Neal Schwieterman

Tuesday night the Paonia Board of Trustees approved the town’s budget for 2015.

Town officials say Paonia is in a ‘fiscal crisis’ and tough choices were made to address its budget deficit. 

The town will cut three staff members by the end of this year. 

Pink slips have been handed to the town clerk, a police officer and a sanitation worker.

Recently hired town manger Jane Berry says the layoffs were necessary to help close Paonia’s $410,000 budget deficit.

Anyone familiar with Paonia knows that the streets are in bad shape, especially along one four-block stretch on Third Street between Grand Avenue and the public library.

It’s not only the streets that are bumpy in Paonia. The last year has been an up-and-down ride for Paonia’s mayor. From the BLM’s decision to offer and then withdraw lease parcels in the North Fork, to the guilty plea entered by the town’s former employee for embezzling some $400,000 from the public coffers, there has been no shortage of drama. But what about the streets?

What would have been a sparsely attended regular council meeting turned into a crowded and contentious event when state BLM officials visited Paonia to talk about pending gas leases in the North Fork Valley on Tuesday, January 22. KVNF’s Marty Durlin talked to Paonia Mayor Neal Schwieterman on the morning after.