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Cell phone coverage to expand on Central City Parkway

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Council approves changes to water rates and responsibility

By David Josselyn

Regular Council Meeting

The Central City Regular Council Meeting of Tuesday, February 21, convened at 7:00 p.m. in the Gilpin County Courthouse. Council members; Jeff Aiken, Judy Laratta, and Mayor Kathy Heider were present. Absent was Alderwoman and Mayor pro-tempore Shirley Voorhies. Also in attendance for Staff were City Clerk Reba Bechtel, City Attorney Marcus McAskin, Finance Director, Abigail Adame, City Manager Daniel Miera, Community Development Director Ray Rears, Public Works Director Sam Hoover, Utilities Director Jason Nelson, Fire Chief Gary Allen, and County Sheriff Captain Tom Ihme.

Immediately, Alderman Aiken moved to go into Executive Session to discuss legal questions regarding excluding property from the Business Improvement District. The regular meeting was reconvened at 7:28 p.m.

After reconvening, the Pledge of Allegiance was observed and Mayor Heider asked for any amendments or additions to the evening’s agenda. Resolution 17-10 was added to the agenda.

Consent Agenda

The Mayor called for a motion to approve the consent agenda which consisted of the regular bill lists through February 8, and minutes from the January 3 meeting. The approval of the consent agenda passed unanimously.

Public Forum

Mayor Heider opened the floor to the public for anyone who wished to speak to a topic on that night’s agenda. Executive Director of the Business Improvement District (BID) Joe Behm addressed the Council regarding Resolution 17-07. Behm questioned the Council’s authority to approve an exclusion of the BID boundaries without prior review and approval by the BID.

Black Hawk resident Tom Feeney also addressed the council requesting information on handicap parking along Pine Street.

Historically Accurate

President of the Gilpin Historical Society (GHS) Deb Wray presented a report on accomplishments during 2016. Over 4,000 people participated in events put on by GHS such as the Victorian teas at the Stroehle House, the Cemetery Crawl, and the Creepy Crawl. The GHS will be continuing to explore options to obtain self-sufficiency with the likeliest scenarios being from increasing tourism and marketing strategies.

Main Street Commission Appointments

Two vacancies on the Main Street Commission were filled. Alderwoman Laratta moved to approve the appointments of Mike Keeler and Alan Teifenbach to the Main Street Commission and was seconded by Alderman Aiken. The appointments were approved unanimously.

Creative District Creation

Director Rears introduced Resolution 17-06 which would expand the boundaries of the BID in order to receive State certification as a Creative District. A Creative District opens the doors for grant funding and the City will apply for a grant of $10,000 which is provided for Colorado Creative Industries.

Alderman Aiken moved to approve Resolution 17-06 and was seconded by Alderwoman Laratta. The Resolution passed unanimously.

Expanding Cell Coverage… in Clear Creek County

Director Rears introduced Resolution 17-08 which would grant an easement for electrical services at the base of the Central City Parkway. The easement would allow Verizon to install a new cell tower at that location increasing cell coverage along the I-70 corridor. The City would receive $500 for the easement. Alderwoman Laratta moved to approve Resolution 17-08 and was seconded by Alderman Aiken. The Resolution passed unanimously.

Exclusion from the BID

Manager Miera introduced Resolution 17-07 which would allow the City Manager to exclude property from the BID on a case by case basis. Miera responded to Director Behm’s earlier comments directly saying that since the Resolution only gives authority and there is no specific property to consider in the Resolution, and since properties would have to petition the City for exclusion and a hearing will be scheduled allowing input from the BID at that time, there is no need to table tonight’s Resolution

Alderwoman Laratta moved to approve Resolution 17-07 and was seconded by Alderman Aiken. The Resolution passed unanimously.

City Collections Company

Manager Miera introduced Resolution 17-09 which would appoint and authorize the City to act as a collections company for the BID marketing fee charged to casinos. The BID imposes a marketing fee to raise revenue for marketing and advertising each year. The administrative issues involved in collecting the fee would tax the abilities of the BID. Since 2012, the City has operated as the collector of the fee, but the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) expired in December 2016. The new agreement would compensate the City 3.33% of the fees to cover administration costs.

Alderwoman Laratta moved to approve Resolution 17-09 and was seconded by Alderman Aiken. The Resolution passed unanimously.

Changes to Water Rates and Responsibility

Director Nelson introduced Ordinance 17-01 which would amend the water rate schedule for water services accurately and clarify the responsibility and ownership of the water meters. Ordinance 16-06 adopting water general rates had incorrect amounts making Ordinance 17-01 necessary to change those amounts to the correct rates. Regarding water meters, Ordinance 17-01 adds language to clarify that property owners are responsible for damage to any person or property resulting from the water meter or meter pit and that the City will be partially or wholly responsible for damage to or loss of a water meter that is caused by an act or omission of the City as determined by the City Manager. The changes in this Ordinance were discussed during a work session on February 7.

Alderman Aiken moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance 17-01 and was seconded by Alderwoman Laratta. The motion passed unanimously. The second reading and public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 7.

The Building Authority Rides Again

Attorney McAskin introduced Resolution 17-10 which would authorize the Council to appoint three new directors to the Board of Directors of the Central City Building Authority, aka The Corporation. The Corporation was formed in 1995 to issue Certificates of Participation used to acquire the historic Nevada House property which houses City Hall. The certificates were issued March 15, 1995, in a principal amount of $600,000 and matured on December 1, 2004. The City hall property was used as security for the Certificates. Although the Certificates were paid in full, City Hall was never conveyed back to the City following the end of the master lease. Appointing new directors now will allow the Corporation to formally take action conveying City Hall back to the City; an action that should have taken place in 2004 or 2005.

Alderman Aiken moved to approve Resolution 17-10 and was seconded by Alderwoman Laratta. The Resolution passed unanimously.

Staff Reports

Director Hoover gave an update on the request for a handicap space on Pine Street. There are no guidelines for disabled parking along City streets, and so Staff determined that due to the condition of the street and the steep slope accompanied by a narrow sidewalk with obstructions, the proposed location is not recommended to be designated as a disabled parking space. Marking any space for disabled drivers indicates the City has determined it is safe for individuals, and creating a disabled space at the proposed location would not be safe creating a liability.

Tom Feeney remarked that this is a County issue as there is limited handicap parking as a whole. Council directed Staff to consider options to provide additional handicap parking in the City to be reviewed during a future work session.

Council Comments

Alderman Laratta thanked Staff for updated items that needed to be updated such as the ownership of City Hall.

Public Forum

Mayor Heider opened the floor to the public for anyone who wished to speak to the council on any items not on the agenda. Five folks addressed the Council.

Resident Alan Tiefenback distributed a photo of a light on the west side of the Boodle saying that the light is very visible to resident at Prospector’s Run which is a “dark sky” community. He asked for the light to be moved or perhaps a motion sensor installed. Resident Larry Bartlett added that the Boodle is a historic site and is misused by the City and suggested considering locking the gate and fixing the holes in the fence if it is a security issue. HOA member Tom Poe spoke up to say that the light is a quality of life issue in terms of crime prevention. He commented that crime is not an issue. Manager Miera responded saying the Xcel recently repaired the light in question and Staff will look at the issue and consider placement, type, or timer, as an alternative.

Director Joe Behm once again took the stand and thanked the Council for passing the marketing device fee resolution; and also for clarifying the City’s authority to exclude property from the BID. Behm then noted that there are new cameras installed in the Century garage and pondered whether residents were abusing long-term parking privileges. Finally, Behm thanked the City for repairing the Parkway poles in-house. Manager Miera commented that out of 98 poles, 40 were vandalized by having the copper ground wires removed. Staff will do the repairs with financial support from the BID, greatly reducing the cost over using a third-party vendor.

Deb Wray thanked Council and Staff for moving forward with the cemetery fencing project.

Mark your calendars

Mayor Heider adjourned the meeting at 8:54 p.m. The next regular Council Meeting will be Tuesday, March 7, 2017.

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