Montrose, CO — City Councilors convened for their regular meeting Tuesday evening, September 1 to consider a number of city projects, contract awards, and a new program designed to improve downtown.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, councilors Roy Anderson, Dave Bowman, Barbara Bynum, Dave Frank, and Doug Glaspell met socially distant in City Council Chambers with the public attending via Zoom. The council met for one hour and 25 minutes along with city staff. The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
WATCH: Tuesday’s meeting here.
LISSENCEPHALY AWARENESS DAY PROCLAMATION
Mayor Barbara Bynum read a proclamation recognizing September 8, 2020, as Lissencephaly Awareness Day in the City of Montrose. The proclamation read that an estimated 1 in 100,000 people are born with lissencephaly, a rare gene-linked brain malformation causing the brain to have less or no ridges and folds, making it appear smooth. People living with this condition may suffer from hypertonia, epilepsy, swallowing disorders, and developmental delays.
Bynum said the city urges "citizens, patients, caregivers, medical professionals, and all agencies and organizations interested in supporting these families to unite on that day in observance."
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
City councilors voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the August 18, 2020, regular City Council meeting. The city’s archive of past meeting minutes can be found at CityofMontrose.org/ArchiveCenter.
HOTEL AND RESTAURANT LIQUOR LICENSE APPLICATION
Councilors voted unanimously to approve an application for a liquor license at 647 East Main Street for Bonnie & Clyde’s Ltd., doing business as Bonnie & Clyde’s, for consumption on the licensed premises.
Business owner David Green told the council that he has held a previous restaurant liquor license in Ouray, and that he has had zero violations on his previous license.
Councilors voted unanimously to approve Resolution 2020-18 setting October 6, 2020, as the hearing date for the Unrein Addition II annexation.
Senior City Planner Amy Sharp presented information to the council about the small strip of land, less than an acre in size, that is to be included in the Unrein Addition, which is already part of the city. According to Sharp, the .87-acre orphaned strip of land was not annexed into the city when the main portion of the Unrein property was annexed in the early 2000s. The property is still identified as being located in Montrose County, yet the entire property is surrounded by incorporated property. The annexation is a formal cleanup of city maps and will simply be added to the large Unrein Addition.
SINNER SUBDIVISION FINAL PLAT
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve the final plat of the Sinner Subdivision located east of the city off of Oak Grove Road at the intersection with 6800 Road.
Senior City Planner Amy Sharp said the applicant had completed all requirements prior to the council’s vote Tuesday.
BUSINESS INCENTIVES FOR CHOW DOWN PET SUPPLIES
Councilors voted unanimously to approve a business incentives package totaling $100,000 for the removal of a large ink tank and asbestos abatement at the new Chow Down Pet Supplies location in downtown.
Chow Down has the former “Daily Press building” at 535 South First under contract. The building is substantially larger than Chow Down’s current space on East Main Street. The newspaper left the downtown location for its current location on North Townsend Avenue in 2006.
According to Director of Business Innovation Chelsea Rosty, the building still has a large ink tank and sizable amounts of asbestos that require abatement before Chow Down can safely operate inside.
The total cost of the building purchase, renovations, and upgrades is estimated at over $1 million. The incentives package presented to council was for less than 10-percent of that cost, or $100,000. The cost to remove the ink tank is estimated at $14,000, while the asbestos abatement work was estimated at over $100,000. Incentives toward the asbestos abatement will be $86,000.
Rosty said Chow Down is creating new pet daycare services, larger infrastructure for pet grooming services and puppy classes, and bigger retail space that will create up to nine new jobs over the next few years. The company currently employs a staff of 12.
City Manager Bill Bell told the council that funding for the incentives package would be provided from the Downtown Tax Increment Finance TIF fund.
Councilors agreed the project was "a perfect example" of what to use downtown TIF funds to invest in downtown improvements while helping to keep a local downtown business from relocating from downtown.
DART FAÇADE PROGRAM
Councilors voted unanimously to approve the creation of a façade grant program to help local businesses and property owners improve the external look of their buildings and provide initial program funding of $50,000.
The city’s Development and Revitalization Team (DART) has focused its work on improving the look of downtown buildings and helping local businesses improve the physical look of their space.
Rosty told the council that DART recognizes that the condition of the buildings in Montrose forms the basis of the public’s overall impression of the community and reflects the vibrancy and historical value of the area. The Façade Improvement Matching Grant Program (“Façade Improvement Grant”) has been designed to award DART funds as an incentive program for ongoing revitalization. Improvements to the exterior façades (front, back, or side) will support DART’s work to promote Montrose as an attractive, vibrant place where people converge, businesses thrive, and values rise.
This matching grant program will provide leverage to property owners for projects and enhance the functionality of properties. It is also intended to encourage compatibility between structures that have been renovated and those that have not to increase the overall aesthetic experience of Montrose.
With the council’s approval, requirements of the program, along with an online application, will be posted to the city’s website in 2021.
SUNSET MESA TANK AND BOOSTER PUMP STATION PROJECT CONTRACT AWARD
Councilors voted unanimously to award a contract for the construction and engineering of the new Sunset Mesa Water Tank and Pump Station slated for construction later this fall.
City Engineer Scott Murphy told the council the project would cost approximately $4,746,166 for both the tank and pump house. He added the project would take a year to complete and funds for the project would be split between the 2020 and 2021 budgets.
Murphy said $1.5 million would come from the city’s 2020 Water Fund and the remaining $3.25 million would come from the city’s 2021 Water Fund.
The city currently owns a three million gallon below-grade storage tank situated on Sunset Mesa, approximately 500 feet east of the baseball field complex. This tank was originally built around 1960. A formal condition assessment performed for the tank in 2014 determined that portions of the tank are structurally compromised and in need of $1 to $2 million in repairs. The tank has also experienced pressure and operational issues due to its relatively low elevation and increased water demands over the years. As a result of the existing tank’s condition, it is currently isolated from the city’s water distribution system and is only being used to store water for irrigating the Sunset Mesa sports fields.
In September of 2018, the city hired Farnsworth Group to perform a detailed evaluation of tank alternatives and prepare construction plans for replacement of this aging tank. Through this process, the city selected the preferred tank alternative as twin 1.5 million gallon standpipe tanks, approximately 130 feet tall. This project will construct the first of these two tanks with its associated piping and booster pump station. The tank will be situated immediately north of the existing tank.
The project was put out to bid earlier this summer with four Colorado companies and one Kansas-based company responding. After careful evaluation, Murphy said Ridgway Valley Enterprises of Montrose was qualified to complete the job at a cost of $4,336,876. In addition to recommending that the council consider approving the construction contract, staff also recommended hiring the Farnsworth Group to provide engineering support in the amount of $409,290.
Construction for the project is scheduled to begin in early September 2020 and extend through November 2021.
PUBLIC SAFETY COMPLEX CONSTRUCTION PROJECT ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING DESIGN SERVICES CONTRACT
Councilors voted unanimously to approve a contract for the work of designing and engineering the new Public Safety Complex, PSC, housing the new offices of the Montrose Police Department.
The contract with Blythe Group and Co (BG&Co) would include all phases of the new Public Safety Complex (PSC) Construction Project and would make the company the architect of record. BG&Co would begin working with the Owner’s Team as soon as this contract is awarded.
The proposed lump-sum contract amount is $764,198, plus reimbursable expenses not to exceed $19,870. This amount would be paid through the Public Safety Fund and tracked along with all expenses related to the Public Safety Complex Construction Project.
City Manager Bill Bell reminded the council that it is budget season for the upcoming 2021 city budget and staff are working hard to prepare for the city’s annual budget retreat to be held on September 10.
Bell said the city encourages public participation in the budget process, stating a public open house will be scheduled in the near future where members of the public can attend in person, or virtually through zoom, to inspect the budget and give feedback.
“It would be great to have more (public) turnout,” Bell said.
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 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.