February 11, 2015 Edition

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Baldridge looks to continue
Minturn City Hall upgrades

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

Charles Baldridge recently started his tenure as Minturn mayor and is looking to continue improvements being made to the city hall.

Thanks to grant funds, the city hall has had its roof and windows redone, and another grant is pending to allow for new insulation. Baldridge said beyond that, they are looking into making the bathrooms handicap accessible. "We hope to be finished with the building this year," he said.

Baldridge said due to Minturn not having a tax base, the city has to rely on grants for any improvements. He said the city is lucky to break even on what they receive from the state and any money they do have left over really needs to be saved in case of emergency.

Fortunately, grant money is available and has allowed Minturn and many other smaller communities in the area to make improvements they couldn't otherwise make.

State Rep. James Ratliff has been working with Minturn to apply for grant funding. "I'm going to keep working with them until we get it all done," Ratliff said.

Baldridge said there are smaller towns like Minturn all over the area that are struggling to survive and state officials like Ratliff are instrumental in helping keep them alive.

"We have to be aggressive about improvements in this little town of ours," Baldridge said. Additional funding will still be needed to upgrade the city's sewer system, and Baldridge said Minturn is on a waiting list to have some paving done.

Also, Baldridge said the city would be working towards establishing its own volunteer fire department in an effort to lower insurance costs in the area.

While there are many struggles smaller cities like Minturn have to overcome, Baldridge said he and the city council will continue to work toward making improvements. "We just get by as best we can."

Baldridge has lived in Minturn for about 10 years. He previously worked as a truck driver and is now retired.

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