Montrose, CO — City Councilors met online for a virtual work session Monday morning, July 6, to get an update on a number of issues and topics. Councilors Roy Anderson, Dave Bowman, Barbara Bynum, Dave Frank, and Doug Glaspell met for about one hour, 37 minutes on Zoom, along with city staff. The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
Watch the meeting here.
DMEA FRANCHISE BALLOT QUESTION
City Councilors were updated regarding a franchise agreement with the Delta-Montrose Electric Association, DMEA, that will be placed before voters this November to authorize the co-op to continue serving Montrose residents with electricity. DMEA is the sole provider of electric service to the community.
The existing franchise agreement expires on April 3, 2021. In order for this matter to be placed on the November 3 ballot, City Council must notify the Montrose County Clerk of their intent to authorize a ballot question for the election by July 24. If the City Council chooses to do so, the council will consider a resolution notifying the Montrose County Clerk of that intent at the July 21, council meeting.
Per the City of Montrose Municipal Code, renewals of franchise agreements may not occur more than one year prior to the expiration of any existing franchise agreement. In the spring of 2019, DMEA sought assurances from the city regarding future renewal of the franchise agreement as part of DMEA’s power supply planning efforts and their negotiations regarding a possible exit from their power supply contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.
As it was too early to renew DMEA’s existing franchise agreement, the city signed a Memorandum of Understanding on April 24, 2019, to assure DMEA of the city’s intent to enter into good-faith negotiations on the matter. DMEA and city staff are currently negotiating the terms of a franchise agreement renewal, with the assistance of outside counsel. DMEA and city staff intend for City Council to review the proposed franchise agreement at the August 3 work session, and review the ballot language on August 18.
SALES AND USE TAX CODE UPDATE
Councilors were briefed on proposed changes to the city’s sales and use tax code that will require smaller online retailers to pay city sales tax when selling products in Montrose.
Montrose City Attorney Stephen Alcorn said larger online retailers like Amazon currently retain and pay city sales tax for goods bought and delivered in Montrose. Alcorn said the change in the code would allow the city to collect taxes on purchases made from smaller online retailers such as Etsy. The update is needed as online commerce continues to evolve.
City Councilors will officially vote to approve or deny the code change on first reading of an ordinance at their July 21 meeting.
SMART START DAYCARE
City Councilors are considering a business expansion incentives package for a new child daycare operation located next to Gold’s Gym on East Main Street.
Gold’s Gym Montrose is planning a physical remodel and business expansion into the childcare service industry under the name Smart Start Daycare. The east side of the building, located at 1840 E. Main Street, will be remodeled into a childcare facility that will accommodate 48 children ages infant to seven. The remodel will include a fenced outdoor space component on the east side of the building that will have soft turf, playground equipment, and shade.
Smart Start will initially employ eleven individuals who will all be licensed childcare providers. The curriculum will have many fitness components such as kids’ yoga and Zumba. The owners are in discussions with Montrose County to consider accepting CCCAP (Colorado Child Care Assistance Program). Montrose County is also considering providing financial assistance for this project.
Smart Start is shooting for a fall open date pending approval from the State of Colorado for its childcare license. Once licensed, the center will follow current guidelines regarding COVID-19, which may include limiting initial enrollment.
After reviewing the remodel plans and associated costs, Director of Business
Innovation Chelsea Rosty asked City Council to consider an incentive of
$30,000 to be paid directly to the contractor for the remodel of the facility.
It should also be noted that the building permit, plan check, and construction sales tax are nominal and were waived administratively by the City Manager. This amount sits near the 10 percent incentive rate the city typically considers and it can also be funded with CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) money.
Rosty told the council daycare is a top priority in growing the local economy as childcare is in short supply in the city.
City Councilors will officially vote to approve or deny the incentives package at their July 21 meeting.
UNRIEN OUTLOT DIVISION OF PROPERTY
City Councilors were updated about a proposed plat to subdivide Outlot A of the Unrein Subdivision and receive rights of way for Ogden Road and Rio-Grande Avenue as an official act of the city.
The Unrein family annexed into the City of Montrose as part of the Unrein Addition in March 2002. This annexed property was then subdivided into its current configuration as part of the Unrein Subdivision Filing 1 in June 2002, creating the Home Depot lot and Outlot A, which is 38.1 acres.
The City of Montrose’s comprehensive and capital plans envision the extension of Rio-Grande Avenue south from East Oak Grove Road to the River Landing Commercial Park. Ogden Road is also planned to continue west from its current ending point to Rio Grande Avenue and ultimately extend over the Uncompahgre River and onto Sunset Mesa.
As part of other capital projects and development partnerships over the years, the city has secured or is close to securing rights of way on several properties throughout the Rio Grande corridor. At this point, only two properties remain to secure all necessary rights of way for both roadway extensions; one of which is situated within Outlot A of the Unrein Subdivision.
Rights of way are generally acquired in one of two ways. If the need for a road project precedes development in an area, the city would have to purchase the necessary right of way at market value. If the city could not come to an agreement with the landowner for this purchase, the city would need to exercise its right of eminent domain as part of the sale. If development occurs on a given property prior to or concurrent with the need for a roadway project, the right of way is typically dedicated to the city as part of the development process.
The Unrein family approached the city in February of this year regarding subdividing Outlot A for the purpose of creating individually-conveyable lots to divide amongst family members. Because the family did not have any immediate intention to develop the property, the typical subdivision process and its accompanying infrastructure design and construction requirements were not warranted nor viable. As an alternative to the typical subdivision process, the city proposed the idea of dividing the property through an official act of the city, thus creating a win-win situation where the property could be divided amongst the Unrein family and rights of way for Ogden Road and Rio-Grande Avenue could be secured.
To that end, the city entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Unrein Family outlining the framework for this public-private partnership. As outlined in the MOU, the city would have financial contributions to this project mostly in the form of survey costs and the construction of a sewer stub. However, even with these contributions, the net benefit to the city in securing these rights of way is positive.
The City Council will vote to approve or deny the proposed plat at the July 21 regular meeting.
SUNSET MESA TANK COLOR
City Engineer Scott Murphy updated councilors on the progress of the Sunset Mesa water tank project set for construction later this year. Murphy said the tank will be painted with a natural, neutral color that will blend in with the landscape and minimize its prominence on the city’s landscape.
In 2019 the city budgeted for a new water tank to replace the current tank on Sunset Mesa that sits below ground. Murphy said the current tank is at the end of its service life and has become too difficult to use and pump water in and out of.
CONTRACT AWARD RECOMMENDATION FOR CM/GC FOR THE POLICE DEPARTMENT BUILDING
City Councilors are to consider the approval of a contract with SHAW Construction, for construction management and general contractor (CM/GC) services of all phases of the new Public Safety Complex (PSC) Construction Project. If approved, SHAW Construction would begin working with the Owner’s Team as soon as the contract is awarded.
The Owner’s Team, working on behalf of the city, has accepted proposals for CM/GC services for the construction of the PSC to allow SHAW to begin the preconstruction process. SHAW will assist with the cost estimating of early design concepts to be sure the design stays within budget constraints.
They will also help identify potential design issues that could arise when construction begins. The CM/GC will play a key role in the completion of this project and it will be beneficial to have their involvement as early as possible. SHAW will potentially transition to the GC role after design documents are completed to a level that they could provide a guaranteed maximum price.
A request for a proposal for a design team has been issued and will close at the end of June 2020, making this the ideal time to get a CM/GC involved and caught up on the project’s progress in programming.
Councilors will vote to approve or deny the contract award at the July 21 regular meeting.
VICTIMS ASSISTANT LAW ENFORCEMENT (VALE) GRANT RESOLUTION
Montrose Police Chief Blaine Hall updated councilors on an annual grant the department applies for to fund one half of the salary of the department’s victim advocate.
Victim advocates are professionals trained to support victims of crime. Advocates offer victims information, emotional support, help in finding resources and filling out paperwork, and sometimes going to court with victims.
Chief Hall said the department’s advocate, Chantelle Bainbridge, is an invaluable resource for the community, and this grant is a routine funding resource to help pay for her services.
Councilors will vote to approve or deny the grant resolution at the July 21 City Council regular meeting.
All City Council meetings are recorded and made available online via on the city’s website and cable channels 191 for Charter subscribers and 970 for Elevate subscribers. Replays of council meetings are also broadcast at 6 p.m. on the same channels on days that the council is not in session.
In addition, each regular meeting is archived on the City of Montrose’s YouTube channel.
Residents can watch all regular City Council meetings and work sessions live through the city’s website at CityOfMontrose.org/Video.
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