Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for their regular meeting Tuesday evening, December 5, to officially welcome the city’s new attorney and approve a number of resolutions and ordinances.
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.
OATH OF OFFICE FOR CITY ATTORNEY CHRIS DOWSEY
Chris Dowsey was officially sworn into his new role as city attorney, replacing Ben Morris who retired earlier in the fall.
YOUTH CITY COUNCIL APPOINTMENTS
City Councilors interviewed several applicants to serve on the city’s Youth Council.
The council has received applications from Montrose High School students Hunter Barton, Sydney Bell, Maggie Kusar, Shiloh Warthen, Jordyn Simo, Robin Kittell, and Reign Icasiano for positions on the 2023-2024 Montrose Youth City Council.
More information about the Youth Council can be found here.
No members of the public offered any public comments.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the November 13 special meeting and the November 14 regular meeting.
The city’s archive of past meeting minutes can be found on the Public Meetings Portal (CityofMontrose.org/Portal) and at CityofMontrose.org/ArchiveCenter.
ORDINANCE 2653 - FIRST READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 2653, on first reading, creating the Otter Pond Circle Utility Relocation Special Improvement District.
City Attorney Chris Dowsey said that the Otter Pond HOA discovered that the Otter Pond Dam was failing in the summer of 2022. The HOA reached out to the city to see what assistance could be provided to these city residents. The city code has a procedure for creating Special Improvement Districts (SID) whereby the city pays the up-front cost of a project related to city infrastructure, then defrays the cost to all members within the SID.
On November 6, 2023, the idea of creating the Otter Pond Circle Utility Relocation SID was brought before City Council. This SID is for the relocation of city utilities within the dam and to spread the cost to all members of the HOA who collectively own the dam.
At the regular City Council meeting held on November 14, the council adopted Resolution 2023-26, the Resolution of Intent to Create the Otter Pond Circle Utility Relocation Special Improvement District. A sufficient number of property owners within the Otter Pond HOA brought forth petitions to create such a district. In compliance with the requirements found in Chapters 1-19 of the Official Code of the City of Montrose, the Council must approve an ordinance to create the special improvement district.
APPROVAL OF STREET CLOSURES
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve an application to close Main Street for 10 or more hours for a Habitat for Humanity fundraiser event next summer.
Public Works Special Events Manager Jon Sullivan said an application was received from Habitat for Humanity to close the 500 block of Main Street, as well as Uncompahgre Avenue from North First Street to Centennial Plaza, for the Rock the Block event on Saturday, June 22, 2024.
The application lists 6:30 a.m. as the event set-up time and 5 p.m. as the event end time. Event organizers are required to notify all businesses affected by the closures, and at least 75 percent of those businesses must approve of the closures before the Events Use Permit will be approved by city staff. Local business owners were in support of this event in 2023 and reported positive experiences. Habitat for Humanity has collected signatures for the 2024 application.
The Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club will apply for a Special Events Permit to sell and serve alcohol during this event and is aware of the requirement to post notice on-premises in compliance with state statutes. They will apply within a reasonable time prior to the event date. City of Montrose regulations require City Council approval for street closures exceeding 10 hours in duration and for Special Events Permits to serve alcohol in conjunction with street closures.
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve a resolution authorizing a mail ballot election for the 2024 Municipal Election on April 2, 2024. City Clerk Lisa Delpiccolo said the 2024 Municipal Election is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2, 2024, per the City Charter.
The following City Council seats will be included on the 2024 ballot:
• District III - four-year term
• District IV - four-year term
• At-Large - two-year term
The procedures and timelines for the 2024 election are unchanged from 2022, except for minor amendments to campaign finance procedures that were adopted with Ordinance 2643 on November 7.
Candidate information will be available on the city website beginning Monday, December 11. As in previous years, the city is planning to contract with the Montrose County Elections Office for the production of ballot packets and tabulation of the election results.
More information about the upcoming election can be found here: www.cityofmontrose.org/Election
ORDINANCE 2651 - SECOND READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 2651, on second reading, authorizing a supplemental budget for the 2023 budget year, which contains several line items that have changed over the past 11 months.
Each fall the City Council approves the municipal budget for the following year. The council also reviews a supplemental budget that contains unexpected expenses and slight changes to the approved current-year budget to make sure all expenses are accounted for and formally approved ahead of the city’s annual financial audit.
ORDINANCE 2652 - SECOND READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 2652, on second reading, updating and amending portions of the official code of the City of Montrose as it relates to the operation of the city’s Municipal Court.
City Attorney Matt Magliaro said the updates are designed to make the code easier to read and clear up typos and other housekeeping items to bring the code into a more modern form.
NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES NOMINATION FOR THE KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS BUILDING
City Councilors voted unanimously to include the Knights of Pythias Building, located on South Cascade Avenue, on the National Register of Historic Places.
City Planner William Reis told City Councilors Tuesday the building was erected by the Knights of Pythias in 1909 as the second fraternal lodge hall in Montrose. The building was added to the city’s register of historic places on November 1, 2022.
The massive three-story yellow brick building, featuring a central parapet with a concrete-trimmed “KP Building” name plaque on the west façade, is one of the oldest remaining brick structures in Montrose.
In 2022 the effort to transform the once vacant building into the Rathbone Hotel began. Building renderings show an updated facade with a focus on preserving the historic building’s original character. Hotel rooms will feature minimalist decor and take advantage of the second story’s large windows to utilize natural light.
The Knights of Pythias, a fraternal organization founded in 1864 by Justus Henry Rathbone in Washington, DC, has had a chapter in Montrose since the 19th century. By 1908, Cascade Lodge No. 33 had purchased property at the corner of South 1st Street and Cascade Avenue for the construction of a new building.
The building was completed in 1909 at a cost of $24,300. The upper floor held a large lodge hall and four large club rooms. The first story of the building was used as a variety of storefronts over the years. In 1911, the fourth annual convention of the Knights of Pythias of the Western Slope was held in Montrose with more than 400 people attending.
The great lodge room was 50 by 75 feet with a floor made of maple wood. Historical accounts reflect there were elegant parlors in the front of the building, and the community's original Elks Club rented the two rooms on the South First Street corner of the building. Over the years the main floor housed a variety of businesses, including Hupp Furniture, Safeway, and Mash Appliances.
GENERAL CITY COUNCIL COMMENTS
City COuncilors recognized that Tuesday's meeting was the last council meeting of 2023 and wished everyone a safe and wonderful holiday season.
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.
For more city news visit CityOfMontrose.org