• Susie Kaldis Lowe and Carol Newman with the North Fork Valley Creative Coalition asked Commissioners for help to fund two permanent signs at the highway entrances that access the Town of Paonia. As part of a comprehensive signage campaign, the gateway signs would help draw travelers coming into Delta County to the town to shop, visit restaurants and other tourist activities. Kaldis asked for $5,000 toward a bill that would total between $18 and $24,000 for both signs. Most of the funding would come from matching grants, she explained. The new signs would be made of metal with glass inlays all designed and made by local artisans.
Commissioner Lane expressed reservations saying that $5,000 seemed to be a lot of money for signs. Commissioner Roeber agreed but said he’d “be happy to match the City of Paonia’s contribution of $2,500.” Commissioners resolved to check the county’s Economic Development Fund for a possible contribution.
The North Fork Valley Creation Coalition is responsible for the new “Welcome to Paonia” sign just passed the Redwood Arms going toward Paonia on HWY 133. It went up in mid-December and is part of the group’s comprehensive plan and was funded.
• Kelli Helper, Delta County Tourism Coordinator, updated Commissioners on activities to promote tourism in Delta County. Helper reported that the area has seen a 21% increase in lodging tax, which is a key indicator of increased visitation. More on Delta County Tourism.