Chatfield council supports historic preservation of hitching post
Tuesday, December 04, 2012 2:41 AM
Chatfield residents may choose to hitch their wagons to a star, but they may also still be able to hitch their horses to a vintage hitching post, should said hitching post be repaired and relocated from its original station on the corner of Second Street and Twiford to the north end of the block.
Historic Preservation Committee (HPC) representative Robert Vogel updated the Chatfield City Council on proceedings regarding the hitching post, "truly the last one in town" and an "historic piece of street furniture."
The post apparently was damaged during the winter of 2009-2010 by the power company while employees were clearing snow from the area, and Vogel acknowledged an apology from the company for the damage done.
The sticky part of the proposal to restore or replace the hitching post is that the HPC's duty is to usher historic buildings into modern use.
"It's not a significant preservation site, but it's certainly an historic object. It has an amount of interpretive and educational value, and if we didn't restore it, we'd have to explain why we didn't," Vogel said. "Restoring it wouldn't be a huge technical undertaking, but maybe we should move it away from the fire hydrant it's next to because firefighters don't like things next to hydrants. And if we were to move it, it could be placed up the block, across from the creamery and old laundry. I have no idea what its 21st century function would be, but preserving the 19th century fabric of a bygone era is important, and I recommend considering replicating it just as a neat form of streetscape art."
Councilor Ken Jacobson stated, "I'm for going along with that, hinging on the power company that caused the damage helping with the costs. But was there a lot of public outcry when the damage happened?"
Chatfield city clerk Joel Young replied, "Three people contacted me, and we don't get a lot of input, so when three people have noticed and contacted me, that's something. This is a tough issue for the HPC. I don't know if they want to become the hitching post saviors of Chatfield."
A motion passed to proceed with the project, contingent on asking the power company to assist with funding.
Next on the agenda was Ordinance 406, Chatfield's fee schedule, with adjustments made to the ambulance transport fees - increasing transport from $600 to $650 and advanced life support transport to $850. The cost of emergency medical technician training was raised from $725 to $800, with the refresher course now costing $275 instead of $250. Additionally, the water and sewer rates will rise approximately 3 to 6 percent, and non-metered homes' water and sewer rates will rise 1 percent, based on 3,500 gallons instead of 4,000 gallons.
Jacobson reported on personnel committee proceedings, relating that the cost of living wage increase was projected for 3 percent but instead will be 1.9 percent, a rate that the city will choose to use.
"The proposed tax levy is at 4.2 to 4.3 percent, and we need to post for a deputy clerk and an EMS support person," he stated.
The public works committee discussed snow removal, Outlot B and the storage shed behind the library. The committee has concluded that if nothing else can be done with the shed, it should be taken down.
There was no SCS report.
Mayor Don Hainlen thanked Councilor Josh Thompson for his service to the city, as Thompson chose not to run for reelection.
The councilor said, "I've enjoyed the last four years and wish the new council members good luck in the next four years."