Council End of Year Business
By David Josselyn
The Central City Council met with Staff on December 19, 2017 for a work session prior to the regular council meeting. Representatives from Crowd LTD talked to the City about the idea of rebranding Central City with a focus on tourism. Alderwoman Bell expressed concern that if they rebrand now, there would be too many empty buildings and its like promising something we could not deliver. Tod Hardin, Director of Client Services for Crowd LTD, listened to ideas and suggestions from both Council and attendees.
Regular Council Meeting
The Central City Regular Council Meeting of Tuesday, December 19, convened around 5:30 pm prior to the Work Session to enter an Executive Session to discuss personnel matters for which the employee has consented. After the Executive Session, Council broke for the work session and then reconvened the regular meeting at 7:05 pm. Council members; Jeff Aiken, Mary Bell, Judy Laratta, Shirley Voorhies, and Mayor Kathy Heider were present. In attendance for Staff were City Clerk Reba Bechtel, City Attorney Marcus McAskin, Finance Director Abigail Robbins, City Manager Daniel Miera, Community Development Director Ray Rears, Public Works Director Sam Hoover, Fire Chief Gary Allen, and County Sheriff Captain Tom Ihme.
Mayor Heider led the Pledge of Allegiance and then asked for a moment of silence for George Snyder and Linold Begg in honor of their recent passing. The Mayor then asked for any amendments or additions to the evening’s agenda. Attorney McAskin added two items to the agenda; the addition of a second addendum to city manager’s contract to consent agenda, and an additional resolution approving the extension of a lease for space in the Apex building.
The Mayor called for a motion to approve the consent agenda which consisted of the minutes from the December 5 meeting and regular bill lists through December 15 and a second amendment for the city manager’s contract. Alderwoman Voorhies moved to approve the Consent Agenda and was seconded by Alderman Aiken. The motion passed unanimously.
The City of Central gives money to the non-profits in the City; Main Street Central City, Gilpin Arts Association, Gilpin History, and the Central City Opera. One of the conditions of their support is that each group give an annual report covering the uses of those funds and the successes and challenges of the year. All four groups gave their report this evening. Each group had a good year with Main Street Central City and the Central City Opera having a large impact on tourism.
One noteworthy item in the Gilpin History report given by Deb Wray, is that they are anticipating major repairs to both the Stroehle House and Thomas House in 2018 for which there is no funding. The organization is applying for every grant they can find, but their efforts may not be enough. The Stroehle House foundation is sinking due to water drainage behind the structure and the repairs will require outside contractors and engineers. Gilpin History is required to maintain the building through the year 2025.
Engineering Contracts Renewed
Director Hoover introduced Resolution 17-31 which would approve extensions of engineering related professional services agreements with JVA, Inc., Deere and Ault Consultants, Inc. and W2 Engineers. Alderwoman Voorhies moved to approve Resolution 17-31 and was seconded by Alderwoman Laratta. The Resolution passed unanimously.
Professional Services Contracts Renewed
Director Rears introduced Resolution 17-32 which would approve extensions of professional services contracts with Colorado Code Consulting, LLC, Digital Data Services, Inc., and Complete Business Systems. Alderwoman Laratta moved to adopt Resolution 17-32 and was seconded by Alderwoman Bell. The Resolution passed unanimously.
Trash – yes; Recycling – no
Director Hoover introduced Resolution 17-33 which would renew a contract with One Way Inc. to provide trash services for residents. This contract costs $66,000 for the year and does not include curbside recycling. Residents will have the option to contract with One Way Inc. individually or they can use the Gilpin County Transfer Station in mid-County. Recycling is free for most items and there is a small fee for certain hazardous items. Fees and schedules can be found on the Gilpin County website. Alderwoman Laratta moved to approve Resolution 17-33 and was seconded by Alderwoman Voorhies. The Resolution passed unanimously.
Water Rates Rising Again
Manager Miera introduced Resolution 17-34 which would amend the Water Rate Schedule and Comprehensive Fee Schedule. Per Ordinance 16-06 passed in December 2016, water rates are subject to increase based on inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Denver, Boulder, and Greeley. The CPI increased 3.1% during the period from July 2016 through June 2017. Alderwomen Voorhies and Laratta both voiced concerns that the increase impacts all fees including the Service Line and Capital Improvements fees. Both felt those particular fees should be static. Manager Miera replied that the City is following direction based on how the original Ordinance was worded, but Council may choose to change the way inflation is applied at any time. Alderwoman Laratta moved to approve Resolution 17-34 and was seconded by Alderwoman Voorhies. The Resolution passed four to one with Alderwoman Bell voting against.
Water Enterprise Fund Debt Repayment Accelerated
Manager Miera introduced Resolution 17-35 which would amend the payback schedule of a loan granted to the Water Fund from the General Fund. The original schedule was for a period of 20 years and the new amended schedule will be paid off in 10 years with final payment in 2027. The City is looking at a major renovation of the intake sources and the accelerated payback schedule will help with the funding for that capital improvement. Alderwoman Laratta moved to approve Resolution 17-35 and was seconded by Alderwoman Bell. The Resolution passed unanimously.
New Billboard Policy
Manager Miera next introduced Resolution 17-36 which would repeal and replace Resolution 16-09 and adopt a city billboard annual leasing policy along the Central City Parkway. The City approved the installation of six billboards by Fortune Valley Casino (aka Reserve Casino Hotel; aka Grand Z Casino) and as part of that agreement, gave control of five of the six billboards to Fortune Valley to offset the initial cost for a period of ten years. The City now has full ownership of those billboards and can determine how they will be used. In 2015, the City instituted a two-year cycle based on lottery drawing for placement for businesses. Resolution 17-36 will shorten that term to one year in response to concerns from the businesses. One face of one billboard will still be dedicated to non-profits. Alderwoman Voorhies moved to approve Resolution 17-36 and was seconded by Alderwoman Bell. The Resolution passed unanimously.
Central Is Not Leaving Apex Quite Yet
Manager Miera then introduced Resolution 17-37 which would extend a lease with Gilpin County for use of space in the Apex Emergency Services Building. The City is constructing a bubble building off the Parkway for use of emergency apparatus, but until it is done, has nowhere to store the vehicles and gear now in the Apex Building. The County has offered to extend lease of the space at a cost of $300 per bay over a period of six months. Alderwoman Voorhies moved to approve Resolution 17-37 and was seconded by Alderwoman Laratta. The Resolution passed unanimously.
Staff Reports and Council Comments
Alderwoman Laratta stated, “Merry Christmas!” Alderwoman Bell replied, “Let’s Eat!” Mayor Heider retorted that no one can eat until the meeting is adjourned. The City is providing food for all in attendance and the smells of good food wafted through the chambers during the meeting making more than one stomach rumble.
Mayor Heider opened the floor to the public for anyone who wished to speak to the council on any items not on the agenda. Jeremy Fey chose to address the Council on behalf of the Central City Opera. He stated that he has three agreements that have been recently approved for the 2018 season. One is that three of the homes owned by the Opera will be contracted for AirBnB use and the proceeds will go to renovating homes owned by the Opera. A second is the return of a Jazz Festival to Central City on June 9. The third is that the Opera will bring pop artists to the Opera House in August for acoustic concerts.
Mayor Heider publicly thanked all the staff of the City and the people working in the local nonprofits for all their work. She then invited everyone to eat and drink and be merry.
Mark your calendars
The Council adjourned the regular meeting at 8:20 pm. The next regular Council Meeting will be Tuesday, January 16, 2018.