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Community Briefs

Ethics Commission continues investigation

Last week the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission continued its closed-door discussion regarding a formal complaint filed against Eagle Mayor Yuri Kostick and town board member Doug Seabury.

In open session, the commission instructed staff to continue its investigation regarding the matter.

At issue is a trip Kostick and Seabury took Oct. 29 through Nov. 1 to meet with Haymeadow developer Alan Cohen. They were accompanied by Seabury’s business associate Scott Scholsser to meet with Cohen, who is the owner and developer of the Haymeadow property in Eagle, a 660-acre parcel located just south of the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink. Haymeadow is approved for an 837-unit residential development. Scholsser is the newly designated local contact for the Haymeadow project.

Prior to the trip, the pair did not inform other town board members or town staff that they were headed to Florida to meet with Cohen. After news of the trip became public knowledge, the Eagle Town Board released a written statement on Nov. 17 addressing the issue, particularly because the $2,380 airfare cost represents a violation of Amendment 41. Amendment 41 prohibits town officials or staff from accepting gifts, including travel costs, in excess of $50. Kostick and Seabury have subsequently said they reimbursed Cohen for the airfair cost. As for other costs associated with the trip, Kostick and Seabury have said there were no other trip expenses because they stayed at a guest house on Cohen’s property, where they also dined during the stay.

In January, the state ethics commission voted to investigate the Florida trip to determine if Kostick’s and Seabury’s actions violated Amendment 41 of the state Constitution. A formal complaint regarding the issue was filed by Eagle resident Mike Stevens and on Feb. 13, the commission voted that the issue was “non-frivolous” and notified the parties involved that an investigation would be conducted.

The next meeting of the state ethics commission in scheduled Monday, May 11.

Duck Pond Open Space grand opening

Eagle County will celebrate the formal grand opening of the Duck Pond Open Space at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 22.

While Duck Pond has been available for public use since 2011, recently completed improvements include a new boat ramp, parking area, driveway, picnic area and restroom. In addition, a portion of the Eagle Valley Trail has been constructed through the property

Located on the Eagle River between Gypsum and Dotsero, the 55-acre Duck Pond serves mainly as a takeout for boaters and anglers coming from upstream launch points. A designated area will also be available for duck hunting; call Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 970-947-2920 for information on hunting and fishing licenses. The Eagle Valley Land Trust holds a conservation easement which permanently protects the parcel.

The river access improvements at Duck Pond are the first to be completed by the Eagle County Open Space Program on the Eagle River. The program has already developed four boat ramps and a primitive access point on the Colorado River.

For more information, call Open Space Director Toby Sprunk at 970-328-8698.

TIME TO BE BEAR AWARE

Colorado’s bears have awoken from their winter’s nap and are again active throughout the state.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife urges state residents in bear country to make sure they aren’t providing any food attractants around residences.

By following some simple steps, we can all pitch in to avoid conflicts with Colorado’s wildlife. Here are some tips to help keep bears out of trouble and away from your house:

Keep garbage in a well-secured enclosure.

Only put out garbage on the morning of pickup.

Take down all bird feeders — birds don’t need to be fed during the summer. Bird feeders are a major source of bear/human conflicts.

Attract birds naturally with flowers and water baths.

Clean garbage cans regularly to keep them odor free.

If you don’t have secure storage, put items that might become smelly into the freezer until trash day.

Don’t leave pet food or stock feed outside.

Never provide food for any wildlife.

Secure compost piles. Bears are attracted to the scent of rotting food.

Fully enclose backyard bee hives and chicken coops. Electric fencing is an effective bear deterrent.

Allow grills to burn for a couple of minutes after cooking to burn off grease and to eliminate odors. Clean grills and grease cup after each use.

Clean-up thoroughly after picnics in the yard or on the deck. Don’t allow food odors to linger.

If you have fruit trees, pick fruit before it gets too ripe. Don’t allow fruit to rot on the ground.

Keep garage doors closed.

Keep the bottom floor windows of your house closed when you’re not at home.

Do not keep food or used-food containers in your vehicle.

Lock vehicle doors and roll up the windows.

Talk to your neighbors and kids about being bear aware.

Bears are constantly on the move, so residents are reminded that they only need to file a report with Colorado Parks and Wildlife when an animal is causing problems around your house or neighborhood.

For more information about avoiding conflicts with bears and other wildlife, go to the Living with Wildlife section on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website:

http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeSpecies/LivingWithWildlife/Pages/LivingWith.aspx.


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