Central City Council Meeting
By David Josselyn
Call to Order
The Central City Council Meeting was called to order by Mayor Ron Engels at 7:05pm on Tuesday, July 2nd. All council members were present along with City Manager Alan Lanning, City Attorney Marcus McAskin, and other staff.
The consent agenda included the regular bills lists and the prior council meeting minutes. Alderman Spain moved to approve the agenda and was seconded by Alderman Voorhies. The motion passed unanimously.
Agree to disconnect
A 2nd reading and public hearing of Ordinance 13-07, which enacts procedures for disconnection of property from the city, was initiated by City Attorney Marcus McAskin. A property owner can now request disconnection from the city municipality. Alderman Heider questioned if they talked about not taking the planning commission out of the process. Marcus confirmed that the language keeps the planning commission in the loop. Alderman Gaines moved to approve the ordinance and Alderman Heider seconded. The ordinance passed unanimously.
Increased fines for offenses
City Attorney Marcus McAskin introduced Ordinance 13-08 which would increase the maximum fine for municipal ordinance violations. Currently, the municipal judge can impose a fine up to $1,000 for most offenses. This ordinance will increase that maximum to $2,650. Furthermore, the maximum will automatically adjust (increase) according to inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, July 16th at 7:00 pm. Alderman Gaines moved to approve the ordinance upon 1st reading and Alderman Spain seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Scholarships for local students
Finance Manager Shannon Flowers spoke to the council regarding scholarship applications from two local students. Tyrus Phillip Schmalz and Maria Garcia requested a scholarship for their continuing education. Schmalz was accepted to Colorado State University and Garcia was will be attending Metropolitan State University of Denver. Flowers informed the council that there is money set aside for this program in a grant and awarding these scholarships will not change the budget projections. Alderman Gloria Gaines moved to approve the awards and was seconded simultaneously by Aldermen Spain and Voorhies. Gaines said she appreciates the program. “We don’t have a lot of kids in Central City and it’s really nice to be able to do something for them like this.” The motion passed unanimously.
Plea for pipe
Utilities Systems Superintendent Shawn Griffith spoke to the council regarding the water line on Lawrence Street between C Street and D Street. The council had already approved the replacement of the water line; however, with the closing of the Doc Holliday Casino, the funding for the project has stopped. “It might last to tomorrow; it might last for five years. I can tell you it’s something that seriously needs to be looked at,” said Griffith. The water line includes a fire hydrant connected to the damaged 4” line. The line is believed to be close to 50 years old. Alderman Heider confirmed that this project would be something that needs to be done in the summer. Operations Manager Kent Kisselman stated that we have signed an intent letter to go forward with the project and are working on doing all preliminary work so that this can be postponed, but when the money is there, they can get started immediately. Mayor Engels stated that Griffith isn’t the type of person to panic without reason.
Staff Updates and Council Comments
City Manager Alan Lanning started the staff updates by thanking Operations Manager Kent Kisselman for all the good work he has done for the city. Kent Kisselman has accepted a job with the City of Northglenn. With this pronouncement, a vigorous applause was given by council and staff.
Alderman Gaines then queried Finance Director Shannon Flowers, “Where are we on the BID audit?” Gaines is referencing the audit from the Business Improvement District which the city is required to submit, along with the city’s audit, to the State of Colorado. Shannon said we can file for one additional extension without being fined by the State. Mayor Engels asked Shannon if the city has any recommendations to “poke and prod” the BID audit since this seems to happen annually. Flowers responded that she begins to poke and prod in February which is as soon as the city’s audit is ready. Once Flowers receives the audit from the BID, she will then have to incorporate it into the city’s audit before submitting to the State. She anticipates that this will require another submission extension from July 31st to August 31st.
Alderman Gaines then switched subjects to the matter of residential parking on Lawrence Street. Gaines stated, “I would like council to direct staff to find a resolution to the problem; there are five houses with six residents and they are having trouble finding places to park.” City Manager Lanning confirmed that council is directing them to implement a restricted parking area. Alderman Spain asked if the city could put a parking restriction on a public street. He then made it clear that his position is in support of the residents, but recalls an issue which tied their hands when it comes to public access. Mayor Engels responded that it was an enforcement issue because of disagreements about permits or stickers on vehicles. Then the Mayor added to the directive that staff needs to come back to the July 16th meeting with an enforcement plan along with signage. Gaines suggested giving those six residents two permits per residence.
Alderman Gaines then brought up the issue of sign code in the city. She has questions about buntings and flags being put up around the holidays, which she is in favor of; however, everyone who puts up a bunting or even balloons needs to get a permit. “We either need to change the code or we need to adhere to it.” Alderman Spain mentioned that his doctor said he is not allowed to work on sign code – it’s bad for his health. Gaines added that this should be discussed in a work session. Police Chief Terry Krelle probed the council on whether they wanted him to start issuing tickets tomorrow, or if they had other direction for him. Alderman Voorhies voiced her opinion that they should wait on enforcement until they could make a decision in a work session. The council agreed and Mayor Engels instructed Krelle to keep the status quo until they could make a formal decision.
Alderman Heider addressed Fire Chief Gary Allen, stating that “those of us who live near the fireworks get very nervous.” Since there are so many fires this year and it has been so dry, please help on the 4th of July. Allen assured Heider that they will be in full force. Timberline Fire Protection District, Central City Fire Department, and Black Hawk Fire Department are all on hand for the Independence Day fireworks fired off in Black Hawk.
A complaint and a warning
Executive Director of The Central City Business Improvement District, Joe Behm, addressed the council regarding the postponed Garage Meeting to July 18th. Behm stated that his people said the meeting is so important that they changed other plans so they could be there. He wants to be assured that the council considers this the next time they postpone a meeting. Regarding the parking issue, Golden has instituted parking restrictions around the School of Mines; however, it’s not easy to get it done. Every year residents ask to extend the “residential only” parking area. Behm warned that once Central does this for six residents, someone up the street will say “I want that.”
The next Central City Council Meeting is on Tuesday, July 16th at 7:00 pm. The next Garage Meeting regarding finance will be July 18th at 6:00pm. A Water Meeting will be held on Thursday, August 1st at 6:00 pm.