Tuesday, April 1

FC council April fools for newsracks?

This doesn't appear to be a joke: the Fort Collins City Council will likely move this evening to table an ordinance that would outlaw individual newspaper racks in Old Town. Score one for local media...maybe.

A few weeks back, council passed — on first reading — the ordinance, which would mandate newspaper condos to hold all papers and reduce the number of downtown distribution points. The vote was 4-2; Diggs Brown was out of town.

But Mayor Pro Tem Kelly Ohlson has apparently reconsidered his stance on the issue, and wants newspaper publishers and downtown businesses to try to work out a compromise proposal that include both condos and newspaper corrals, where racks could remain. The Downtown Business Association and Downtown Development Authority refused to budge on a similar sounding compromise brought forth by the publishers, but Ohlson is now supporting that "middle ground."

Ohlson says he changed his mind based on his "gut," but some Chronicle staffers think there could have been some other influential factors that helped sway his thoughts on the matter. Whatever the motivation, the question is whether the Downtown Development Authority is ready to meet halfway on the condo-corral split and the number of distribution spaces in Old Town.

Stay tuned.

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