Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Monday morning, October 16, to meet several new employees, receive a presentation on the results of the 2023 Community Survey, review a proposed new annexation, and hear about proposed changes to the Municipal Code and 2024 fee schedule.
Mayor Barbara Bynum and councilors Doug Glaspell, David Reed, and Ed Ulibarri met in the City Council Chambers at the Elks Civic Building along with city staff. Councilor Dave Frank attended via Zoom.
The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
Watch the meeting here.
CITIZEN INTERACTIVE SESSION
Before the meeting, the City Council held its monthly Citizen Interactive Session to meet with members of the local Dark Skies organization. The discussion involved ideas on how the City of Montrose could better help to avoid light pollution during the overnight period.
Following the session, the council then reconvened for its work session.
INTRODUCTION OF NEW CITY EMPLOYEES
- Jackey Vroman - HR Generalist
- Kelly Madrid - Part-Time Animal Shelter Tech
- Austin Gish - Street Cleaning Operator
- Thomas Ceniceros - Pavilion & Community Events Coordinator
- Harrison Hall - Police Records Technician/Incident Report Processing
- Justin Messina - Waste Water Treatment Plant Worker
2023 COMMUNITY SURVEY PRESENTATION
City Councilors were presented with the results from the 2023 Community Survey.
David Spear of the City of Montrose and Jason Morado of ETC Institute, a national organization with 40 years of experience with community surveys and engagement research presented key findings of the 2023 Community Survey.
Morado said the survey showed that residents have a positive perception of the City of Montrose and that 83% are satisfied with the overall quality of life in Montrose.
Satisfaction with city services is higher in Montrose than in other communities throughout the U.S. in 31 of 47 areas and significantly higher (5% or more) in 24 areas. Satisfaction with customer service provided by city employees rates 31% above the U.S. average.
Areas where city services significantly exceed national benchmarks for citizen satisfaction included trash & recycling, quality of city parks & open spaces, customer service provided by city employees, quality of police services, and effectiveness of city communication with the public.
ETC Institute also conducted a nearly identical survey for the City of Montrose in 2016, making it possible to compare the results of the 2023 survey with past results. Overall, satisfaction with city services has increased in 50 of 93 areas, stayed the same in 1 of 93 areas, and decreased in 42 of 93 areas. Notable increases in satisfaction since 2016 are:
- Ease of Travel by Car (+14%)
- Availability of Paved Walking/Biking Trails (+12%)
- Customer Service at Retail Businesses (+10%)
- Downtown Visitor Center (+9%)
- Availability of Bike Lanes (+9%)
- Job Opportunities (+9%)
- Timeliness/Frequency of Information of Social Media
Areas of notable decreases in satisfaction since 2016 are:
- Access to Quality Affordable Housing (-21%)
- Cost of Living (-16%)
- Crime Prevention Efforts (-14%)
- Enforcement of Codes and Ordinances (-11%)
- Visibility of Police Officers (-11%)
- Feeling of Safety in City Parks (-11%)
The survey results also provide insight into residents’ top overall priorities for the city over the next two years. Traffic flow and congestion were the top priority, followed by the condition of city streets, the enforcement of city codes and ordinances, and affordable housing.
Areas of city services where residents want the most emphasis over the next two years include, traffic flow & congestion management, condition of city streets, enforcement of city codes and ordinances, and quality of city economic development efforts.
In the area of city maintenance, respondents placed the maintenance of city streets, sidewalks, and major roadways as the top priority.
For public safety priorities, the city's crime prevention efforts, enforcement of local traffic laws, and code enforcement emerged as the top priorities.
Community issues that participants thought should receive the most attention from community organizations over the next three years, in order of priority, were lack of affordable housing, homelessness, and drug abuse/addiction.
Spear said that the final survey report will be placed on the city’s website (CityOfMontrose.org/Survey) as soon as it is completed. A “data dashboard” website will also be launched, providing the opportunity for residents to customize their analysis of the survey results.
USED TRASH TRUCK PURCHASE RATIFICATION
City Councilors were presented with a proposal to purchase a used 2019 Peterbilt refuse truck with a Scorpion body for $219,800 from Elliot Equipment in Commerce City.
City Fleet Superintendent Shane Brandt said the city has budgeted for and ordered a total of three refuse trucks since 2021 and due to several delays, these trucks are not expected to be delivered until late 2024. The delay of the new trucks has severely impacted the trash and recycling collection services that the City of Montrose provides. The trucks that were due for replacement in 2022 are wearing out and are having major breakdowns including full engine replacements.
The overall maintenance costs for trash and recycling vehicles are up about 50% since 2021 and continue to climb. This situation has pushed our fleet and trash and recycle divisions to research other opportunities to help remedy the operational pressures. Recently the city has received a quote from Elliot Equipment for the purchase of a used trash truck. This used truck is a 2019 Peterbilt with a scorpion body. This make and model of truck and body matches several of the other trash trucks in the fleet and is what was originally ordered in 2021. This truck would be available to the city in about 30 days, which will be great timing to help with upcoming holiday weeks. The holiday week collections will be especially difficult and nearly impossible with one or more trash trucks out of operation. This purchase was authorized by city management to allow the used truck to be reserved for purchase and delivered to Montrose as soon as possible. Since this time-sensitive purchase is over $50,000 it is being presented for approval by the Montrose City Council.
Net Financial Impact
This purchase of an additional trash and recycle refuse truck was budgeted in the 2022 budget and was approved by the City Council for award in late 2021. This truck would take the place of the additional truck that is included in that award. The three trucks that remain as part of that order will become the replacement trucks for the 2022, 2023, and 2024 trucks to be replaced.
The $350,000 amount that was included in the 2022 budget for this purchase has been retained in the Trash and Recycle Fund. The purchase price of the used replacement truck is $130,200 under the budgeted amount and staff recommended that the $130,200 savings be applied to the Fleet Fund for the replacement of the trucks to be purchased.
TRASH TRUCK REPAIR RATIFICATION
City Councilors were presented with an emergency expense authorization for a complete engine replacement for a trash and recycle refuse truck (Unit 364). The proposed repairs would be performed by Nextran Truck Center in Fruita, in the amount of $42,763.
The repair was quoted at $38,875, but since there are a few unknown variables there is a 10% contingency included in the overall amount of $42,763.
City Fleet Superintendent Shane Brandt said Unit 364 was to be replaced in 2022 and the delivery of the replacement vehicle has been delayed a few times. The age of this vehicle is causing it to have major mechanical failures.
Unfortunately, the replacement truck is scheduled for arrival at the end of 2024 so the refuse trucks that are in operation will need to continue until the replacements arrive, creating an urgent need for the repair of this truck.
BLOWERS ADDITION ANNEXATION
City Councilors were presented with a proposed annexation known as the Blowers Addition.
City Planner William Reis said the Blowers Addition is a proposed annexation of approximately 15.22 acres in size. The annexation consists of three parcels located on the west side of 6450 Road, south of its intersection with Lincoln Road. It is within the city’s Urban Growth Boundary, City of Montrose Sewer Service Area, and City of Montrose Water Service Area. Annexation of this property will allow for connection to city utilities. An annexation agreement is required.
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO MUNICIPAL CODE SECTION 11-7-12 RELATED TO REZONING AND INITIAL ZONING OF ANNEXED PROPERTY
City Councilors were presented with possible amendments to Section 11-7-12 of the Land Development Regulations of the City of Montrose related to rezoning and the zoning of additions.
City Planning Manager Jace Hochwalt said the purpose of the proposed code amendments is to eliminate ambiguity and clarify the current rezoning and initial zoning processes as they relate to the decision-making procedures and roles of both the Planning Commission and the City Council.
With the recent code consolidation efforts and amendments that took place earlier in the year, the Land Development Regulations section (Title 11 of the Montrose Municipal Code) was consolidated for the purposes of modernization and elimination of redundancy. With the consolidation efforts now complete, staff will continue to refine the code to eliminate ambiguity where applicable. One section specifically flagged by city staff is Section 11-7-12, which relates to the rezoning of property within the city limits, as well as the initial zoning of property being annexed into the city limits.
To clear up any confusion as to how the code currently reads, city staff is proposing amendments in 11-7-12 (A)(2) to clarify this process. In addition, staff is proposing to amend the wording of 11-7-12 (A)(3) to clarify when conditions can be imposed on rezoning. There were approved rezones in the past that had very specific conditions set within the zoning ordinance. Since zoning ordinances are not recorded and do not always accompany a title report, a zoning ordinance with specific conditions can add confusion to property owners and staff alike as properties transfer ownership. Other mechanisms such as a planned development or an annexation agreement are better tools for imposing conditions.
PROPOSED FEE SCHEDULE REVISIONS FOR 2024
City Councilors heard about potential updates for the 2024 Fee Schedule.
City Clerk Lisa DelPiccolo said the city reviews fees regularly to determine if certain fees are outdated, or need to be increased due to market conditions.
There are a number of proposed revisions to the city’s fee schedule:
- 3-1-1 (D) Land Use Fees -Land use fees were aligned with the 2023 Land Use Code updates
- 3-1-1 (F) Parks/Private Use of Public Property - Amphitheater use fees were updated to incorporate the use of ice provided by the city
- 3-1-1 (H) Building Code Fees
- Plumbing Permits and Gas Permits were standardized to one fee for commercial and residential
- A Mechanical Permit fee was added
- A Solar Permit Fee was added
- A Re-Roof Permit Fee was added
- A Demolition Permit Fee was added
- The Fire Protection District fee schedule was added as Exhibit A to the fee schedule
- 3-1-2 Pavilion Fee Schedule
- Fees that are no longer applicable were removed
- Use fees were increased to align with other event venues in the area
- 3-1-3 Fee Schedule for Water, Sewer and Trash
- Water and sewer connection fees were increased by 5 percent
- Water usage fees per 1,000 gallons were increased by 5 percent plus a .15 increase pass-through from Project 7
- An E-One Pump Maintenance fee was added
- Trash and recycling fees were increased by 20 percent
GENERAL CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION
Councilor Dave Frank said he represented Montrose at the recent Colorado Municipal League meeting in Denver.
Finance Director Shani Wittenberg said the city is hosting its annual budget open house on Tuesday, October 17, at 4:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.
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.