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Posted on: December 6, 2023

Blog: CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION: Monday, December 4, 2023

Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Monday morning, December 4, to consider a new intergovernmental agreement with the Montrose Recreation District and a number of updates on major city infrastructure projects. 

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.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT WITH MONTROSE RECREATION DISTRICT 

City Councilors were presented with an intergovernmental agreement, IGA, with the Montrose Recreation District, MRD, for shared services in 2024. 

Each year, city and district staff review the agreement and discuss any needed changes to meet the needs of both organizations and the public. The goal of the agreement is a collaboration that will save each entity – and therefore our community members – money, and increase efficiency and partnership. The agreement comes before the City Council and the Recreation District annually for approval. The Recreation District has reviewed this agreement. A redline version showing changes between the 2023 version and the proposed 2024 version is attached.

Neither entity is proposing significant changes for 2024. The minor changes include:

  • The city will provide asphalt patching or crack sealing services to the district for any facilities they designate up to a cost of $4,000. Additional services will be provided pursuant to the rates in the agreement.
  • Other public spaces in the Baldridge Park Regional Park Complex are identified in addition to the Cerise fields and the Rotary Amphitheater.
  • The Flex Park in Colorado Outdoors is identified and the associated maintenance responsibilities are specified.
  • The city will provide a free Black Canyon Card to full-time MRD employees instead of discounted annual passes. This is more accessible than discounts for MRD employees.
  • Trash, recycling, and other fees were updated with current rates.

Councilors normally vote on the IGA at the first council meeting in January. 

COBBLE CREEK WEST UTILITY SERVICE AGREEMENT

City Councilors were presented with a proposal to enter into a utility service agreement with Chipeta Water District and Weststar Development LLC to provide City of Montrose water service to the Cobble Creek West Addition.

City Engineer Scott Murphy said the municipal water service within the Uncompahgre Valley is supplied by six different water providers: the City of Montrose, Tri-County Water, Menoken Water, Chipeta Water, the Town of Olathe, and the City of Delta. 

These six entities, in partnership with the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association, purchase their treated water from the Project 7 Water Authority and then distribute it within their respective water service areas. In and around the City of Montrose, these water service area boundaries can be viewed online at http://gis.cityofmontrose.org under the “Water Districts” map layer.

The water service area boundaries were negotiated amongst the various water providers concurrent with the development of Project 7 and the US Bureau of Reclamation’s Dallas Creek Project (Ridgway Reservoir). The boundaries aim to maximize efficiency by centering around existing/proposed transmission infrastructure and taking into consideration existing and anticipated land uses. 

For example, the City of Montrose water service area generally focuses on the city limits and portions of the city’s urban growth boundary likely to experience urban levels of development. The surrounding rural water providers (Tri-County, Chipeta, and Menoken) are set up more for rural styles of development and are typically unable to support higher-density, urban developments. An important distinction between urban and rural water providers is in their ability to provide fire protection. With some exceptions, the city’s water system is hydraulically designed and operated to meet code-required minimum fire flows and pressures whereas the rural systems generally are not. As part of the water service area agreements between providers, consideration is given to allow for modification of boundaries themselves and/or to allow for service to be provided outside of the boundaries through written agreement between affected parties. This option has been utilized over the years for cases where infrastructure is not available within the established service area from its respective provider, due to hydraulic limitations of a given system, or due to limitations in water resource availability. 

The Cobble Creek West Addition is an approximately 65-acre tract of land along 6400 Road, immediately west of the Cobble Creek golf course as shown in Figure 1. The area is currently within Chipeta’s water service area; however, as part of recent design efforts performed for its development, it became apparent

that Chipeta’s water system would not be able to support the proposed density without substantial, cost-prohibitive system upgrades. As a result, the developer has requested the city consider servicing the area. To that end, city staff have prepared a utility service agreement in cooperation with Chipeta Water and the developer.

Water Resource Availability

As part of the Dallas Creek Project, the City of Montrose was allocated and has been paying for 10,000 acre-feet of Ridgway Reservoir’s municipal and industrial (M&I) pool of water. The city also holds shares in the Cimarron Canal Company which are used to fill Cerro Reservoir; however, these shares are reserved for emergency use only. Total annual demands within the City of Montrose over the past several years have hovered around 4,500 acre-feet or about 45% of the City’s total allocation from Ridgway Reservoir. 

As part of its ongoing water resource master planning, the city has been working to project how much water would be needed to achieve full buildout of the city’s water service area. Using conservative assumptions for the anticipated land-use density, water demand per capita, and limited conservation programs to be implemented over time, these projections indicate that the city should have approximately 500 acre-feet of water to spare following full buildout. Said another way, at this time it appears that 500 acre-feet of water would be available to provide service outside of our existing water service area. It should be noted that these projections do carry a degree of uncertainty.

It is anticipated that the proposed development within Cobble Creek West would use approximately 100 of the remaining 500 acre-feet.

Additional Considerations

For similar reasons related to hydraulic capacity, the original Cobble Creek neighborhood switched from Chipeta’s Water Service area to the City of Montrose as part of its initial development in the late 90s. However, the Spruce Point neighborhood, located immediately to the north of Cobble Creek has remained on Chipeta Water as hydraulic capacity was acceptable in that area at the time. Since then, stricter fire codes and a potential for higher density in the area have driven the developer of Spruce Point to consider switching Spruce Point over to city water as well. If this moves forward, it would be considered by City Council under a separate utility service agreement.

NORTH WOODGATE EXTENSION PROJECT MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT

City Councilors were presented with a proposal to consider entering into a Memorandum of Agreement, MOA, with the Marketplace West Condominium

Association to create the framework for right-of-way acquisition and completion of the North Woodgate Extension Project’s second phase.

City Engineer Scott Murphy said the city’s Comprehensive Plan and the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Townsend Avenue Access Control Plan both call for an eventual roadway connection between East Oak Grove and Niagara Roads, east of Townsend Avenue. This connection is to provide a means for commercial and residential traffic in the area to access a traffic signal and avoid the need to turn left onto Townsend Avenue at uncontrolled intersections. The city is scheduled to construct the first phase of the North Woodgate Extension (including the Woodgate/East Oak Grove Roundabout) starting in the fall of 2024. As a continuation of this effort, Phase II of this project is envisioned to extend the Woodgate Backage Road north up to Encanto Drive along the eastern side of the Marketplace Stores shopping center.

Phase II of the North Woodgate Extension would run through the alley access area behind the Marketplace Stores. Doing so would require the acquisition of a right-of-way easement through the area. To that end, city staff have drafted an MOA to create the framework for dedicating this right of way and completing of the roadway extension as a city capital project. Additional details on the roadway, commitments, and timelines associated with the project are included in the MOA.

The MOA envisions the design of the Phase II backage road in 2025 with construction in 2026. Per the agreement, should the city budget move forward with the project in these years, Marketplace Stores would agree to dedicate the right-of-way easements necessary for the project.

The anticipated cost for the design and construction of the Phase II roadway is $1.2M. As a public right-of-way, the roadway would be maintained in perpetuity by the City of Montrose.

SUBURBAN WATER DISSOLUTION INFORMATION 

City Councilors were presented with a proposal to take ownership of the Suburban Water Works District, Inc.

City Utilities Manager David Bries said the Montrose Suburban Water Works District, Inc. (Suburban) is a nonprofit corporation originally formed in 1922. As a nonprofit corporation, Suburban purchases water from the City of Montrose at wholesale cost and resells the water to its customers, thus making it within the city’s water boundary. Throughout the years, there have been talks between the city and Suburban at several different times for the city to take on Suburban’s assets but none proved to be fruitful. 

On June 11, 2023, Suburban had a large main break on Spring Creek Road for which the repairs more than depleted their reserves. As they bill their customers once every two months and the city bills its customers on a monthly basis, it became difficult for Suburban to meet its financial obligations to the city, essentially becoming insolvent during this timeframe. On August 9, 2023, Suburban’s Board of Directors voted to pursue the transfer of water services of its customers to the city.

Suburban’s board president met with city staff on multiple occasions to work out a blueprint for the transfer. Generally, Suburban customers do not desire to be annexed into the city and the city has agreed to this. If any of these customers would like to be annexed, they would have to go through the standard annexation procedure.

On October 25, 2023, a quorum of Suburban’s members voted unanimously to dissolve the company effective January 1, 2024. This gives the city time to prepare to take on the 300-plus customers within Suburban’s service area as individual city customers. The city is happy to bring on these customers and provide the level of service that all city customers receive.

2024 ASPHALT CRUSHING AWARD RECOMMENDATION

City Councilors were presented with the award of a professional service agreement with Rocky Mountain Aggregate and Construction, LLC. for providing asphalt crushing services at the city’s material storage yard in an amount not to exceed $200,000.

Public Works Director Jim Scheid said the City of Montrose Public Works utilizes a material storage yard (AKA The Pit) on top of Sunset Mesa to store gravel, cobble, fill materials, concrete, and asphalt debris. The asphalt stored at The Pit is made up of pieces of asphalt ranging from baseball size up to large slabs, and the pile has grown to a substantial size over the last several years of storage.

The asphalt can be reused for construction or resurfacing of millings trails or processed through an asphalt recycler for patching city streets. The asphalt needs to be crushed into smaller pieces to meet the specifications of a class 6 base course before it can be used for other purposes.

The city issued an RFP for this service in October of 2023 and received three bids. The proposals were evaluated on experience with similar projects, references, project approach, equipment, crew, and price. 

City staff are recommending an award to Rocky Mountain Aggregate from Montrose.

2024 BALDRIDGE PARK MASTER PLAN AWARD RECOMMENDATION

City Councilors were presented with a proposal to consider the award of the Baldridge Park Master Plan contract to Berry, Dunn, McNeil & Parker, LLC (BDM&P) of Portland, Maine, for $174,048.

Public Works Director Jim Scheid said the city requested proposals from qualified consulting firms to provide professional services to update the Baldridge Regional Park Master Plan. The Request for Proposals (RFP) required that the selected firm have proven experience and knowledge in park and recreation planning, project management, and effective public involvement processes. The contractor will work closely with City and Montrose and Recreation District staff.

The master plan drives Baldridge Regional Park’s long-range and near-term planning and directs decision-making and resources toward a clearly defined vision for its future, including the development and redevelopment of the parks, facilities, open space, and recreation system over the next 20 years. The planning process consists of the following components: needs assessment, visioning, identifying and evaluating community needs, priorities, opportunities, public involvement, realistic goals for implementation, and actions needed to implement the plan.

From this planning process, the master plan is created and the selected firm will provide a response document that summarizes the planning process, the public input process, maps and data collected, the level of service standards and maintenance obligations, phased implementation/financial plan, and concept design documents. Proposals were scored in the categories of firm experience, approach and strategy, team member experience, and fee proposal.

DESIGNATION OF OFFICIAL POSTING LOCATION

City Councilors were briefed about the city’s annual obligation to designate an official posting location for city announcements. 

City Clerk Lisa DelPiccolo said the Colorado Sunshine Law requires the designation of an official posting location at the first regular meeting of each calendar year. As of July 1, 2019, local governments are required to designate their websites as official posting locations with secondary locations designated for exigent or emergency circumstances.

Since 2020, the City of Montrose has designated the website as the official posting location with the bulletin board at City Hall as a secondary location. The city’s ongoing practice is to post agendas for all public meetings on the Public Meetings Portal of the website and to post a physical copy of the agenda on the bulletin board at City Hall.

STAFF REPORTS

Public Works Manager Jim Scheid said the solar panel array on the parking garage of the Public Safety Complex is nearly complete. The Buckley Park playground and the Woodagate roundabout landscaping project have also been completed.  

 •••

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.

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