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News in Brief

Carbondale eyes ‘flex zone,’ not Home DepotCARBONDALE Carbondale’s board of trustees will talk about what to do next concerning the Crystal River Market Place proposal. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Hall meeting room.The trustees will be discussing, among other topics, a memo from Town Manager Tom Baker that recommends a “flex zone” approach to development of the controversial 24-acre marketplace site, rather than a second option that would involve a “big-box retailer” such as Home Depot.Baker’s memo states that the flex zone approach, which calls for a 60,000-square-foot grocery store, associated commercial development along Highway 133 and a residential neighborhood along Main Street west of the 7-Eleven, is “the direction most likely to garner community support.” The flex zone would be in the center of the site and be “comprised of at least 25 percent commercial development,” according to Baker’s memo.The meeting is a work session, which means no decisions will be made, and there is no formal provision on the agenda for public input. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)

Garco meth study, task force fundedA regional study of methamphetamine and related crimes is under way that will help quantify the problem in Garfield County. Results will also direct the efforts of a new task force the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office will lead. Students from Grand Junction’s Mesa State College are combing through court records in Mesa, Delta, Garfield and Montrose counties to determine just how much meth affects the courts. The task forces will use the data to determine the extent of the meth problem, said assistant district attorney Jeff Cheney. Data from court records and interviews with jail inmates will identify the frequency of meth-related crime in the counties.The Garfield County commissioners voted Monday to contribute $2,200 to the study. The district attorney’s office has already contributed $800. Cheney has also applied for a $3,000 El Pomar Foundation grant to fund the study.”There’s ample anecdotal information that it’s a problem here, but we don’t have empirical data,” Cheney said.Cheney estimated that 50 percent of the cases in felony court in the 9th Judicial District, which encompasses Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties, “have meth as an ingredient.”The task force includes local law enforcement departments, and county public health and social services departments. But Cheney hopes to expand it to include stakeholders from the community.”We need to be educated [about meth],” Commissioner John Martin said. “There isn’t … a person who isn’t a stakeholder. It affects everyone. There isn’t a place it doesn’t touch.” (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)


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