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The original item was published from 7/7/2021 12:47:05 PM to 2/1/2022 12:05:02 AM.

News Flash

City News

Posted on: July 7, 2021


Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Tuesday morning, July 6, to review a design contract for a new traffic signal at Chipeta Road and U.S. Highway 550, a contract for work in Cerise Park, and a second-quarter Police Department report.

Monday’s work session was rescheduled for Tuesday due to the Independence Day holiday. 

Councilors Barbara Bynum, Dave Frank, Doug Glaspell, David Reed, and Anthony Russo met in City Council Chambers along with city staff. Members of the public were also able to attend in person or via the Zoom platform. 

The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting. 

Watch the meeting here.


City Councilors were briefed on a proposed resolution that would permit the city to file an application with History Colorado’s State Historical Fund for financial assistance for rehabilitation of the Montrose Potato Growers Association building located at 39 West Main Street. 

Community Program Manager Kendall Cramer said the building's owners are planning to rehabilitate the building, which has sat empty since the 1960s. The building was built in 1908, according to Cramer. 

Cramer said the city would apply for a $250,000 grant from the State Historical Fund on behalf of the building owners. The deadline to apply is August 1, 2021. 

Cramer said the building's owners have already completed work to bring the structure up to current building codes, including replacing the roof and sub-flooring. 

David Fishering, the building's owner, said he plans to create a commercial space inside the building while preserving its historic character as an agricultural hub of the Montrose community. 

Fishering said they would be willing to share their experience with other businesses wishing to pursue grant funding for other local historic buildings. 

The Potato Growers Association building was added to the city's register of historic places in October 2019.


City Councilors reviewed a proposed contract award to begin designing a new traffic signal at the intersection of U.S. Hwy 550 and Chipeta Road. 

City Engineer Scott Murphy explained that Montrose County and the City of Montrose recently entered into an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) to design and construct a traffic signal at the intersection. This signalization is in response to traffic volumes that have been increasing over the years at the intersection, recently reaching a level that appears to meet signal warrant trigger levels.

Primary stakeholders for this project include the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) as the owner of Highway 550 right-of-way, Montrose County as the owner of the Chipeta Road right-of-way, and the City of Montrose as a contributor of traffic to the intersection. Montrose County will serve as the project and contracting lead for the design and construction phases of the signalization project. CDOT will serve as the primary permitting agency.

In 2019, CDOT completed an updated access control plan for this reach of Highway 550, which included plans for the eventual signalization of its intersection with Chipeta Road. Reports and data from this access control plan are available for download at In 2020, a traffic impact study (TIS) was completed for a proposed development alongside Chipeta Road near the Cobble Creek golf course. This TIS included evaluations of the Chipeta/550 intersection, a review of collision data, and identified that signal warrants appear to be met at this time. Reports from this TIS are available for download at

Request for Proposals and Design Team Recommendation

In May 2021, Montrose County, in cooperation with the City of Montrose, issued a public solicitation to procure a design team to perform the following tasks for the signalization project:

 • Updated traffic and signal warrant studies

 • Site survey

 • Intersection design

 • Signal design

 • Civil plan and specification preparation

 • Construction cost estimation

 • Permitting of the project with CDOT

Proposals were publically received from five consultants on June 15, 2021. Each proposal was evaluated by City of Montrose and Montrose County personnel and assigned a score between 0 and 5 based on established evaluation criteria. These criteria are intended to objectively quantify the best-value consultant for the project.

Based on the evaluation ratings, the project team has recommended awarding the signal design contract to HDR Engineering for $94,960. This recommendation is being presented to the Montrose County Commissioners by the county’s engineering department as the contracting lead on the project.

Project Schedule

Project design and permitting under this contract is scheduled to be completed by the end of April 2022. The project would then be put out to bid for construction. Once a construction contract is awarded, it will likely take 6 to 8 months to procure signal materials and controls. Pending any supply-chain issues associated with this procurement, construction is likely to begin in fall 2022 and extend into spring 2023.

Contract Administration and Project Financials

Contract administration and project management will be performed by the City of Montrose Engineering Department in cooperation with Montrose County as the contracting and project lead. As outlined in the IGA with Montrose County, costs for the project will be split 60/40 between the County and City, respectively. This equates to a maximum expenditure of $37,984 ($94,960 x 0.40) for this design contract. The project was not budgeted in 2021. As a result, it may be necessary to approve a supplemental budget authorization for it at the end of the year.

Councilors will vote to approve or deny the contract award at the July 20 City Council meeting. 


City Councilors were presented with a contract award to Ridgway Valley Enterprises in the amount of $211,200 for construction of the Cerise Park Waterline River Bore Project.

City Engineer Scott Murphy said the city's Utilities Department has been working over the past two years to construct a waterline from the intersection of Shanes Way and Chipeta Drive, through Cerise Park, across the Uncompahgre River, and connecting to existing water mains in Riverbottom Park. This line provides a redundant connection point across the Uncompahgre River (currently the city’s water system only has three river crossings on the system) and also provides water service to the new amphitheater.

The city’s in-house utility crews have completed all reaches of the waterline within Cerise Park and up to the Uncompahgre River. All that remains is the final connection across the river, which requires a directionally-drilled bore using specialty boring contractors.

Construction of the project was put out for bid on June 15, and bids were publically received on June 30, 2021, from four contractors. Each bid included a 10% contingency.

The low bidder, Ridgway Valley Enterprises, is considered qualified to perform the work and the city has recent positive experience working with them on multiple projects. The city’s local preference policy would not change the outcome of bidding in this case.

Traffic Control and Schedule

Completion of this project will require the closure of Apollo Drive for several weeks while the bore work is completed. This closure is expected to take place after October 1 to avoid disrupting access to Riverbottom Park during its busy season.

Contract Administration and Project Financials

Contract administration and project management will be performed by the City of Montrose Engineering Department.

The 2021 Water Fund budget included $200,000 for the project. Utility crews have spent approximately $35,000 on their portion of the work; leaving $165,000 for the bore project. The remainder of the project’s cost will be funded through savings on other water capital projects.

Councilors will vote to approve or deny the contract award at the July 20 City Council meeting. 


City Councilors received background information regarding an ordinance to vacate a portion of Orchard Road to allow for final platting of new residential lots in the area. 

Senior City Planner Amy Sharp said the proposed vacation is located along Orchard Road in the Waterfall Canyon Subdivision. It includes approximately 1.70 acres. In 1891 a 30-foot-wide right-of-way was dedicated for Orchard Road between Sunset Mesa and Happy Canyon Creek as part of the Orchard Plat. The extreme western portion of that right-of-way continued to be farmed until the Waterfall Canyon Subdivision was approved for construction in 2006. Under the approved Waterfall Canyon Subdivision project included the following right-of-way proposal:

• The extreme western portion (1250') will be included in a new Orchard Drive (widened to a 50' ROW) and an open space tract centered on Happy Canyon Creek

• The center portion (850') will be included in a new 5.16-acre city park (Tract N)

• The eastern portion (400') will be included in two small HOA-managed open space tracts totaling 0.22 acres

The original Waterfall Canyon Preliminary Plat was renewed in 2012 and again in 2017, with another planned renewal later this year. The proposed Orchard Road right-of-way vacation is necessary to allow final platting (creation of new residential lots, dedication of new city streets and parks, and creation of HOA tracts) for Waterfall Canyon Filing #5 later this summer.

This ordinance authorizes the city to vacate portions of right-of-way along Orchard Road. City staff recommends that council approve the ordinance.


Councilors were presented with proposed updates to the Youth City Council Service Manual. 

Youth City Council Coordinators Mikayla Unruh and Kailey Rivenburgh said the changes affect topics like meeting times, Youth Council roles and communications, and a new sliding scale for Youth Council scholarships. 

Currently, Youth Council members receive a flat $250 scholarship for their service. Under the new change, the scale would begin at $100 and move up to $500, depending on how much each member contributes towards the Youth Council’s community service. 

Unruh said the city has already received seven applications to serve on the next Youth Council term, which begins in the fall. 

More information about the city’s Youth Council can be found here. 


Montrose Police Department Chief Blaine Hall presented crime stats for the first five months of 2021 compared to the same time period in 2020. 

Hall said assaults are on the rise compared to 2020,  however, the numbers are hard to compare due to the pandemic in 2020. Hall said that, due to the pandemic, he advised his officers to limit their personal exposure with the public, likely resulting in lower assault and use-of-force numbers. 

Hall said officers used force a total of 36 times in 2019. This includes the use of a  taser or wrestling a suspect to the ground. In 2020 officers used force a total of 30 times. So far in 2021 officers have used force 15 times, according to Hall. 

“I’m actually proud of that stat,” Hall said. “Our officers are using force one time for every 800-900 (calls).”

Hall said officers haven’t had to use their firearms for “quite a while,” adding that Montrose police officers try to use force only as a last resort. 

Hall also talked about the department’s new online tool for reporting non-violent crime, theft, and complaints. This online tool can be found here.

The entire 2A Report Card presented Tuesday can be found here: 


All City Council meetings are recorded and made available online via 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

For more city news visit

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