Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Monday morning, June 20, to meet a handful of new employees, interview three potential members to the city’s Planning Commission, and receive updates on city projects.
Councilors Barbara Bynum, Doug Glaspell, Dave Frank, David Reed, and Ed Ulibarri met in City Council Chambers along with city staff.
The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
Watch the meeting here.
INTRODUCTION OF NEW CITY EMPLOYEES
City Councilors were introduced to a group of new city employees Monday morning.
CJ Boris joined the city as an events technician at the Montrose Pavilion. Heather MacDougall was hired as an accountant/customer service supervisor. Jay Chalkley was hired as an HR generalist/safety coordinator. Bo Merlin joined the city as an alternate Municipal Court judge.
PLANNING COMMISSION ALTERNATE APPLICANT INTERVIEWS
City Councilors considered three applicants for the city’s Planning Commission. The council interviewed Ronald L. Cairns and Roy Jerome Dantzman. Applicant Terry Ferris was not present.
The council will formally vote to appoint a new member to the commission at the City Council’s July 5 regular meeting.
PROJECT 7 RESILIENCY PROJECT UPDATE
City Councilors received an update from city Utility Manager David Bries and Project 7 Manager Adam Turner regarding the Project 7 Resiliency Project currently underway at the Ridgway Reservoir Dam.
The seven entities that represent the Project 7 water collective include the City of Montrose, the City of Delta, the Town of Olathe, the Tri-County Water Conservancy District, the Chipeta Water District, the Menoken Water District, and the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association.
The agency has been looking diligently at the future of water resources serving the 50,000 residents of the Uncompahgre Valley while taking into consideration recent drought conditions.
For a number of years, Project 7 Water Authority has been planning to construct an additional plant to treat water from Ridgway Reservoir. Recently this has been called the Project 7 Resiliency Project, referring to the facility’s role as an alternative treated water source should there be issues with the current supply due to limited water quantity or quality.
In late 2020, the Project 7 Water Authority Board approved a $0.15 per 1,000-gallon increase (from $1.00 to $1.15 per 1,000 gallons) to their wholesale rate for the member entities. This rate increase was largely in preparation for the Project 7 Resiliency Project and the increased debt service that will likely be needed for the project. This $0.15 increase will increase the City of Montrose treated water purchase budget of $1,365,485 by approximately $205,000 in 2021. It is anticipated that at least three additional annual increases, similar to the 2021 increase, will be needed to fund the project.
Project 7 is planning to build a new facility on a 50-acre site located off U.S. Hwy 550 south of Montrose with design beginning this summer. The agency is working on some water tests to figure out what components of water treatment will be needed at the new facility.
Another pilot study will focus on things like corrosion, pH levels, and mineral deposits to make sure water from the Ridgway Reservoir will be similar to water treated at the existing Project 7 facility east of Montrose.
A community town hall is being planned for the public to come to inspect the proposed site for the new facility on July 27.
TURF REPLACEMENT PROGRAM OVERVIEW
City Councilors were presented with an overview of a new state program to pay homeowners to replace lawns with more drought-tolerant landscaping in an effort to save water on a grand scale.
Colorado State Representative Marc Catlin said this is one his projects, aimed at reducing the use of ag water on residential turf. Catlin said the agricultural community has been asked for many years to make cuts while residential uses have continued to grow.
Catlin said demand management has continued to change in Colorado as growth on the Front Range taxes the existing water resources of the state. The amount of water, 600,000-acre feet, the same volume that fills the Blue Mesa Reservoir, is transferred to the Front Range each year to meet demand.
Catlin said his program is designed to encourage residential households to apply for financial incentives to remove their turf and replace it with more drought-tolerant landscaping.
The benefits of the voluntary program will be to save more water for ag uses while local residents can reduce their water bill.
Catlin said these programs will become more popular as water uses become more scarce due to climate change.
“The Colorado River is in danger,” Catlin said.
Catlin said the City of Montrose is the first community in his House District 58 to invite him to explain the new program that was signed into law in early June.
Catlin said the financial details of the program still need to be figured out. The options could include the City of Montrose matching state contributions to fund a local program in which the state matches dollar for dollar to pay homeowners to remove their turf. Or the city would need to contract with a third party to act as a pass-through to funnel state and federal grant dollars down to homeowners. Catlin said these details would need to be figured out before the program takes effect in spring 2023.
MANHOLE REHABILITATION CONTRACT EXTENSION
City Councilors were briefed about a potential extension of a contract with Concrete Conservation, Inc. (CCI) for the rehabilitation of manholes with severe H2S corrosion, not to exceed $100,000.
City Utility Manager David Bries said formal bids were solicited and received on July 1, 2020, for the rehabilitation of approximately 38 manholes with severe H2S corrosion.
Two bids were received, ranging in cost from $99,060 to $103,693. The contract was awarded to CCI and extended in 2021 to include additional manholes needing lining. The 2022 project is largely focused on lining manholes in Townsend Avenue in conjunction with the mill and overlay by CDOT.
Concrete Conservation, Inc. from Jacksonville, FL is the authorized applicator of
Spectrashield manhole lining systems were specified in the bid request. The city has contracted with them for manhole rehabilitation for the past four years, completing rehabilitation on 133 manholes. City staff has been very pleased with the application and durability of the Spectrashield product.
This contract with Concrete Conservation, Inc. is a renewable contract for up to four years with mutual consent from both parties. Funding for this contract is included in the 2022 Wastewater Collection Operating budget. In the 2022 budget, $100,000 was allocated for manhole rehabilitation.
FIREWORKS DISPLAY PERMIT APPLICATION
City Councilors were briefed about the city’s application to hold the annual 4th of July fireworks show on Sunset Mesa during Independence Day celebrations.
City Clerk Lisa DelPiccolo said the City of Montrose has contracted with a vendor to conduct the show. The city has also filed a permit application with the Montrose Fire Protection District. The city is planning a wide variety of festivities on the 4th of July holiday.
The city’s annual 4th of July parade will begin at 10 a.m. as multiple floats and civic groups will march west along Montrose’s historic Main Street from Pythian Ave to Rio Grande Ave.
Later in the afternoon, the festivities move to the Montrose Rotary Amphitheater in Cerise Park where a food truck village and beer garden will open at 4 p.m. as a lead-up to a performance by the Falconaires Air Force Academy Band at 5 p.m.
Following the Falconaires the group Girl Named Tom, winners of NBC’s 2021 The Voice televised music competition, are set to perform at 7:30 p.m.
Both concerts are free to the public.
The city’s annual fireworks display is scheduled to begin at dusk, launching from Sunset Mesa. The fireworks show is subject to local fire restrictions.
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 and on-demand through the city’s Public Meetings Portal.