Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Monday morning, June 19, to hear about an update to Project 7’s plan to improve water service in the Uncompahgre Valley, possible updates to the city’s Municipal Code, and proposed annexation.
Mayor Barbara Bynum and councilors Dave Frank, Doug Glaspell, David Reed, and Ed Ulibarri met in the City Council Chambers at 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.
PROJECT 7 UPDATE ON THE RESILIENCY PROJECT
Utilities Manager David Bries updated councilors about Project 7's ongoing Resiliency Project.
Project 7 Manager Adam Turner explained that his presentation was to update the council on how the water authority plans to pay for the multi-year project.
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 project has been in the works for several years. In May 2021 Turner first addressed the council at a work session stating that the agency had been looking diligently at the future of water resources for serving the 50,000 residents of the Uncompahgre Valley while also 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 water source should there be issues with the current supply due to limited water quantity or quality. The project will plan for future growth while preparing for a worst-case scenario in the event something happens to the Gunnison Tunnel.
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.
To pay for this project, Project 7 is planning to raise water rates to member entities for every 1,000 gallons used. In June the Project 7 board is looking at two increases of 50 cents per 1,000 gallons in both 2024 and 2025 to help pay for the project. Each rate increase would only pay for raw water. As a result, the City of Montrose would need to increase the municipal water rates to accommodate its water needs. This rate increase is largely in preparation for the Project 7 Resiliency Project and the increased debt service that will likely be needed for the project. The current plan is to have the plant online by 2026.
More information about the project will be released once it becomes available.
PROPOSED MUNICIPAL CODE UPDATES
City Councilors were briefed on some Municipal Code updates proposed by the city’s legal department.
City Attorney Ben Morris and Assistant City Attorneys Matt Magliaro and Chris Dowsey presented the proposed changes to the council Monday.
The changes are a result of changes requested by the City Council in 2022.
Magliaro said the changes affect six sections of the Municipal Code related to the sentencing guidelines to the Municipal Court. Magliaro said because the City of Montrose is a home-rule municipality it is only allowed to make changes up to a point, due to restrictions imposed by the Colorado State Legislature.
The changes will require first and second readings of an ordinance with council majority approval.
PALLANTE ADDITION ANNEXATION
City Councilors were presented with the proposed Pallante Addition annexation.
City Planner William Reis said the Pallante Addition is approximately 0.76 acres in size. The parcel is located along Juniper Road, across from the intersection with El Camino Real Road. It is within the city’s Urban Growth Boundary, the City of Montrose Sewer Service Area, and the Menoken Water Service Area. Annexation of this property will allow for connection to city utilities. An annexation agreement is required.
Proposed Zoning: “MHR” Manufactured Housing Residential District
Applicant: Tara Pallante, Anthony Pallante, and Ava Pallante
The council will set a hearing date for the annexation later this summer.
GENERAL CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION
Councilor Dave Frank said he heard from a Montrose resident who said there were a lot of great things to see and do in Montrose this summer.
Mayor Barbara Bynum said most of the council would be at the Colorado Municipal League conference next week, and the council has canceled the July 4 regular city council meeting. The next City Council regular meeting will be held on July 18.
Public Works Manager Jim Scheid said there would be a design meeting Monday evening with two members of the City Council to go over the conceptual design of the City Hall facade.
Councilor Dave Frank said there is a full schedule of events planned for the city’s 4th of July celebrations. More information 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 and on-demand through the city’s Public Meetings Portal.