Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Monday morning, August 31, to review Colorado liquor enforcement code, hear an update from the Montrose Community Foundation, review plans for new housing development, and consider a contract award to upgrade an old sewer system.
Councilors Roy Anderson Dave Bowman, Barbara Bynum, Dave Frank, and Doug Glaspell met in council chambers at 107 South Cascade. The public was invited to attend via the Zoom platform. The council met for 1 hour and 54 minutes, along with city staff. The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
Watch the meeting here.
STATE OF COLORADO LIQUOR ENFORCEMENT DIVISION
Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division Investigation Supervisor Bryan Turner and the agent in charge of licensing and complex investigations, Robert Darrow, briefed City Councilors Tuesday about the state’s liquor license code.
The liquor enforcement division has an office in Grand Junction and oversees the enforcement of liquor licenses on the Western Slope and Montrose.
Darrow presented an overview of the state’s liquor license code, breaking down state and local enforcement. In Montrose, the City Council and the city attorney compose the city’s liquor licensing board.
Turner said on average the state issues a license about 30-60 days following the City Council’s approval of a local liquor license application.
Members of the council and the liquor enforcement agents went on to examine the state’s code and how it pertains to local enforcement in the city.
MONTROSE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION UPDATE
City Councilors were updated by Montrose Community Foundation (MCF) Executive Director Sara Plumhoff who highlighted the foundation’s successful partnership with the city since 2013.
In 2020 the City of Montrose has donated $30,000 to MCF for the purpose of awarding grants in the community. Plumhoff said in the fiscal year 2019-2020 the foundation has awarded over $815,000 to local and regional organizations to help fund community enhancement programs, scholarships, and various other civic programs.
During this time, MCF has supported the efforts of Region 10 and its program to help senior citizens with small home repairs. The foundation has made sure school children go home with food in their backpacks through Kids Aid.
Colorado Mesa University, HopeWest, the Montrose Bicycle Alliance, Montrose County School District RE-1J, the PIC Place, Montrose Memorial Hospital, and the River Valley Family Health Center have all benefited from the work of the Montrose Community Foundation.
During the 2020-2021 fiscal year, MCF will help local organizations provide services and programs benefiting the community in various areas like arts and literature, education, health and wellness, and recreation.
Plumhoff was joined by MCF Board President Carol Friedrich who stated the present time was a great opportunity to keep the development work going while the community gets through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Plumhoff told the council the foundation is continuing their efforts to assess the needs of the community and finding ways to help address those needs through the work of the foundation.
FEE WAIVERS FOR 1890 HOMESTEAD APARTMENT PROJECT
Local developer Matt Miles has purchased a property off of Chipeta Drive near the Cobble Creek Golf Community for the purposes of building a “three-phase multi-family housing development.”
Miles said the 32-acre property, zoned R3-A, will encompass roughly 160 new housing units.
All units will rent at market rate, which is estimated by Miles to begin at $1,200 for the two-bedroom units and $1,050 for the one-bedroom. This development is intended to provide workforce housing for the community. Over half of the 160 units, 88 in total, will feature tucked-under garages to reduce on-street parking.
Montrose City Manager Bill Bell told the council that addressing the city’s housing shortage is a top priority for city planners.
“We are in dire need of multi-family housing, “ Bell said.
The development will also feature abundant open space, a business center, pool, exercise facility, walking trails, a clubhouse, and a dog park.
It is estimated that Phase 1 of the development will bring “a total investment of approximately $36.4 million to the community and fill an urgent need for workforce housing in the area,” according to Bell.
Bell said the City Council being asked to consider a number of incentives to aid in the development. Those incentives include:
• Permit and plan check fees: $163,327 (waiver)
• City construction sales tax: $403,650 (waiver)
• Construction water: $3,840 (waiver)
• All tap fees: $1,075,047 (from 2021 general undesignated fund balance)
• Additional incentives toward water/sewer infrastructure $700,000 (2021 water sewer budgets)
Councilors will consider approving the incentives at a future regular City Council meeting.
LEASE AGREEMENT FOR HISTORIC DEPOT BUILDING
City Councilors are considering renewing a five-year lease with the Montrose Historical Society for its continued use of the historic Depot Building located at 21 North Rio Grande Avenue.
Montrose City Attorney Stephen Alcorn said the city had to raise its rates with the society due to the rising insurance rates the city pays on the building itself.
The city and the Historical Society entered into the current five-year lease in 2015, and it expires on September 15. Council is considering a five-year renewal of the existing lease, with minimal changes. If the council would like to pursue this renewal, staff will present the lease at the September 15 regular City Council meeting.
One notable change is the increased rent of $20-per-year as compared to the existing rent of $1-per-month. This change to an annual payment instead of a monthly payment lessens the administrative burden on the lessee.
Leases in exchange for $1 payments used to be common around the country, and are increasingly being updated with more modern amounts from $10 to $20. City staff proposes a lease amount of $20 per year.
Kenn Huff, president of the Montrose County Historical Society, told the council Tuesday the society has no issues with the new proposed lease agreement.
GRAY AND BLACK MARKET MARIJUANA ENFORCEMENT GRANT RESOLUTION
City of Montrose Grant Coordinator Kendall Cramer presented the council with an annual grant filing with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for the Gray and Black Market Marijuana Enforcement Grant Program. If awarded, the funds would help cover costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of black-market marijuana production.
The council must formally approve a resolution to opt-in to the already created and funded state program. According to DOLA’s website, the program is designed to "provide financial assistance grants annually to local law enforcement and district attorneys through the local governments for the investigation and prosecution costs associated with unlicensed marijuana cultivation or distribution operations."
Specifically, the program aims to provide funds to assist rural areas in preventing large-scale grow operations, organized crime operations, or any operations that divert marijuana outside the state of Colorado. According to DOLA, Colorado municipalities must opt-in to the grant program to receive financial assistance.
Cramer said in previous years the city has received nearly $150,000 from DOLA to fund local efforts.
WOODGATE SUBDIVISION SEWER SYSTEM REHABILITATION CONTACT AWARD
City Councilors were presented with a proposed contract award to Haynes Excavation in the amount of $972,050.75 for construction of the Woodgate Subdivision Sewer System Rehabilitation Project.
The Woodgate Subdivision is situated along the eastern side of Woodgate Road south of Otter Road. The neighborhood was originally developed in the mid-70s under county regulations with a sanitary sewer collection system running to a local sewage lagoon. Changes in public health requirements forced this lagoon to be abandoned in the early 90s, at which time the neighborhood annexed into the city and a sewer main was extended to the neighborhood. With this annexation, the city inherited operation and maintenance obligations for the sewer collection system.
City Engineer Scott Murphy told the council the sewer system was built primarily with a thin-walled plastic irrigation pipe (PIP) and was not built to any established standard. As a result, the system has continually had maintenance issues due to root intrusion, improper pipe support, collapsing pipes, separated joints, and protruding or unsealed service connections.
Furthermore, the sewer system was constructed with poor access in areas between or behind multiple private residential lots and the locations of the piping network were never formally mapped. In response to these issues, this project will perform a general rehabilitation of the sewer system to improve line durability, efficiency, reliability, and accessibility.
Haynes Excavation was the low bidder for the project. Murphy said there would be traffic impacts associated with the work. Those impacts will be planned and alerted to the pubic before any roadways are affected.
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.
For more city news visit CityOfMontrose.org.