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FREDERICK — Fred Skates has served on the Frederick Town Board of Trustees since 2010, but if this year’s campaign is successful, he will serve his first full term as trustee.
Skates was appointed to his seat nearly 3 1/2 years ago to finish the term of trustee Jerry Pfirsch, who vacated the seat a few months after his re-election for a job offer out of state.
“I think the direction that Frederick is going on right now is very fiscally responsible to our constituents. We want to maintain that,” Skates said. “And we want to keep things moving forward.”
Skates points to water rights as a possible future challenges for Frederick if not addressed soon.
“Water is valuable to our development as a town” Skates said. “Water is always a big issue, so when we have opportunities to purchase water rights and we want to be able to do that.”
He would also like to attract more business investment in the community, but he wants the town to be prudent in its approach.
“Being fiscally responsible, you don’t want to bring in a business if you have to give away the farm to do it,” Skates said. “And so we need to do that on a very select basis and keep those companies that will come in here and hire people, live here and work here.”
Skates’ professional background is in the food industry.
“I was a food broker for 20 years, and I worked with various manufacturers, calling on the retail grocery trade – King Soopers, Safeway, Albertsons,” Skates said. “I was mainly selling food to the major grocery chains.”
Since retiring, Skates has been busy in other endeavors, some closer to his home in Frederick, including his time as president of the Tri-Town Seniors.
With the development of downtown Frederick, Skates said city officials were dealing with a somewhat delicate situation.
“Sales use tax is sometimes given away to entice people to come in or businesses to come in,” Skates said. “I think we have enough opportunities here and enough – I’ll call it – shovel-ready land to accommodate businesses without doing that. But downtown is a big project of the whole town, it’s been a pet project of our administration for the last three years.”
Skates said the town board worked hard to develop the area, and now there’s a good “nucleus” of downtown business in place.
“We still do have some available properties that could certainly be used for many different things,” Skates said. “So I want to promote more downtown business, because, as you recall, Frederick is the only one of the three communities up here that does have a downtown.”
He would like to see more transportation options for community members, especially senior citizens.
“So many of the seniors that live here have moved here because of family, or grand kids, so the families are pretty taken care of, but we’ve had instances of seniors who don’t have rides to doctor appointments or even to pick up medication,” Skates said. “That has always been one of my thoughts, that we need to do something. And I worked through a group here through the Carbon Valley Network to try to get some transportation here. And it doesn’t seem to become an issue with anyone but those who need it.”
Skates is also happy with the influx of young families moving to the area.
“We’re excited about that,” Skates said. “Frederick is a great community to move to.”
Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email email@example.com.