Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Monday morning, October 19, to meet a handful of new employees, review new city annexations, discuss a possible housing incentives report, and review a wastewater treatment contract amendment.
Councilors met socially distant in council chambers at 107 South Cascade along with city staff. The public was invited to attend via the Zoom platform. Councilors Roy Anderson, Dave Bowman, Barbara Bynum, Dave Frank, and Doug Glaspell met for 51 minutes along with city staff. The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
Watch the meeting here.
INTRODUCTION OF NEW EMPLOYEES
City Councilors were introduced to four new employees who were hired to backfill positions vacated earlier this year.
Ray Martinez was hired as a trash and recycling operator, Shannon McDonnell was brought on board as a community marketing specialist, Hyrum Webb was hired as a lead operator at the city’s Wastewater Treatment Facility, and Erik Lundberg was hired as an assistant golf professional at the Black Canyon Golf Course.
WORKFORCE HOUSING INCENTIVES REPORT, MISSOURI AND BLOCK BUILDING
City councilors heard a follow-up presentation from Director of Business Innovation Chelsea Rosty about an incentive package for the renovation and housing development in the Missouri and Block Building.
The incentives package, approved by the City Council in June 2018, invested $241,186 in the Missouri and Block Building, which formerly housed Maggies Books and the Vine Bistro. The housing incentives paid for a portion of the renovation of the upstairs portion of the building, which has been remodeled into five housing apartments.
Investors Dr. Paul Rinne and Sarah and Tim Judkins spent around $1.35-million to rehabilitate the building and bring the structure up to safety code.
In 2018 councilors voted unanimously to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the building’s owners to begin improvements with a $241,186 investment from the city to assist with asbestos removal, and installation of a fire sprinkler system on the building's second story, and replacement of dilapidated windows. The investors’ plan was to develop the building's second story into downtown residential apartments.
Rosty said Monday that the incentives agreement with Judkins and Rinne was designed to reduce the rental rates of the apartments so they could be affordable to local working-class residents. Rosty said the metric used for the rental rates was 33-percent of the median household income of Montrose, which is around $44,000. Using this calculation, Rosty said the rental rates for the housing units are estimated at $1,235.
Judkins said the process of working with the city has sparked similar interest from other area developers looking to fund investments in downtown businesses and housing.
She said the program has prompted many other developers to reach out to her to get more information, adding that there are many investment opportunities downtown with the potential to provide commercial and residential spaces.
“I think it’s an opportunity for investors and the city to partner,” Judkins said.
RAINBOW TROUT ADDITION ANNEXATION
City Councilors were advised about a 2.82-acre parcel of city-owned riverfront property, known as the Rainbow Trout addition, that is set to become a permanent open space park.
Senior Planner Amy Sharp said the property is located northwest of Mayfly Outdoors on the west side of the Uncompahgre River.
City Manager Bill Bell said the area is a marshy low-land river area that is a great bird habitat. Bell said conversations about the property have contemplated the addition of handicapped-accessible boardwalks to facilitate access to the birding habitat.
More information about any possible developments will be published when it becomes available
Sharp said the property comes before the city’s Planning Commission on November 18, before moving on for formal council consideration and approval on December 1.
HILLTOP ADDITION II ANNEXATION
City Councilors were advised about a .45-acre parcel, located on the west side of 6600 Road near corner of Locust Road, whose owners have applied for annexation into the city.
Senior Planner Amy Sharp said the Hilltop Addition II property is an addition to the larger Hilltop Annexation approved by councilors earlier this year.
WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT NUTRIENT REMOVAL OPTIMIZATION CONTRACT AMENDMENT
Utilities Manager David Bries presented an agreement with Carollo Engineers, Inc. to perform Nutrient Removal Optimization pilot testing at the City of Montrose Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) for an amount not to exceed $100,000.
In March, the city contracted with Carollo Engineers to perform computer modeling of the wastewater treatment process and identity options to maximize nutrient removal capabilities of the Wastewater Treatment Plant in an attempt to meet Colorado Regulation 85 limits, with the understanding that a second phase would be needed to pilot test the proposed changes to validate their effectiveness.
The modeling has identified several changes that will improve the nutrient removal effectiveness of the plant and may meet the future Regulation 85 total inorganic nitrogen limits. The modifications may also reduce the phosphorus levels, but will likely require either chemical addition or additional treatment infrastructure, and possibly both, to meet future phosphorus limits. Pilot testing is recommended to validate the model results and confirm the effectiveness of both total inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus removal prior to investing in chemical feed systems and/or infrastructure changes at the plant. The estimate from Carollo is $84,461 for the Scope of Work for this phase of the project, including on-site support for one week during startup of the pilot testing. A not-to-exceed cost of $100,000 was proposed to provide cost contingency due to the unknown conditions and outcomes that may be encountered.
The council will vote on the contract at an upcoming regular meeting.
RESOLUTION AMENDING DEFINED BENEFIT SYSTEM CONTRIBUTION RATES
Finance Director Shani Wittenberg briefed councilors about a resolution before them to amend the city’s contribution rates to the Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado on behalf of Montrose police officers.
The resolution councilors will vote on is in response to the Colorado General Assembly's passage of HB20-1044 that was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis in April.
The law changed the required continuing rate of contribution to the statewide-defined benefit plan for active members of employers who reentered the plan prior to January 1, 2021.
Wittenberg said the city has elected to modify the 4 percent continuing rate of contribution currently in effect by adopting the additional required rate.
Wittenberg said the city currently contributes about 11 percent to the fund. She said Montrose police officers voiced their support for the change, adding that the city's contribution will increase to 12 percent before the end of the decade.
Mayor Bynum asked about the growing demand for trash and recycling service in the city and if hiring a new driver was a result of the demand. Public Works Manager Jim Scheid said the new driver is simply working to make sure current routes are serviced in a timely manner.
Scheid said the city’s trash and recycling routes would not change anytime soon, however, pick-up times could change, reiterating the importance of city trash customers to having their cans out by 6 a.m. the morning of pick-up.
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.