Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Monday morning, March 1, to hear about a number of proposed contract awards for city projects, an incentives package for a new Colorado Yurt Company headquarters, and a funding request for the Montrose Recreation District to begin their Parks & Recreation Comprehensive Master Plan.
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.
MONTROSE RECREATION DISTRICT COMPREHENSIVE MASTER AND STRATEGIC PLAN PARTNERSHIP REQUEST
City Councilors were presented with a proposal by the Montrose Recreation District, MRD, to partner with the city in updating their Parks & Recreation Comprehensive Master Plan this year.
According to City of Montrose Community Programs Manager Kendall Cramer, the partnership calls for a funding request of $30,000 from the city to help update the master plan. The total amount estimated to complete the plan is $130,000, according to MRD.
The MRD’s master plan will create a roadmap to ensure an appropriate balance of parks and recreation facilities and amenities now and into the future. The planning team will collect and analyze data from the district and the city-systems to develop a clear set of goals, policies, and standards for the entire, open space, trails, and recreation facilities system and program development for the next ten years. The MRD’s last plan was completed in 2005, with a minor update in 2009. The district believes a holistic, system-wide approach is critical so that the district and city can jointly plan services for the entirety of Montrose.
MRD Executive Director Mari Steinback said the master plan would be created from an assessment of the services already provided, outreach to community stakeholders, and analysis of growth and recreational industry trends to identify opportunities for MRD and city action.
The plan is to consider: existing park and recreation amenities within the district’s boundaries; existing and future plans of other governmental recreation stakeholders within Montrose County; the recreation needs and desires of the current population of the district; and future and trending growth potential.
The project scope includes:
• a strong public process with a statistically valid survey and many public engagement activities
• review and projections of demographics and trends
• analyzing existing and future facilities and levels of service
• ranking and prioritizing demand and opportunities
• a strategic plan that considers short, mid, and long-term actionable steps, strategies, and priorities – including funding options
The district plans to kick off the process in March and anticipates final plan delivery in December 2021.
Councilors will formally vote whether to approve the $30,000 contribution at the Tuesday, March 16, regular City Council meeting.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PRESENTATION - COLORADO YURT COMPANY HEADQUARTERS EXPANSION PROJECT
City Councilors were presented with a proposal by Colorado Yurt Company to build its new headquarters within Colorado Outdoors with the help of several incentives from the city.
Colorado Yurt Company is looking to build a 30,000 square-foot manufacturing and office space building on nearly 3.4 acres in Colorado Outdoors.
The cost of the entire campus development is projected at $7.2 million, which includes a "display village" along the city's Connect Trail and a public/private use restroom on the north end of the river trail.
Developers John and Kelly Gibson of the Colorado Yurt Company are looking to break ground this summer. The project has a goal to create new jobs in Montrose with a plan to have 37 to 60-plus employees within three years, adding five jobs to the community with a salary of $70,000 while increasing the average salary of employees from approximately $39,638 to $50,000 by 2023.
John Gibson addressed the council Monday, stating there is huge potential for growth in the outdoor/recreation industries and that an expansion of the business is unavoidable.
According to Gibson, when they purchased the 45-year-old Colorado Yurt Company one year ago, the business was a well-respected manufacturer of yurts, tipis, and tents with customers in multiple markets around the world. However, growth had stalled and company culture was struggling. When the Gibsons started “Colorado Yurt Company 2.0” in January 2020, they saw nothing but opportunity to grow, innovate, be involved in Montrose, and make the company the best place to work. They inherited a strong team with plenty of underutilized talent. In a year with the challenges of COVID, including supply chain disruptions, freight issues, and economic uncertainty, the business has thrived. Sales are up 45 percent, employees are engaged, customers are excited, and the company is becoming an active contributor to the Montrose community.
All indications support continued growth in outdoor recreation, hospitality, and experience‐based commercial businesses. Colorado Yurt Company is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of current and emerging consumer and commercial markets with the selection and quality of structures it offers. Manufacturing innovation is in progress. New materials, product development, streamlined systems, improved employee engagement, and enhanced training will guide product manufacturing in the future.
To achieve this vision, Colorado Yurt Company needs a new space. The current facility is not adequate for current company needs and has no potential to accommodate growth. In addition, the current facility does not showcase the company’s reputation and professionalism. There are no buildings that currently fit the desired size/zoning/location requirements to achieve upcoming growth in Montrose.
Colorado Yurt Company envisions a destination site that would represent the future for Colorado Yurt Company and Montrose. In addition to a manufacturing facility, the project includes an outdoor display village nestled into the existing trees along the Uncompahgre River. The display village would combine a walk-by experience for visitors along the trail with a “try before you buy” overnight rental experience for potential customers. The village will be a destination, with guides available on the weekend to give tours and engage guests. The Gibsons envision a place where employees would be proud to work, where innovation happens, where the best of Montrose is showcased, and where visitors and the community are welcome.
Potential MURA/City Of Montrose Investment:
• Estimated City of Montrose Building Permit Fee Waivers - $105,000 (approved by city manager)
• Estimated “Made in Montrose, Colorado” marketing assistance - $30,000 over 3 years (Office of Business & Tourism)
• Estimated Water and Sewer Connection Fee Abatements - $29,065 (pending City Council approval)
• Estimated Horizontal Infrastructure/Non‐Building Site Improvements - approximately $918,935 (TIF anticipatory borrowing to be repaid to MURA and city through property taxes generated by the project)
City Manager Bill Bell said the initial cost figures listed above are not final. The city is working with Colorado Yurt Company and their contractor to lower the cost before the council formally votes to approve a potential incentives package.
Councilors will formally consider whether to approve the incentives package at a future council meeting.
NORTH 9TH SIDEWALK EXTENSION CONTRACT AWARD
City Councilors were presented with a proposed contract award totaling $89,062 to Ridgway Valley Enterprises for construction of the North 9th Street Sidewalk Extension Project.
City Engineer Scott Murphy said the City of Montrose is continually working to improve pedestrian connectivity throughout the city by constructing missing-link sidewalks, especially along minor arterial roadways.
The recent completion of the Connect Initiative recreation trail, development within Colorado Outdoors, and feedback received during neighborhood meetings have helped to make the missing link on North 9th Street between Selig and Grand Avenues a high-priority sidewalk extension for the city. As a result, the Engineering Department was directed to design and bid on the project.
The city completed the design of the sidewalk extension in January, which includes modification of the Grand/North 9th roundabout’s eastern leg to include an ADA-accessible crosswalk, detached five-foot sidewalks along the northern side of the roadway, and decorative rock between the curb and sidewalk.
Construction of the project was put out for bid on January 26, and bids were publicly received on February 10, 2021. Bids were received from six contractors and all bid totals include a 10 percent contingency.
The low bidder, Ridgway Valley Enterprises, is considered qualified to perform the work and the city has recent positive experience working with them on multiple city projects. The city’s local preference policy would not change the outcome of bidding in this case.
LA RAZA SPORTS COURT PROJECT CONTRACT AWARD
City Councilors were presented with a proposed contract award totaling $106,726 to Kuboske Construction for work at La Raza Park.
According to Public Works Manager Jim Scheid, the City of Montrose has been working with the La Raza Park neighborhood on a concept plan for improvements to the park. A plan was developed and approved and this project reflects proposed improvements, which include replacement of the existing basketball court and the addition of solar lighting, benches, and a small amount of sidewalk.
On January 25 the city sent an RFP to solicit bids for the project and a bid opening was held on February 16. The low bidder, Kuboske Construction, is considered qualified to perform the work and the city has recent positive experience working with them. The city’s local preference policy would not change the outcome of bidding in this case.
Scheid said the City of Montrose Public Works Department would perform contract administration and project management.
The La Raza Sports Court project was not part of the city’s 2021 budget. As a result, both the North 9th Street sidewalks and the La Raza Park improvements would be funded from the city's reserves.
STOVER MINOR SUBDIVISION ROW VACATION ORDINANCE
City Councilors were presented with a proposed ordinance to vacate three areas of city right of way located on the former Russell Stover Candies Inc. parcel.
According to City Engineer Scott Murphy, the entire Stover parcel was one large property. When the company left Montrose last year, it decided to break up the parcel into multiple properties.
Murphy said the rights-of-way no longer serve a public need or benefit, however, the city will retain any existing utility easements and the right to place any new utilities in those areas when necessary.
The City Council will formally hold a public hearing on the ordinance and entertain a vote on the first reading on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, during the council's regular meeting.
APPOINTMENT OF ALTERNATIVE PLANNING COMMISSION MEMBER
City Councilors were presented with an option to appoint one additional member to the city's Planning Commission.
Assistant City Manager Ann Morgenthaler said the Planning Commission does not currently have an alternate member.
Morgenthaler told the council that section 2-1-1 of the Montrose Municipal Code describes that the City Council may appoint either five or seven members to the Montrose Planning Commission and that the City Council may appoint alternate members to the Commission who would vote only in the absence of any regular voting member.
Currently, the City of Montrose Planning Commission is comprised of seven regular voting members. One seat is vacant at this time and the city is accepting applications.
Appointing an alternate member to the Commission would help ensure that a quorum exists and that thorough consideration of applications is provided at times when regular members are absent or must recuse themselves from voting on an item. Serving as an alternate member of the Commission is a useful way for new members to become acquainted with processes before becoming regular voting members when vacancies arise.
Morgenthaler said staff proposes that the City Council appoint one alternate member to the Planning Commission, making the composition of the Commission seven regular voting members and one alternate member. If Council agrees, staff will advertise the additional vacancy and bring all applications to Council at a future time for the appointment of one regular member and one alternate member.
Morgenthaler said the city would extend its application period to join the commission through March 29.
For more information about the Planning Commission visit here.
To apply to the Planning Commission, an application can be found here.
GENERAL CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION
City Councilors debated when to conduct interviews for a new municipal judge and an exit interview for current Judge Richard Brown who is stepping down this spring.
Public Works Manager Jim Scheid said market changes pertaining to recyclable materials such as cardboard, aluminum, and plastic are having a positive effect on the city’s recycling program. In past years the city received a rebate on the bulk amount the city collects. Near the beginning of 2018 the cost of the city’s recycling program climbed due to a decline in the market value of recyclable materials.
Scheid said the city is on the cusp of earning a rebate again.
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.