Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Monday morning, May 17, to meet a number of new employees, hear a pair of Municipal Court reports, and review permits for a pair of summer events.
Councilors Barbara Bynum, Dave Frank, Doug Glaspell, and David Reed met in City Council Chambers along with city staff. Due to changing COVID-19 protocols, members of the public were allowed to attend in City Council Chambers, or online via the Zoom platform.
The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
Watch the meeting here.
INTRODUCTION OF NEW CITY EMPLOYEES
City Councilors met Andrew Bradnock, Jason Bresett, Curtis Dunlap, and Wes Imhof who were recently hired as officers at the Montrose Police Department. Ben Grant was recently hired to fill the role of Competitive Sports Program coordinator. Cheryl McKenrick was hired as an accounts payable & special projects accountant, and Don DeSchepper was hired as the new grounds superintendent at the Black Canyon Golf Course.
PROJECT 7 WATER AUTHORITY PRESENTATION
Utilities Manager David Bries updated councilors about an upcoming water rate increase to fund Project 7's Resiliency Project.
The seven entities that represent the Project 7 water collective include the City of Montrose, the City of Delta, the Town of Olathe, the Tri-County Water Conservancy District, the Chipeta Water District, the Menoken Water District, and the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association.
Project 7 Manager Adam Turner addressed the council Monday, stating the agency has been looking diligently at the future of water resources serving the 50,000 residents of the Uncompahgre Valley while taking into consideration recent drought conditions.
For a number of years, Project 7 Water Authority has been planning to construct an additional water treatment plant to treat water from Ridgway Reservoir. Recently this has been called the Project 7 Resiliency Project, referring to the facility’s role as an alternative water source should there be issues with the current supply due to limited water quantity or quality.
In late 2020, the Project 7 Water Authority Board approved a $0.15 per 1,000-gallon increase (from $1.00 to $1.15 per 1,000 gallons) to their wholesale rate for the member entities. This rate increase was largely in preparation for the Project 7 Resiliency Project and the increased debt service that will likely be needed for the project. This $0.15 increase will increase the City of Montrose treated water purchase budget of $1,365,485 by approximately $205,000 in 2021. It is anticipated that at least three additional annual increases, similar to the 2021 increase, will be needed to fund the project.
Many of the other Project 7 entities have already passed this rate increase on to their customers as a $0.15 per 1,000-gallon change to their usage rates. A $0.15 per 1,000-gallon increase would raise the monthly water charges for an average residential customer by $0.75 per month, based on usage of 5,000 gallons.
Project 7 is planning to build a new facility on a 50-acre site located off U.S. Hwy 550 south of Montrose with design beginning this coming summer.
MUNICIPAL COURT ANNUAL REPORT
City Councilors hear a report from Municipal Court Judge Charles Greenacre and Clerk of Court Emily Boyko about the court's operations in 2020. The annual report from the court is presented to the City Council each spring.
The Municipal Court handles criminal, petty, and misdemeanor offenses, traffic offenses, and other code and parking violations for both juveniles and adults. The court conducts various predisposition hearings such as arraignments, pre-trials, bench, and jury trials. Post-disposition hearings include sentencing, deferred sentencing, revocations, contempt, review and restitution hearings.
Filings – The Montrose Police Department and Community Development Code Enforcement Departments filed a total of 1,053 cases.
Sentences – While revenue is a by-product of the court sanctioning process, the court is not considered as a revenue-generating arm of government. Sentences are generally in the form of fines, fees, and restitution. In addition to fines, other sentences promote offender accountability, such as useful public service, letters of apology, restitution, and counseling. Court collections for the year were $126,754. Court expenditures, including all salaries, were $236,985.
At the direction of the City Attorney’s Office, there is no longer a traffic diversion program and the Municipal Court no longer uses the Montrose Police Department’s driver’s education program. The program was offered quarterly, with a total of 24 individuals from Montrose and Olathe Municipal Courts attending in 2020 and a total of $960 collected. In 2019, a total of 88 individuals attended and a total of $3,705 was collected. In addition, eight people completed the Advent earning course online in 2020. Deferred judgments are now offered solely through the City Attorney’s Office at their discretion.
The court allowed defendants to buy food for Sharing Ministries, animal food and supplies for the Animal Shelter, or credit for Animal Control at local veterinary clinics. The court had a total $100 in food that was given to Sharing Ministries, a total of $4,257 in donations to Chow Down for credit to the Animal Shelter, and a $410 donation to Montrose County School District designated for the Connor Imus Memorial Scholarship Fund. A grand total of $4,767 was collected in lieu of useful public services hours.
The Municipal Court holds a Teen Court session around the 4th of each month at 3:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Teen Court has been temporarily suspended due to the pandemic, but staff hopes to resume cases in the fall. The teen court coordinator works with Mr. Mahoney’s government class at the high school to supply the prosecution team, the defense team, and the jurors. Five juveniles defendants participated in Teen Court in the 2019/2020 school year.
When a defendant continuously fails to pay their fines/fees, the case is turned over to Bushwood Capital Collection Agency. Over the course of 2020, the Municipal Court has collected $2,280 through collections.
The following are goals that Municipal Court is striving for in 2020/2021:
• Maintain the current standards and policies that have been implemented for the last four years so that the court and staff continue to operate efficiently and at a high level.
• Continue turning outstanding cases over to the Bushwood Capital Collection Agency to obtain money owed to the court while remaining in compliance with HB16-1311.
• Continue to hold Teen Court sessions on the first Wednesday afternoon of each month.
• Continue to review all court forms and administrative orders to ensure that they are all up to requirements, statutes, and court rules of procedure.
• Possibly taking on a recently graduated student intern over the summer months.
• Continue working to expunge all eligible juvenile cases in compliance with HB17-1208
UPDATES TO THE MUNICIPAL CODE
Senior Planner Amy Sharp updated councilors on possible updates to the Municipal Code.
Sharp said city staff has undertaken a review of Municipal Code Title 4, Chapter 4, Section 8.1 (4-4- 8.1) and Title 4, Chapter 4, Section 8.2 (4-4-8.2) in order to update the performance standards for minimum roof pitch in the “R-5” Low Density/Manufactured Housing District and “R-6” Medium Density/Manufactured Housing District. This effort suggests modifications to the City of Montrose Municipal Code to update the performance standards to reflect current industry standards, which have changed since the current code was adopted.
1. Update Section 4-4-8.1(D)(1) and Section 4-4-8.2(D)(1) and (D)(2) to reflect this change in minimum roof pitch requirements.
Proposed Language to add to the Zoning Regulations:
The language below is proposed to be changed in Municipal Code Section 4-4-8.1(D)(1) and Section 4-4-8.2(D)(1) and (D)(2):
(D) Performance Standards.
(1) Single-family homes must have a minimum roof pitch of 3.5:12 3:12, a minimum roof overhang of eight inches, a minimum length and width of 20 feet, wood, brick, masonry, stucco or cosmetically equivalent exterior siding, and shall be mounted on a permanent foundation.
(2) Duplexes must have a minimum roof pitch of 3.5:12 3:12, a minimum roof overhang of eight inches, a minimum length and width of 20 feet per dwelling unit, wood, brick, masonry, stucco, or cosmetically equivalent exterior siding, and shall be mounted on a permanent foundation.
The council will vote on whether to approve the code changes through an ordinance at a future City Council meeting.
DISCONNECTION FROM CITY LIMITS
Senior Planner Amy Sharp presented the council with a request to allow a property that is currently within the Montrose city limits to revert back to being outside of the city limits. This process is known as a disconnection or de-annexation from the city limits of Montrose. The property is located at 16763/16765 6725 Road (Exhibit A) and is approximately 7.95 acres in size. The property is owned by Keith and Melissa Morris.
The city recently received a letter dated April 26, 2021, from Keith and Melissa Morris requesting that their property be disconnected from the city limits of Montrose. In this letter, the property owners explain the reasons for the request. This property is located at the eastern edge of city limits and disconnection would not result in the creation of a county island. The property is currently being served by Tri-County water, a septic system, and Bruin Waste for trash services. This property was annexed into the city in 2005 as part of the Lake Addition. A pre-annexation agreement was also signed in 2005 for future improvements. These improvements have not yet been completed and would not be required for disconnection.
Staff has been advised by the City Attorney’s Office that the state statute applicable to this type of request does not apply to home-rule municipalities. The City of Montrose’s procedure for processing such a request requires the adoption of an ordinance if the City Council finds that the best interests of the city will not be negatively affected by the disconnection from the city limits.
Sharp said city staff is recommending approval of the request.
SPECIAL EVENT ALCOHOL PERMIT FOR FUNC FEST
City Clerk Lisa DelPiccolo said the city has applied for a Special Events Permit to sell and serve alcohol during Fun on the Uncompahgre (FUNC) Fest on Saturday, June 12, in Riverbottom Park. As part of this event, Apollo Road will be closed. According to the Municipal Code and Regulation Manual, City Council approval is required for Special Events Permits in conjunction with a street closure.
City Clerk Lisa DelPiccolo said the event and alcohol permit applications include a premises map showing the perimeter for the alcohol permit and a plan for control of the premises. The premises have been posted in compliance with state statute.
In past years, this approval has routinely been placed on an upcoming consent agenda.
FIREWORKS DISPLAY PERMIT FOR JULY 4
City Clerk Lisa DelPiccolo informed councilors about the city's application for a July 4 fireworks display. The city has already contracted with J & M Displays Inc. to launch the fireworks from Sunset Mesa overlooking the Baldridge Regional Park Complex.
DelPiccolo said the Municipal Code requires approval from the Fire Chief and the City Council. The Montrose Fire Protection District approved the request on April 30.
In past years, this approval has routinely been placed on an upcoming consent agenda.
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.
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