The Dillon Town Council voted in a new member at its meeting Tuesday night. The vote was to fill the vacancy that will be left by councilmember and Mayor Pro-Tem Jason Smith when he leaves the council at the end of April.
After an interview during the work session, the council voted unanimously to bring on Mark Nickel, director of golf at the Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks. Nickel will complete the year remaining in Smith's term. Smith's last council meeting will take place April 16. Nickel will be sworn in at the May 7 meeting, at which time the next mayor pro-tem will be chosen.
Smith's reason for leaving the council has to do with his permanent address. At the end of April he will be moving to a location that is not within the town limits of Dillon, therefore forfeiting his right to be a council member.
"Mark, I'm really excited you're here," Smith said during the work session interview. "I really appreciate your interest in the position. Especially since it's me that's stepping down, it's important to me that someone (who) takes it seriously and has a true interest and a love for the town of Dillon comes in here."
During the interview, Nickel commented on the town's potential to draw in more new businesses and customers, focusing on tourist-based interests such as the marina. He also said he would bring a parent's perspective to the council.
"I'm excited to have the opportunity to join you," he concluded.
While they are happy to welcome a new councilmember, the rest of the council noted that they appreciated the work done by Smith and that he will be missed.
"Jason was just a great individual, not only in what he brought to the table for council, but as a private individual, and a true family man," said town manager Joe Wray. "He brought a perspective to council that helped balance out the total council group and really added to the dynamics of the group. He will be greatly missed."
"With that being said," Wray continued, "we are very excited for Mark coming in. He brings with him, likewise, a family perspective and a broad-based knowledge, not only in government from his family background, but also business perspective from his current employment."
The council also interviewed and appointed Lucinda Burns to fill a vacancy on the Parks and Recreation Committee. There is one more vacancy on the committee, to be filled by an in-town Dillon resident. Interested parties should call the Dillon Town Hall at (970) 468-2403.
At the regular council meeting, the town council members voted unanimously to approve an agreement between the town and the Lake Cliffe Condominium Association on a parking lot proposal in the cul-de-sac at the end of Lodgepole Street above the marina.
The initial plan for the cul-de-sac was to have it converted into a circular parking area to provide an additional 50 parking spaces as part of the marina and parks master plans. The Lake Cliffe Condominiums HOA objected. In order to reach a compromise, the construction of the additional parking was removed from the 2012 budget and kept out of the 2013 budget.
After nearly 6 months of discussions, the town and Lake Cliffe agreed on a parking area allowing for 36 additional spaces to be constructed on the south side of the cul-de-sac, leaving the north side to be maintained and landscaped by the condominium. The town will be responsible for the maintenance and enforcement of the new parking area
This project will be funded at a significant reduction of the initial cost projection and will be shared jointly between the town and Lake Cliffe.
"A lot of hard work went on between our community and the town," said Mike Carollo, president of the Lake Cliffe HOA, during the citizen's comments portion of the meeting. "I think it's a good compromise. It also demonstrates to you that we are sincere about our commitment that I made to you about six months ago that we want to be good neighbors."