Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Tuesday morning, January 19, to hear presentations regarding local childcare needs, the upcoming Woodgate Road Realignment Project, a contract award for the amphitheater project, and the city's 2021 annexation plan.
The work session was held on Tuesday due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, City Councilors Roy Anderson, Dave Bowman, Barbara Bynum, Dave Frank, and Doug Glaspell met online along with city staff via the Zoom platform. The public was also invited to attend. The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
Watch the meeting here.
CHILDCARE SURVEY AND NEEDS ASSESSMENT PRESENTATION
City Councilors heard a proposal to fund a study of childcare needs throughout the city to better understand issues related to working families and determine what improvements could be made to improve childcare services in Montrose.
At the January 4 City Council work session, Mayor Bynum asked council members if they would like to hear about a proposed childcare needs assessment for the Montrose community. Assistant City Manager Ann Morgenthaler said Tuesday that members of the Uncompahgre Valley Alliance (UVA) are working with a company to conduct the assessment survey.
Kevin Williams of UVA addressed the council, stating his family has lived in Montrose for the past 37 years and adding that he and the UVA understand the importance of childcare services to the greater health of the Montrose community.
Williams said after conducting interviews throughout the county from Olathe to the West End, the UVA determined the number one issue keeping families from thriving throughout the area is the availability of childcare services.
Carol Keeney of the UVA told the council that the lack of available childcare providers in Montrose is now at a "crisis" level.
"And we are not alone," Keeney said about the issue as a whole throughout the Western Slope.
Keeney said there is a need to collect more data from the community about childcare issues so more focused, comprehensive solutions can be created.
Keeney said a majority of two-parent and one-parent households in Montrose have working parents and a lack of childcare availability is hindering them from meeting their most basic needs.
UVA members said the organization has secured local funding to help the city work with Root Policy Research to conduct a comprehensive survey. The Montrose Childcare Survey and Needs Assessment will cost $38,950, according to Morgenthaler.
For years the City Council has recognized the need for improved childcare services in Montrose. The council has concluded that better childcare services would contribute to the overall health of the local economy, and attract working families to the Montrose area. According to various city studies, childcare services and housing rank at the top of the list of the most pressing issues facing Montrose residents.
Williams said the survey could move forward if the city can contribute $18,950.
City Councilors then debated the best use of the proposed contribution to either fund the proposed childcare study or look for ways to incentivize local childcare services.
Councilors were split on the proposed funding, however, a majority of them voiced their support to move forward with formal consideration of a funding proposal at a future meeting.
If councilors approve funding to conduct the survey, data collection will begin this year.
WOODGATE REALIGNMENT PROJECT
City Engineer Scott Murphy delivered an update to councilors regarding the upcoming Woodgate Road Realignment Project. The project is one of the city’s largest capital projects of 2021.
Since a public open house could not be held for this project due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the city requested citizen feedback in the January 4 press release and video.
Nearly all comments received to date have been in support of the project, with the exception of some concerns raised regarding left turns onto East Oak Grove, closure of the Townsend/Woodgate intersection, and access to US Bank.
As far back as the 2008 Comprehensive Plan, the community has envisioned connecting Woodgate Road at its northern end to East Oak Grove Road. This connection aims to relieve heavy traffic congestion in the area and give an alternative to Townsend Avenue, especially for local residents.
Murphy said during his eight years working at the city he had never seen a project draw so much public support.
Murphy said responses to these concerns, along with frequently asked questions that were not addressed in the original informational video, are available on the MoveMo.CO webpage.
Murphy said the city has been working with two landowners to secure the rights of way and easements necessary to construct the realignment project. These include RDMJK Woodgate Investments (RDMJK), the owner of nine parcels within or directly adjacent to the realignment, as well as a homeowner on Storm King Avenue where the roadway crosses the corner of an existing residential parcel. It should be noted that both property owners were cooperative throughout these land purchase efforts without any need to consider the use of eminent domain.
RDMJK Woodgate Investments
The city started negotiations with RDMJK in the spring of 2020 after completing preliminary roadway designs and traffic studies. Following several months of negotiations and a meeting in executive session, the city entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with RDMJK in August 2020. The general framework of this MOA included the following city actions: assisting with an application for annexation of an old county parcel within the project area, designing the road realignment, vacating obsolete portions of existing rights of way, replatting the project area to match the new roadway configuration, assisting with a rezone application to match the new roadway, demolishing two houses in conflict with the project, and constructing the road realignment. The financial compensation to RDMJK for the land purchase was $235,000.
Storm King Parcel
Following the approval of the RDMJK MOA, the city started work on the purchase of a 2,575 square foot (0.06 acre) triangular piece of property where the new roadway crosses the northwestern corner of a residential lot on Storm King Avenue. This property purchase utilized an independent right of way acquisition consultant and followed the Uniform Act (Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 – the same process followed by federal and state departments of transportation). As part of the Uniform Act, property purchases are made based on independent appraisals, which take into account the land, easements, damages, and compensation for improvements. The homeowner is also reimbursed for a second, independent appraisal by an appraiser of their choosing. Through this process, the city secured the right of way in December 2020 at a total cost of $34,000 (incl. land and damages). The city has also agreed to relocate sprinkler systems and an existing privacy fence as part of the road project.
Upcoming City Council Actions
The following upcoming City Council actions are anticipated in support of the RDMJK MOA. It should be noted that the MOA does not commit the city to approve these project elements; all final approvals are at the discretion of the City Council.
Right of Way Vacation Ordinance
With the realignment of Woodgate Road, portions of the old Woodgate Road right of way will no longer be needed. Furthermore, a previous subdivision
within the project area dedicated a north-south strip of right of way near the eastern end of Arland Drive. This right of way was dedicated in anticipation of a road alignment that did not materialize. As a result, both of these rights of way are generally obsolete and may be vacated in support of realignment efforts. Rights of way are vacated by ordinance. Consideration and readings of this ordinance are tentatively scheduled for City Council meetings in March 2021.
In order to clean up property lines for all nine RDMJK parcels alongside the proposed realignment, it will be necessary to replat this area. The replat will replace the existing parcel lines with new lots situated on each side of the new Woodgate Road. The plat also dedicates rights of way for the realignment, utility easements for existing utilities throughout the site, and new utility easements to parallel the roadway and vacates obsolete utility easements. This platting effort is being performed as an official act of the City of Montrose in support of the capital project. Consideration of this replat is scheduled for the second City Council meeting in March 2021.
Related Project Elements and Schedule
In addition to the work elements listed above, the following tasks are currently underway for the realignment project: completion of temporary construction easements, creation of a temporary right of way easements for the old Woodgate Road until it is closed, assistance with the rezone application, acquisition of access permits from the Colorado Department of Transportation, design of utility relocations in conflict with the project (cable, telephone, and power), project design, bidding, and construction, asbestos abatement, and house demolition.
For more information, including frequently asked questions about the project, click the link.
AMPHITHEATER CM/GC CONTRACT AWARD
City Councilors were presented with a proposed contract award to fund the construction of the Rotary Amphitheater in Cerise Park.
Public Works Manager Jim Scheid updated councilors about the project, which is set for construction in 2021.
The council will formally consider whether to approve $3.2 million for the construction of the Rotary Amphitheater.
Scheid said the city received six qualified proposals and, after thoughtful debate, the proposals were shortlisted to three firms. The shortlisted firms were Asset Engineering from Grand Junction, CO, FCI Constructors, Inc also from Grand Junction, and Stryker and Co from Montrose. The three firms were asked to prepare a detailed construction estimate, general condition costs and participate in an interview.
Scheid said the proposals, GC costs, estimates, and interviews were evaluated and Stryker and Company, Inc. was chosen by the selection committee as the best-qualified applicant.
If the contract award recommendation is authorized, the city’s construction management team will review the construction estimate with Stryker and then proceed with the procurement of subcontractors and suppliers. This will enable the team to establish a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP), execute a construction contract with Stryker, and issue a notice to proceed, likely by mid-February.
In preparation for this project and to reduce the overall cost of the project, the city’s crews have completed the access road to the building site and an extensive cleanup of the forested area around the amphitheater site. Completion of the access road also gives the contractor a headstart on the site work and construction of the building and allows for the final project completion date to be set at November 1.
City Councilors voiced their support for the project during Tuesday’s meeting.
Councilors will consider whether to approve the contract at a February regular meeting.
2021 EQUIPMENT PURCHASE RECOMMENDATION
City Councilors were updated about a purchase recommendation for two machines for use by the city's Streets Division.
Public Works Manager Jim Scheid said the Streets Division has shifted its focus over the last few years from street construction to street maintenance. One of the most cost-effective ways to extend the life of city streets is through an effective crack-sealing plan. The Streets Division is focused on efficiency and completing as much of the maintenance items, like crack sealing, in-house results in significant cost savings.
Scheid said the crack sealing crew has been using a single-wand crack seal machine that was purchased in 2015. An evaluation of crew performance has revealed that this machine is limiting productivity. As a result, the city has resorted to contracting some crack sealing work. The cost savings of performing this work in-house will pay for an equipment upgrade in a single year.
An upgraded crack seal machine is included in the 2021 budget. The new machine has a higher capacity, higher BTU output, a conveyor loading system, and a dual-wand setup. With decreased downtime and a higher capacity machine, the Streets Division will be able to do more crack sealing in-house.
Public Works makes heavy use of a wood chipper to process tree branches and limbs. The recommended upgrade to a new chipper will increase capacity and reduce repair costs and downtime.
The budgeted amounts of $115,000 for the crack seal machine and $71,600 for the chipper are included in the Fleet and Streets Division budgets for 2021.
Councilors will consider approving the equipment purchase at a February regular meeting.
BLACK CANYON GOLF COURSE EQUIPMENT PURCHASE RECOMMENDATION
City Councilors were presented with a purchase proposal for a pair of Toro Greensmaster 3150 mowers, one new Toro Reel Master 5410-D Fairway
mower, and one Toro Versa Vac from LL Johnson Distributing Company at a cost of $177,900.
Public Works Manager Jim Scheid said the Black Canyon Golf Course maintains all of the turf at the course (approximately 90 acres) with city staff and equipment. All of the pieces of machinery listed above are direct replacements for existing equipment and are on the fleet replacement list for 2021.
The cost of the equipment is included in the 2021 Fleet Division budget at a total cost of $141,500. The amount budgeted is $36,400 less than the cost of the equipment. This additional cost would be covered in the Fleet Fund where a total of $1,246,590 is budgeted in 2021 for the replacement of vehicles and equipment throughout the fleet. Due to savings recognized in 2021 for other equipment purchases, there is no concern about exceeding the budgeted amount.
Councilors will formally consider approving the equipment purchase at a February regular meeting.
2021 ANNEXATION PLAN
City Councilors were presented with the City of Montrose 2021 Annual Annexation Report and 3-Mile Plan, an annual approval as stipulated by Colorado statutes.
Senior City Planner Amy Sharp said the city is required to adopt and file a plan each year, which contains verbal policies and maps to illustrate annexation priorities, eligible enclave annexations, existing city limits, growth areas, and transportation routes. The plan will fulfill the statutory requirement to have a “plan in place” for the annexation of new properties in 2021. The Planning Commission reviewed the plan at January 13, 2021, meeting.
Councilors will decide whether to adopt the plan at a February regular meeting.
Notable figures in Sharp's presentation were the total number of acres annexed into the city in 2018 (55.7 acres), in 2019 (17.68 acres), and in 2020 (63.6 acres).
All City Council meetings are recorded and made available online via the city’s website and cable channels 191 for Charter subscribers and 970 for Elevate subscribers. Replays of council meetings are also broadcast at 6 p.m. on the same channels on days that the council is not in session.
In addition, each regular meeting is archived on the City of Montrose’s YouTube channel.
Residents can watch all regular City Council meetings and work sessions live through the city’s website at CityOfMontrose.org/Video.
For more city news visit CityOfMontrose.org.