February 19, 2015 Vol. 14 No. 13
City will get help on emergency plan
Written by Jeanne Davant   

Carnivale parade 2015

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A cherished Manitou Springs tradition took to the streets last weekend with the annual Carnivale Parade along Manitou Avenue.

Ample sunshine and temperatures in the high 60s ruled the day as several hundred costumed marchers, along with groups representing various area organizations, joined the festivities that began earlier in the day with the annual Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo Cook-Off.

Carnivale King Jack Elder, top, lead the parade of costumed marchers up Manitou Avenue. The procession, consisting of several hundred marchers, entertained a huge crowd that lined the Avenue from Memorial Park to Soda Springs Park.

Photos by Larry Ferguson

The field manager for the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has made the city an offer it couldn’t refuse—assistance in developing a plan to assure that essential government functions continue in the wake of disasters such as flooding.

Paul Eller, who assists cities and towns in South Central Colorado, submitted a proposal to develop a plan to City Administrator Jason Wells and Police Chief Joe Ribeiro.

“We propose providing a comprehensive continuity plan to department heads, the Council and Mayor,” Eller said. “The only costs are the time of your employees. Our time is free.”

Council agreed by acclimation Tuesday to accept the offer.

“In 2013 we cobbled seat-of-the-pants emergency operations together, so we have a short-term plan to get people up to the Public Works facility,” Mayor Marc Snyder said. “But we have not coordinated with the departments. This seems like an opportunity to get a long-term plan.”

Eller said the plan would provide for government operations to get back up and running quickly and continue during the first 72 hours after a disaster. It would address issues such as back-ups in case the city’s computer operations go down and where key documents are kept.

The plan would provide for training of city staff, a schedule of disaster exercises for several years, and maintenance and updates over the next three to five years.

The city would be responsible for engaging staff, completing worksheets and assuring that key personnel attend meetings and participate in the exercises.

“We will provide subject matter expertise, support the plan and continue contacts with the Department of Local Affairs and my office,” Eller said. “You’ll get a nice package at the end and regular updates.”

Eller said work on the plan could begin in March and be completed by June.


Potholes on city streets will get plugged

021915_PotholesIf you’ve got a pothole on your street, you might want to report it to the Public Works Department.

Manitou Springs City Council on Tuesday agreed to add $40,000 to an amount already set aside for street maintenance, bringing the total available to fix potholes to $84,000.

Public Works Director Bruno Pothier said Wednesday that the department would send crew members around town to identify the worst ones.

“If residents want to let us know when they see potholes, that helps,” Pothier said. “Sometimes it’s hard to see them, and they can form quickly.”

The pothole project won’t include repairs on Manitou Avenue, however. The Colorado Department of Transportation is responsible for filling those potholes. Elsewhere within the city, however, pothole filling will begin as soon as the weather permits.

The city uses a hot asphalt mix to fill potholes. Pothier said ground temperatures must be above 38 degrees for the hot asphalt mix to seal properly and bond with existing pavement.

“We try to avoid using cold mix because it doesn’t last as well,” Pothier said.

While waiting for the ground to thaw, Pothier said citizens can call 685-2573 to report potholes and get them added to a priority list.