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Marijuana, annexation, and intergovernmental cooperation

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Central City Council

By David Josselyn

  On Tuesday, August 20th, the Central City Council met to deliberate both old and new matters. All members were present and the meeting was called to order by Mayor Engels at 7:06 pm after a lengthy executive session immediately prior.

Consent Agenda

  The consent agenda was moved to approve by Alderman Glo Gaines and seconded by Alderman Shirley Voorhies. Before voting, Alderman Gaines questioned the ICMA checks because there were no explanations provided; however, was satisfied to learn from Finance Director Shannon Flowers that they are the normal IRA and savings distributions. Alderman Gaines also questioned the purchase of a spinning pole because spinning poles are against city code. It was cleared up that the item in question was not the spinning pole as expected, but rather a device to keep flag poles from spinning. The motion to approve the consent agenda was passed unanimously.

Lew Cady Honored

  Mayor Ron Engels tearfully read a proclamation in honor of Lew Cady who passed away a couple weeks ago. Lew Cady was a colorful presence in Central City and publisher of the Little Kingdom Come newspaper. A memorial to celebrate his life was held in Central City on Saturday, August 17th.

No growing or manufacturing of weed here

  Mayor Ron Engels introduced ordinance 13-09 that prohibits the cultivation and testing of retail marijuana, but does not prohibit the retail sale of marijuana.  City Attorney Marcus McAskin summarized the ordinance and history of the legalization of marijuana in the State of Colorado and outlined what has been discussed in council prior to this ordinance. This ordinance has been discussed previously in two separate work sessions. Alderman Gaines asked for clarification that the City would work as the licensing authority just as they do for liquor licenses, which McAskin confirmed as accurate.  Gaines then confirmed that the sign code was the same verbiage as liquor signage. Alderman Voorhies followed with her query about some ambiguous language regarding the location of retail marijuana facilities relative to schools, residential areas and child care centers; in particular the residential areas. Voorhies main concern was that with the passage of this ordinance, does the City invite liability should a resident decide to license a child care center within the restricted zones of the established retail marijuana stores. Attorney McAskin first confirmed that the two existing stores are in commercial areas, not residential. Both stores sit within 50 feet of residential areas as the crow flies. Marcus continued that “we would not be creating any potential liability” to property owners with the passage of this ordinance. Alderman Voorhies refused to relent and continued her argument that what happens if a resident sets up a child care center within the limited distance and forces a confrontation with the store owner. McAskin stated that the question becomes who gets the first right of operation. For this instance, the city would have to approve or deny a special use permit from the resident. Alderman Voorhies then said “I want to applaud you (Marcus McAskin) for keeping us ahead of the game.” Alderman Gaines moved to approve the first reading of the ordinance and Alderman Voorhies seconded. Prior to the vote, Alderman Gaines mentioned that Gilpin County approved their own ordinance today that prohibited all new retail marijuana facilities of any sort. The consensus is that cities are going with the new laws, counties are not. The first reading of the ordinance was approved unanimously.

MMJ to match retail hours of operation

  Mayor Engels introduced an ordinance limiting hours of operation for medical marijuana establishments. McAskin summarized the intent of the ordinance is to keep the medical and retail stores operating for the exact same hours. If passed, the ordinance would change the current operating hours of medical marijuana facilities from 8:00am to 7:00pm to match retail marijuana hours of 10:00am to 10:00pm. The ordinance was moved to approve by Alderman Gaines and seconded by Alderman Voorhies. The first reading was approved unanimously.

Annexing land into the City

  City Attorney Marcus McAskin then introduced two resolutions, 13-14 and 13-15, on behalf of property owners wanting to annex their property into the city limits. The annexations will be referred to the planning commission for review and the planning commission will bring a recommendation back to the council before the council gives the final okay. These resolutions “are really to inform you that these have been filed” stated McAskin. Alderman Gaines then asked about the existence of maps which should have been submitted with the filing, but were not given to the council with the resolution. The resolutions were tabled until maps could be procured.

Water project costs to be shared

  Utilities Superintendent Shawn Griffith introduced resolution 13-16 that would share common expenses between Black Hawk and Central City for the Lawrence Street water main project. Contractor bids will be opened on August 23rd, so a named contractor and dollar amount could not be provided. Alderman Voorhies questioned whether they will be held to a dollar amount without knowing what it is. Griffith responded that the resolution states it will be spit fifty-fifty regardless of what the costs will be. City Manager Alan Lanning interjected that it will only be common costs that are split. Alderman Kathy Heider stated it would be a good idea to come to an agreement with Black Hawk. Alderman Gaines then questioned the fifty-fifty split saying she “doesn’t see where it says that in the resolution.” Griffith said the resolution states ‘split costs’ and the assumption is a fifty-fifty split. Attorney McAskin; however, contradicted that the costs were determined depending on the nature of the cost. All water line costs are Central City’s responsibility, all sewer line costs are Black Hawk’s responsibility, and then there are common costs that will be split. The resolution was moved to approve by Alderman Voorhies and seconded by Alderman Gaines. The resolution passed unanimously.

Annexing land into the City Redoux

  While debating water costs, Attorney McAskin made sure map copies of the proposed annexations were made and distributed to council. City Planner Robert Fejeran summarized what the maps were showing; Iowa Lode’s annexation surface property crosses city property already and Prospector’s Run’s annexation is cleaning up the jagged lines between BLM and City property. Elizabeth Mellins, Treasurer of the Prospector’s Run HOA, was present to address council and clarify the intent of their annexation. Resolution 13-14 was moved to approve by Alderman Gaines and seconded by Alderman Voorhies. Resolution 13-15 was moved to approve by Alderman Voorhies and seconded by Aldermen Gaines and Spain simultaneously. City Manager Alan Lanning stated that regarding city services, there is no affect except an additional water tap fee that would be required upon annexation into the City. The resolutions were passed unanimously.

Snow removal agreement

  Streets and Facilities Superintendent Joe Broccio addressed the council regarding a snow removal agreement between the City and Prospector’s Run that had expired. The proposed agreement would renew with the same conditions as before giving Prospector’s Run the responsibility of snow removal on Mack Road and billing Central for that service at $800 per month for seven months starting in October 2013. The intent of the agreement is to prevent the City’s standard of salt/sand mix from deteriorating Mack Road leading into the townhomes. The agreement was moved to approve by Alderman Spain and seconded by Alderman Voorhies. The motion passed unanimously.

Appointment to CML

  Mayor Ron Engels next introduced the need to appoint a representative to the Colorado Municipal League (CML) Policy Committee. The CML meets to discuss issues of municipal interest that might arise during the 2014 Colorado General Assembly. The Mayor stated that Alan Lanning has historically had this role and asked Lanning if he was willing to continue to which Lanning agreed. The Mayor then asked for any volunteers from council or staff to step into the role. There were no takers. Alderman Voorhies moved to approve the appointment of Alan Lanning and was seconded by Alderman Spain. The motion passed unanimously.

Staff Updates and Council Comments

  City Manager Alan Lanning stated that a Tiger grant is still pending for the chip seal project on the Parkway. Due to the delay of the grant, the chip seal will not take place until 2014. Alderman Heider asked for an update on the EPA project (Quartz Hill tailings reclamation). Lanning said the bids will open September 1st. City Planner Robert Fejeran said they did testing for bedrock and did find bedrock under Nevada Street. This will be good for us in that they will most likely not tear up Nevada, but move the sewer line under the tailings; this will be more expensive for the contractor, but better for us.

  Mayor Ron Engels commended public works for keeping the streets clear after the rains. Alderman Voorhies thanked Joe Braccio and crew for keeping the post office from flooding during the rains by unplugging the drain that caused the flooding in the past. Alderman Gaines followed by saying the Boodle looks really good.

  Alderman Heider wanted to thank the City for all the help that came into town on Saturday for the Bacon Fest and the Lew Cady memorial.

Public Forum

  Roy Varela of 340 Lawrence Street addressed the council during public forum. Roy stated that the Sour McShane building is up for sale and this presents an opportunity for a potential hillside garage and a memorial for Angelo DiBenedetto. Executive Director of the Central City Business Improvement District Joe Behm followed Roy saying the appropriation of the building would help increase jobs and revenues for the City should hillside parking be actualized. He then asked the council that they place an item on the agenda for September 3rd to appropriate funds to prepare a bid package and schedule bids for previously discussed Spring Street projects. Behm stated that they have had several meetings discussing the BID’s economic development plans, but have not moved forward. He then went on to say that if the council does not put forward an agenda item for funding, that the BID and Business Association would like to request the council’s economic development plan to increase jobs, revenues and taxes. “Revenues were down 13% in July and July is typically the strongest month for gaming,” said Joe, “and that’s not good.” The resulting impact of reduced revenue like that is that the casinos pull devices off the floor which means revenues go down and jobs are reduced.

  Finance Director Shannon Flowers requested that the council schedule three separate budgeting work sessions starting in September. The council agreed to the dates of September 12 and 26 and October 3.

Looking Ahead

  The next Central City Council Meeting is scheduled for September 3rd.

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