A New Year for Central City Council

First of the year appointments and other housekeeping items 

By David Josselyn

The Central City Council and City Staff met for a regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm. Council members present were Alderman Kathy Heider, Alderman Shirley Voorhies, Alderman Judy Laratta, and Mayor Ron Engels. City Staff in attendance were City Manager Daniel Miera, Finance Manager Abigail Adame, City Clerk Reba Bechtel, City Attorney Marcus McAskin, Police Chief Terry Krelle, and Fire Chief Gary Allen. The regular Council Meeting convened at 7:07 pm.

After reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Ron Engels asked for any amendments or additions to the agenda or if any agenda items presented a conflict of interest. There were no proclamations of amendments, additions, or conflicts of interest.

Consent Agenda

The Mayor called for a motion to approve the consent agenda which consisted of only one item; the City Council minutes of December 15, 2015. Alderman Heider moved to approve the consent agenda and was seconded by Alderman Laratta. The approval of the consent agenda passed unanimously.

Public Forum

Mayor Engels opened the floor to the public for anyone who wished to speak to a topic on that night’s agenda. No one chose to address council at that time.

Annual Appointments

The following positions are required to be appointed at the first meeting of the year: Mayor Pro-Tem; Legal Publication for 2016; Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) Representative; Gilpin Ambulance Authority (GAA) Representative and Alternate; I-70 Coalition Representative and Alternate; and Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) Advisory Representative.

The Council appointment the following people for those positions. Mayor Pro-Tem – Kathy Heider. Legal Publication – Weekly Register Call. DRCOG Representative – Ron Engels. GAA Representative – Kathy Heider and Alternate – Daniel Miera or his designee. I-70 Coalition Representative – Shirley Voorhies and Alternate – Daniel Miera or his designee. LEPC Advisory Representative – Judy Laratta (Judy stipulated “As long as they don’t move up the meeting time in the morning”) and Alternate – Daniel Miera or his designee.

Posting of Notices

City Manager Bechtel introduced Resolution 16-01 which would designate the public place for posting of notices of regular and special meetings of local public bodies of the City. Those posting places are the City Post Office, City Hall, and on Website “when we have access” as stated by Bechtel. Alderman Heider moved to approve Resolution 16-01 and was seconded by Alderman Voorhies. The Resolution passed unanimously.

To Recycle or Not Recycle

  Public Works Director Sam Hoover introduced Resolution 16-02 which would approve an agreement with One Way, Inc. for continuing residential trash disposal and recycling services. Requesting a little discussion prior to motions, Hoover explained that in August, 2015, he contacted the vice president of One Way to inquire about additional fees or costs for the coming year. At that time, he was told there would be no increases and based the 2016 Budget on that statement. On December 14, 2015, the City Clerk was notified there will be changes to fees in the upcoming contract after all. One Way, Inc., lost rebates they were receiving for hauling recycling to the recycling facility in Boulder County and they now pay a price per ton for recyclables. The cost to residents for trash would remain the same, but there is an increase for recycling. Director Hoover contacted the vice president after hearing about the increase and expressed dismay with short notice. The vice president apologized for the short notice and as a courtesy, extended the contract with Central City through the month of January 2016 to allow time for the City to decide how to move forward for the rest of the year. One Way learned of the revocation of the rebate in late August 2015, but were back-billed to February 2015 when the rebate contractually ended. One Way absorbed the cost for the rest of 2015 instead of passing it on to its clients.

Mayor Engels expressed his understanding that they have three choices to make; (1) stick with the contract for trash and stop the recycling program, (2) continue with both trash and recycling and absorb the cost into the City instead of passing it on, or (3) continue with recycling and charge and monthly fee to the residents.

Alderman Voorhies asked what percentage of household participate in recycling. Hoover responded that they have not been tracking that statistic and could not say, but it would add $3.57 per month per residence. Voorhies responded that she would like to continue the contract, but discontinue recycling considering there is a recycling alternative available to all County residents at the transfer station on Highway 119.

Alderman Laratta also commented that she would support continuing the contract while eliminating recycling. Mayor Engels opened up comment to the public in attendance.

Council Candidate Jeff Aiken stated he thinks we should continue a recycling program “We can put an explanation in the water bill.”

Council Candidates Bobbi Hill and Kara Tinucci both supported the idea of continuing the recycling program. Resident Barbara Thielemann also spoke in favor of continuing the program saying that thanks to the recycling program, she puts out more recycling than she does trash.

Alderman Kathy Heider jested, “Plus, if we stopped recycling, do you know how much grief we would get from all our relatives under the age of twelve?”

City Manager Daniel Miera told the Council that “we’ll take a look at the budget and bring something back to you.”

City Attorney Marcus McAskin recommended to move to approve on the condition that the contract reflect an increase in cost for recycling service.

Alderman Voorhies moved to approve Resolution 16-02 on the condition that it would reflect the increase in cost for recycling and was seconded by Alderman Laratta. The Resolution as moved passed unanimously.

Building Code Contract Renewed

  Ray Rears introduced Resolution 16-03 which would approve a professional services agreement with Colorado Code Consulting, LLC for continuing code and inspection services. Alderman Laratta moved to approve Resolution 16-03 and was seconded by Alderman Voorhies. The Resolution passed unanimously.

Engineering Firms Renewed

  Public Works Director Sam Hoover and Utilities Director Jason Nelson introduced Resolution 16-04 which would approve extensions of engineering related professional services agreements with JVA, Inc., for engineering services, Deere & Ault Consultants, Inc., for water rights and grant services, and W2 Engineers for water engineering services. Alderman Heider moved to approve Resolution 16-04 and was seconded by Alderman Laratta. The Resolution passed unanimously.


Mayor Engels inquired “How’s the integrated bus service going?” Manager Miera responded that prior to implementation, the Staff put information about the service on the website and sent information to businesses. The feedback has been positive as far as increase in frequency and operating hours. The City is ordering larger signs for stops as well as maps of the stops which include some historic information. Alderman Voorhies stated she received a complaint about the service from a rider who lives in Central City and works in Black Hawk. This person had no idea when the bus was running or what the schedule is. Manager Miera stated it was posted on the website and on Facebook.

Alderman Heider said she received a complaint that the Community Coordinator job posting had closed without notice. She asked, “Are we dropping job listings in the Register-Call?” Manager Miera responded that their process for this job opening is to first post on electronic media and see how many applicants they get. If the pool is too small, they will look to other means for recruiting. Some positions, such as police officers, will be posted beyond the County for a better representative pool of applicants. Overall, they try to be efficient in recruiting to minimize costs. Heider requested, “Do you think when you make postings like that, you can include a mention in the staff reports?” Manager Miera said he could do that for them.

Mayor Engels asked about the special election status, and City Clerk Reba Bechtel responded that the ballot information has been sent to the printer and they should go out next week. The deadline for the ballots to be mailed is January 15. This is a mail-in ballot election to fill the vacant Council seat left by the departure of Gloria Gaines. The Mayor asked if they should put together a candidates’ forum for the public and volunteered his time to put it together. “I can put something together at the Elk’s (Club) fairly quickly.” The Mayor mentioned that they may have a moderator available in a Register-Call reporter that can offer unbiased guidance for the event. Since all three candidates were in attendance, the Mayor looked to them for response. It was agreed that a forum would be put together for Thursday, January 21, at the Central City Elks Club, at 7:00 pm.

Council Comments

Mayor Engels commented that “I’ll be making a State of the City address at the next meeting.” There will be a community and citizen appreciation night on January 19, starting at 6:00 pm. During that occasion, one person will be awarded Citizen of the Year for 2015. Alderman Voorhies urged the public to be sure to come for citizen appreciation night.

Alderman Laratta commented “I’ve been here a year and we’ve accomplished a lot, but this year I want to see us improve the entrance to our city and get rid of that ‘Do Not Enter’ sign.”

Public Forum

  The Mayor opened the floor for public comment on any items not on the evening’s agenda. Resident Bobbi Hill took this opportunity to mention that although many people have liked the new website for the City, she still finds is difficult to navigate. “I could not find the shuttle schedule” anywhere on the site.

Executive Session

Alderman Kathy Heider moved to enter Executive Session regarding negotiations of City contract services and was seconded by Alderman Judy Laratta. The Council entered Executive Session at 8:04 pm.

Mark your calendars

The next regular Council Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 19, at 7:00 pm. Issues on the agenda include the Black Hawk Parking Lot Application and Johnny Z’s common consumption license.

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