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Posted on: January 18, 2024

Blog: CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION: Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Tuesday morning, January 16, to meet a handful of new employees, review a contract for a city street extension, and consider a grant application to increase the capabilities of the city’s planning services. 

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.

INTRODUCTION OF NEW CITY EMPLOYEES

City Councilors met with a handful of new city employees:

  • Natalie Gomez ‐Parks & Special Projects Worker
  • Diana Castle ‐ Part‐time Customer Service Rep
  • Katie Parish ‐ Civilian Report Taking Technician
  • Susan Frigetto ‐ Customer Service Technician
  • Kyla Bries ‐ Parks & special Projects Worker

TRIBUTARY STREET EXTENSION PROJECT CONTRACT AWARD

City Councilors were presented with a proposal for $709,646 in expenditures for the construction of the Tributary Street Extension Project. This includes the award of a construction contract to Oldcastle SW Group (dba United Companies) in the amount of $639,646, a survey and engineering support contract to Del-Mont Consultants in the amount of $35,000, natural gas extension expenditures of $10,000, and up to $25,000 to Delta-Montrose Electric Association for powerline extensions.

City Engineer Scott Murphy said the next infrastructure project required for the continued development and buildout of Colorado Outdoors is the extension of Tributary Street for approximately 275 feet towards the west. 

This work includes relocation and upsizing of the city’s sanitary sewer trunkline, extension of storm drain piping, a short waterline extension, extension of dry utilities (communications conduit, natural gas, and power), and construction of the roadway (curb, gutter, sidewalk, base, and paving).

ORDINANCE TO IMPOSE EXCISE TAX ON POTENTIAL RETAIL MARIJUANA SALES

City Councilors were presented with draft language authorizing city voters to decide whether to allow the retail sale of marijuana products within the city limits through a ballot question on the spring municipal election. 

The proposed ballot initiative is in response to a citizen-led effort to get the question on the spring municipal election ballot. City Attorney Chris Dowsey said the citizen petitioner had a valid petition in place for the effort, yet had not turned in the appropriate number of valid signatures needed to proceed. Therefore, Dowsey said, the issue will be on hold and the council will not vote on an ordinance. 

Every even-numbered year the City of Montrose holds its municipal election in April to decide representation to the City Council and other ballot questions. City Councilors would need to approve Ordinance 2658 on both first and second readings before the question would appear on any municipal ballot. 

Marijuana was legalized in Colorado a decade ago. As a home-rule municipality, the City of Montrose decided not to allow retail sales within the city limits. 

LOCAL PLANNING CAPACITY GRANT APPLICATION AUTHORIZATION

City Councilors were presented with a proposal from staff to apply for a Local Planning Capacity Grant through the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, DOLA. The purpose of this grant application is to secure funding to replace the city’s current planning and development permitting software with a new permitting system will help  fast-track the affordable housing approval process as defined by Proposition 123.

City Planner Jace Hochwalt said the Local Planning Capacity Grant is an opportunity that was created by the passage of Proposition 123. The grant was established by DOLA and is managed by the Community Development Office within its Division of Local Government. The intent of the program is to increase the capacity of local government departments and divisions responsible for processing land use, permitting, and zoning applications for housing projects. 

The program supports local governments’ capacity to address affordable housing, especially by simplifying and expediting development review, permitting, and zoning of affordable housing. Acceptable ways to use this funding include hiring consultants for process development, hiring employees for more planning capacity, or acquiring new permitting software. The City of Montrose, having opted-in to Proposition 123, committed to achieving a fast-track process by 2026 in order to continue to take advantage of funding opportunities provided by Proposition 123.

The maximum request for this grant opportunity is $200,000, with a required 20% local match. City staff would be requesting the grant to fund software implementation and data extraction, as well as the first year of maintenance and operations costs for the new software. This amount is not expected to exceed $100,000 and as such, city staff is seeking a grant of up to $100,000, and a 20% match.

SPECIAL EVENTS ALCOHOL PERMIT FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY BEER FEST

City Councilors were presented with an application from the Black Canyon Home Brewers Association to serve alcohol at the St. Patrick’s Day Beer Fest event on Saturday, March 16, 2024. Junction Avenue between Main Street and S. First Street will be closed for this event.

City Council approval is required for special events permits issued in conjunction with street closures. 

COUNCIL COMMENTS

Mayor Barbara Bynum said the monthly citizen-interactive session was canceled on Tuesday and new efforts to attract topics will be put in place to make the meeting better attended in the future. 

Councilor Dave Frank said the city’s snow removal operations were well run and organized in a way that keeps city streets clear and safe. 

 •••

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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