Town passed Resolution 2000-2 Support of Rico Changing School Districts in July of 2000. The Rico Petition Committee submitted a petition to formally initiate the process to change school districts in December, 2000. A Reorganization Committee was formed by statute which includes representatives from both school districts and the Rico petition committee. The Reorganization Committee has worked on the plan of Reorganization for 18 months and has conducted numerous public meetings in Rico, Dove Creek and Telluride.

“Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice doggie’ until you can find a rock.”
- Will Rogers

“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”
- Seneca

“Let us make one point, that we meet each other with a smile, when it is difficult to smile.”
- Mother Teresa


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