Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for their regular meeting Tuesday evening, February 16, to honor former City Manager Jim Austin, to approve a transfer of a liquor license, approve an upgrade to the city's utility metering system, and review new sales tax collection data.
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.
To begin Tuesday's meeting, Mayor Barbara Bynum read a joint City of Montrose/Montrose County proclamation created to "celebrate and memorialize the significant contributions" of longtime Montrose resident Jim Austin who passed away February 4 at the age of 84.
"Austin served as city manager for the City of Montrose from 1971 to 1980, was the advocate for the relocation of Russell Stover Candy Factory in 1973, and will also be remembered as a “hands-on city manager" who always made time to
check-in with each city department and meet with each city employee," Bynum said.
"Austin’s vision and problem-solving approach to economic growth continued until his death. Never bereft for ideas, Mr. Austin championed a new idea of a regional corridor that would create jobs and educational opportunities for our youth in Montrose County," Bynum said.
"Austin represented the city during negotiations of the Tri-County Dallas Creek Project in 1977 to build the Ridgway Dam and Reservoir in an effort to secure water for the Uncompahgre Valley, including the City of Montrose," Bynum said.
"Austin was a popular figure around Montrose throughout his life, always ready to share a story, hold one to account, and challenge leaders to be brave and visionary. Mr. Austin’s departure leaves a huge void for all that knew him. Mr. Austin will be greatly missed by his community," Bynum said.
Mayor Barbara Bynum and the Montrose City Council and Chair Sue Hansen and the Montrose County Board of County Commissioners proclaimed Wednesday, February 17, 2021, as Jim Austin Day in the city and county of Montrose.
No members of the public offered comments.
Councilors voted unanimously to approve the consent agenda, which included the minutes of the February 2, 2021, regular meeting, and the February 4, 2020, special meeting. The city’s archive of past meeting minutes can be found at CityofMontrose.org/ArchiveCenter.
WATCH Tuesday’s meeting here.
FERMENTED MALT BEVERAGE LICENSE TRANSFER - ALTA #6126
City Councilors unanimously approved the transfer of a Fermented Malt Beverage license at 938 South Townsend Avenue from Pester Marketing Company, doing business as Alta #6126, to CF Altitude LLC, doing business as Alta #6126, for consumption off-premises.
The council held a public hearing and spoke to the applicant before approving the license transfer.
AUTOMATED METER INFRASTRUCTURE SOFTWARE UPGRADE
City Councilors unanimously approved a software upgrade for the city’s automated utility meter infrastructure as recommended by Utilities Manager David Bries.
The decision resulted from a recommendation to cancel the upgrade of the Automated Meter Infrastructure (AMI) software to a Software as a Service (SaaS) purchase order and award it to Mountain States Pipe and Supply in the amount of $85,663.
According to Bries, in late 2019 the City Council approved an upgrade to the city’s ITRON AMI system through National Meter and Automation, who later became Badger Meter. Shortly after this award, ITRON dropped Badger Meter as a representative, although the company remained committed to completing the upgrade. To date, the ITRON upgrade has not been completed and the current ITRON representative has offered to take over the upgrade for the same cost as was awarded to National Meter and Automation.
This cost was included in the 2020 Budget but was not spent. The proposed award of $85,663 is not in the 2021 Budget, however, there is adequate funding available in the Water Fund.
City Finance Director Shani Wittenberg delivered the sales, use, and excise tax report for December 2020 and a budget report for the fourth quarter ending December 21, 2020.
Read the report in its entirety here: www.cityofmontrose.org/260/Sales-Tax
Wittenberg also demonstrated the city's new financial transparency tool, designed to make city finances easier to research and understand. That tool can be accessed at CityofMontrose.org/Transparency.
City Public Works Manager Jim Scheid reported that city crews have been working non-stop to clear snow from major roadways before focusing on interior city streets. More information about snow removal can be found here.
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.