Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for their regular meeting Tuesday evening, May 2, to approve a number of ordinances and contracts for city projects and update portions of the city’s Municipal Code.
Councilors Barbara Bynum, Dave Frank, Doug Glaspell, David Reed, and Ed Ulibarri met in the newly renovated City Council Chambers in the Elks Civic Building along with city staff.
The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
Watch the meeting here.
CALL FOR PUBLIC COMMENT
One member of the public addressed the council about the new City Council Chambers renovations and the importance of energy conservation.
One member of the public addressed the council about a potential sale of a property that would impact privately owned property in the area of 6700 Road. Loss in property values, increased traffic, and change in neighborhood dynamics would drastically alter the lifestyle of the neighborhood in a negative way.
One member of the public asked the City Council to work towards having a climate change plan so the city can plan for a future where climate change could alter city infrastructure or cost the city money in terms of energy inefficiency.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
City Councilors voted unanimously, with David Reed abstaining, to approve the minutes of the April 18 regular City Council meeting.
The city’s archive of past meeting minutes can be found on the new Public Meetings Portal and at CityofMontrose.org/ArchiveCenter.
ORDINANCE 2621 — SECOND READING
City Councilors voted 4-1 to approve Ordinance 2621, on second reading, which dedicates the proceeds of the sale of City Hall to fund the city’s portion of the Montrose Permanent Fund, a $2,000,000 endowment fund. Colorado Mesa University will fund the remaining portion of the fund through the Colorado Mesa University Foundation, which will provide a permanent source of funding to support Montrose students who attend the university.
ORDINANCE 2622 — SECOND READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve the vacation of a portion of South 3rd Street to make way for the South 3rd Plaza.
ORDINANCE 2623 — SECOND READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 2623, on second reading, annexing the Sunset Village Addition.
Planning Manager Jace Hochwalt said the Sunset Village Addition is approximately 10.01 acres in size. The property is two parcels located at 576 6600 Road and 616 6600 Road. The parcels are within the city’s Urban Growth Boundary, the City of Montrose Sewer Service Area, and the Tri-County Water Service Area. Annexation of this property will allow for future single or multi-family residential development. An annexation agreement has been completed.
ORDINANCE 2624 — SECOND READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 2624, on second reading, approving the zoning of the Sunset Village Addition as an “R-3A” Medium High-Density District.
ORDINANCE 2625 — FIRST READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 2625, on first reading, to clarify portions of the city’s charter.
Assistant City Attorney Matt Magliaro said the proposed ordinance states: “The following of Article I Governmental Powers and Legislative Officials, Section 7 of the Official Charter of the City of Montrose, Colorado, is hereby clarified pursuant to Article X, Section 3 of the Charter to insert a usage footnote intended to guide a reviewing court of competent jurisdiction, to read in full as follows:
FN1 Standards of Interpretation: If any provision of the language of this section is subjected to challenge before a court of competent jurisdiction, the canon of constitutional avoidance to interpret the language of this section for harmony and constituency with all parts of the Constitution of the State of Colorado may be used without a predicate finding of ambiguity.”
Magliaro said changing the city’s Charter requires a vote of the people through a local municipal election. This ordinance simply cleans up portions of the Charter.
ORDINANCE 2626 — FIRST READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 2626, on first reading, which would repeal provisions relating to the Planning Commission and land development, repeal certain chapters of the Montrose Regulations Manual relating to land development, and adopt a new title, XI - Land Development Regulations, for the City of Montrose.
Planning Manager Jace Hochwalt said the purpose of the proposed code amendments is to consolidate the existing land use code into one title, eliminate redundancies, and modernize for clarity and readability.
THE BRIDGES AT BLACK CANYON AMENDED PRELIMINARY PLAT
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve The Bridges at Black Canyon Amended Preliminary Plat.
City Planner William Reis said The Bridges at Black Canyon Amended Preliminary Plat renews portions of The Bridges at Black Canyon Subdivision that has not yet been subdivided.
Previous preliminary plats have expired and this project renews 26 single-family lots within The Bridges at Black Canyon Planned Development (PD) while meeting newer city standards and addressing stormwater detention. Engineering plans have been revised from the previous submittal to address stormwater and have been updated based on current conditions at the site. This subdivision is located within The Bridges at Black Canyon PD and does not amend the PD. This is located within the “R-2” Low Density District, and “R-3” Medium Density District.
The Planning Commission voted to approve The Bridges at Black Canyon Amended Preliminary Plat during the April 12 meeting. A final plat will also be required within five years of approval of this preliminary plat.
BLOCK 93 SEWER REPLACEMENT CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve a construction contract with Skip Huston Construction in the amount of $468,105 for the completion of the Block 93 Sewer Replacement Project.
City Engineer Scott Murphy said Block 93 is the first alley north of Main Street between Cascade and Townsend Avenues. As is typical in this area of the city, the sanitary sewer lines are located within the alleys along with other utilities such as power, natural gas, and communications lines.
This particular sewer line has reached the end of its life, has experienced pipe failures in several areas, and is in need of replacement. In addition to the main east-west alleyway line, a line running north from the alley to North 1st Street is also in need of replacement. Further downstream of Block 93 on the western side of Townsend Avenue, it is also necessary to insert manholes at each end of the alley in front of AutoZone in order to facilitate the future lining of this sewer line.
Given the constricted nature of the alleyway, the east-west replacement will be performed using trenchless technologies. Where more space is available, the remaining work on the project will be performed using conventional open-cut excavations.
Skip Huston was the lowest among three local bids for the work, according to Murphy. The company is considered qualified to perform the work and the city has recent positive experience working with them on multiple city projects.
STREET LIGHT UPGRADE PROJECT AND DMEA MOU
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve the authorization of a memorandum of understanding, MOU, with the Delta Montrose Electric Association, DMEA, and the Streetlight Upgrade Project in the amount of $110,000.
Public Works Manager Jim Scheid said the City of Montrose has approximately 1900 streetlights on a variety of street types and most are a High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) or Mercury Vapor (MV) fixture type.
These fixture types, originally installed in the 1950s and 1960s, had been commonly used for street lighting until the 2010s when the light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures were introduced to the market. Over the last ten years, as the HPS or MV fixtures have failed or needed replacement, they have been replaced with LED fixtures.
Approximately 500 of the fixtures have been converted to LED within the city. The City of Montrose is initiating an MOU with DMEA to systematically replace the remaining HPS and MV fixtures in the Streetlight Upgrade Project over a four-year period.
Scheid said there are several reasons that motivate the initiation of this project:
- Financial Benefit - LED fixtures have a higher upfront cost to install but use less electricity to illuminate. The increased efficiency will offset the cost of the upgraded fixture in about 2.3 years.
- Energy Efficiency – The Envision 2040 Comprehensive Plan has goals regarding energy efficiency and conservation. (Goal HE-7 Energy and Water Conservation)
- Dark Sky Principles – This project meets some of the principles of responsible dark-skies outdoor lighting by properly shielding fixtures, utilizing light that has a purpose, and using lower light levels (lumens) where applicable.
- Street Network Organization – Using light type and frequency to help identify street types. City staff has worked with DMEA staff to generate an MOU that specifies the LED fixture type to be utilized based on the street type and use. DMEA will begin changing existing HPS and MV fixtures to LED fixtures up to the 2023 budgeted amount of $110,000.
The project is intended to continue over the next three years (four years total) to complete the fixture upgrades. The continuation of this project will depend on funding that is available for future budget years.
MONTROSE PUBLIC SAFETY COMPLEX SOLAR PANELS AND ALTERNATE AWARD
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve the authorization of a contract with Atlasta Solar for the installation of a solar panel system at the Montrose Public Safety Complex in the amount of $205,506.
Public Works Manager Jim Scheid said that, as the construction process for the Montrose Public Safety Complex (MPSC) concludes, city staff is able to identify and recommend “add alternates” that may have been excluded earlier in the construction project. This is the case with the addition of a solar panel system.
The solar panel system was an added alternate option in 2021 for the MPSC project. At that time SHAW Construction received bids for the add alternate and Atlasta Solar of Grand Junction was selected as the contractor to perform the work. The added alternate was not accepted due to the unstable market and the project risks that were still present at that time. Installation of solar panels is an item that is easy to add at the end of the project without additional expense.
Since the project is ending and the contract with SHAW Construction is being closed out, city staff has used the pricing provided earlier in the MPSC project to contract with Atlasta Solar and manage the work separately from the SHAW contract.
The pricing options provided by Atlasta include several options for the size and cost of the solar panels. The contract approved by City Council will cover all four of the covered parking structures with solar panels. The more panels that are installed the higher the output and efficiency of the system.
SANITARY SEWER RATE STUDY
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve a contract with Carollo Engineers, in an amount not to exceed $70,000, to perform a sanitary sewer cost-of-service analysis and develop an updated rate structure to fairly recover the wastewater treatment costs from various types of customers.
Utilities Manager David Bries said the current sanitary sewer rate structure was developed approximately 20 years ago and is in need of updating due to changes in regulations, customer types, and billing system capabilities.
Carollo Engineers have performed several projects at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, WWTP, to assist staff in meeting regulatory requirements, identifying aging components that are near the end of their life, and developing a capital improvement plan to meet upcoming regulatory changes.
They have a good understanding of the cost centers for the WWTP. Additionally, they were the firm that was selected to perform the Storm Sewer Utility feasibility study. The City of Montrose procurement process doesn't require a competitive bid process for professional services and staff did not request bids or proposals for this study.
Carollo has estimated the cost of the study to be $59,946. The proposed not-to-exceed cost would provide an additional $10,000 if further work is required to refine the rates to meet staff’s expectations and to efficiently work with the city’s billing system.
Mayor Barbara Bynum said anyone holding an event can advertise their event on the city’s events website at https://www.visitmontrose.com/events/
The addition of an executive session was made at the start of the meeting by City Attorney Ben Morris. The purpose of the executive session was for the council to meet with the city attorney for legal representation.
The council reconvened into a public meeting to formally adjourn the meeting.
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 on-demand through the city’s Public Meetings Portal.