Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Tuesday morning September 7, to interview potential members of the city’s Youth Council and Planning Commission. Councilors also discussed proposed contract awards and a grant application and heard an update from the Montrose Community Foundation.
The work session was moved from Monday, September 6, due to the Labor Day holiday.
Councilors Barbara Bynum, Dave Frank, Doug Glaspell, and David Reed met in City Council Chambers along with city staff. Councilor Anthony Russo was absent. Members of the public were also able to attend in person or via Zoom.
The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
Watch the meeting here.
YOUTH CITY COUNCIL APPLICANT INTERVIEWS
City Councilors met with Harrison Hall to discuss their appointment to the city's Youth Council for the 2021-2022 term. Hall was the Youth Council’s mayor in the 2020-2021 term.
The Montrose Youth Council was established to encourage greater youth participation in the city’s government and is charged with actively providing the City Council with thoughtful recommendations on issues concerning youth and assisting city staff in considering youth perspectives in its planning efforts. Members are selected near the beginning of each school year from a pool of applicants.
More information can be found here.
PLANNING COMMISSION ALTERNATE APPLICANT INTERVIEWS
City Councilors met with two applicants to serve in an alternate position on the city's Planning Commission.
Montrose area residents Laura Baker, Steven Ball, Catherine Buckley Hoffman, and Tina McFarlin submitted applications to the city to serve on the commission. Ball and Hoffman were present Tuesday in the Work Session. McFarlin was interviewed during the council’s Regular Meeting later in the day.
Councilors will formally vote to appoint a new alternate member at the Monday, September 20, City Council regular meeting.
MONTROSE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION UPDATE
City Councilors met with Montrose Community Foundation (MCF) Executive Director Sara Plumhoff to hear an update about the foundation’s work in the community.
The city formally partnered with MCF in 2013, according to Plumhoff, who said the foundation works to help a variety of local organizations.
In 2021 the city granted $30,000 to the foundation to help fund local programs to help residents pay medical bills and fund essential programs for childcare victims of abuse.
Organizations assisted by the Montrose Community Foundation include Habitat for Humanity, the Valley Food Partnership, Haven House, Magic Circle Players, and Girls on the Run.
Plumhoff said the foundation touches a wide variety of programs from the arts to education and some of the neediest residents of the community. During the COVID pandemic, the foundation served as a partner with the city to help disperse federal COVID relief dollars throughout the community.
Plumhoff also said the foundation is already working on grants for 2022.
For more information visit the Montrose Community Foundation.
GRAY AND BLACK MARKET MARIJUANA ENFORCEMENT GRANT APPLICATION
City Community Program Manager Kendall Cramer briefed councilors about a grant application seeking funds to help disrupt gray and black market marijuana operations in the community.
Cramer said the City of Montrose has decided to pursue an annual grant with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, DOLA, to help cover costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of black-market marijuana production.
City Councilors would need to approve a resolution to allow the city to opt-in to the 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 the Gray and Black Market Marijuana Enforcement Grant Program would provide funds for personnel and operational and equipment costs to investigate, enforce, and prosecute illegal marijuana grow and sale operations.
TOWNSEND AVENUE UTILITY REPLACEMENT PROJECT CONTRACT AWARD
City Councilors were briefed about a contract award to complete a utility replacement project on Townsend Avenue.
The contract, in the amount of $1,345,278, is for work that will begin to rehabilitate portions of the roadway in 2022.
City Engineer Scott Murphy said the City of Montrose Utility Department owns and operates several miles of sanitary sewer and water utilities within the Townsend Avenue (US 550) right-of-way.
Select reaches of the water utility within the Townsend Avenue corridor are over 50 years old, have reached the end of their useful life, and are in need of replacement.
Furthermore, many of the sanitary sewer manholes along Townsend Avenue have also reached the end of their useful life or have sunken excessively below the adjacent pavement.
In response to these issues, the city is looking to replace select reaches of the waterline and rebuild the tops of all sanitary sewer manholes on Townsend Avenue.
This work is being performed prior to and in anticipation of a 2.5-inch mill and overlay project that the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) plans to begin around April 2022.
Murphy said the city chose the lowest bid of six received. Mountain Valley Contracting of Grant Junction was the lowest bidder, according to Murphy, who added that the city has worked with the company on several capital projects in the past.
Project Schedule and Traffic Control
The utility replacement project is scheduled to begin in November 2021 and extend into April 2022, after which CDOT’s overlay project will begin. Motorists can anticipate single-lane closures and lane shifts on Townsend Avenue during the city’s utility project. When work is taking place at intersections with city side streets, these streets will be temporarily closed and traffic detoured around the work area. Access to residences and businesses will be maintained at all times throughout the project.
Contract Administration and Project Financials
Contract administration, project management, and inspection will be performed by the City of Montrose Engineering Department.
The city budgeted $1 million in 2021 for the first year of this multi-year project (fall 2021 to spring 2022). Now that the project has been bid and the contractor’s schedule/split between budget years is known, it is anticipated that approximately 10% of this amount will be expended in 2021. The balance of the project will be budgeted in 2022 and will be funded through the water and sewer capital enterprise funds.
PUBLIC WORKS SHOP DESIGN CONTRACT AWARD
City Councilors were presented with a contract amendment for the Public Works Facility Design Contract with Chamberlin Architects to add a scope of work for a Phase II environmental site assessment at a cost of $48,500.
According to City Engineer Scott Murphy, the City Council awarded a design contract to Chamberlin Architects on June 15, 2021, to perform environmental assessments, evaluate space needs, and prepare a conceptual plan for the eventual replacement of the Public Works shop facility located at 1221 6450 Road. This initial contract included a formal EPA Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), which was completed in August.
The completed Phase I ESA looked at historic property uses both within and adjacent to the site to determine if these uses would warrant further environmental investigation. Given the site’s history as a vehicle maintenance facility with underground storage tanks and given the historic presence of an asphalt batch plant, a Phase II ESA was warranted at the site.
The Phase II ESA will dive deeper into the environmental characterization of the site. This includes the collection and analysis of surface and subsurface soil samples and groundwater and radiation detection to look for the presence of uranium mill tailings, which were known to be used as fill material throughout the Western Slope. The results of this assessment would be used to develop remediation plans (if necessary) and/or determine how the site plan may be sequenced and laid out.
The scope of work and plan for the Phase II ESA was dependent on the results of the recently completed Phase I ESA. With the Phase I ESA now complete, this second phase of environmental work was scoped out at a cost of $48,500 on a time-and-materials, not-to-exceed basis and is based on negotiations with Chamberlin Architects’ environmental subcontractor, Grande River Environmental (Grand Junction, CO).
Contract administration and general project management will continue to be performed by the city. As with the original contract, this amendment would continue to be funded out of reserves (2021) and budgeted funds (2022) from the recent sale of the city’s Banner Road property.
INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT FOR LIQUOR LICENSING SERVICES
City Councilors were briefed on a possible intergovernmental agreement that would allow the City Clerk’s Office to process additional liquor licenses.
According to City Clerk Lisa DelPiccolo, the city was recently approached by Montrose County to determine if the City Clerk's Office would be willing to process applications for liquor licenses, renewals, and permits in unincorporated Montrose County.
The Board of County Commissioners would remain as the liquor licensing authority for these licenses and permits. Under the terms of the agreement, the city would retain the application fees. The City Clerk would oversee the application processes, forward information to applicable county staff members for review, and present the applications to the BOCC.
The IGA was approved by the BOCC on August 18.
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 CityOfMontrose.org/Video.
For more city news visit CityOfMontrose.org.