Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Monday morning, July 19, to meet a number of new employees, hear a proposal for upgrades to three local mobile home parks, a possible new city annexation, and a lease agreement for the Brown Center.
Councilors Barbara Bynum, Dave Frank, Doug Glaspell, David Reed, and Anthony Russo met in City Council Chambers along with city staff. Members of the public were also able to attend in-person or via the Zoom platform.
The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
Watch the meeting here.
INTRODUCTION OF NEW EMPLOYEES
City Councilors met a number of new employees. Chuck Greenacre has joined the city as the new Municipal Court judge. Bryna Kent was hired as a new customer service technician. Bridget Clarkson was hired at the Montrose Police Department as a pre-academy recruit. Tyler Mahan and Ryan Webb were each hired as workers in the city’s Streets Division.
MOBILE HOME PARK PERMIT APPLICATIONS AND PROPOSED CITY FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION
City Councilors were presented with a proposal to approve mobile home park permits for three locations: Cottonwood Mobile Home Park, San Juan Mobile Home Park and Green Acres Mobile Home Park. The permits will be formally presented to the council at the August 3 regular meeting.
Councilors are also considering a financial investment to rebuild, repair, replace, and reconfigure areas within the parks to create room for additional units and to improve the parks’ for public health and safety.
The owner is proposing improvements totaling $4,187,397 for everything from asbestos abatement to new street lighting. Upgrades to water and sewer systems are also part of the proposed improvements.
Assistant City Manager Ann Morgenthaler said other changes include upgrading the streets to accommodate emergency vehicles and removing uninhabitable units. Morgenthaler said there are dozens of units within the three parks that are no longer habitable.
Morgenthaler said Municipal Code criteria pertaining to the housing units and property lots would be addressed in the council’s formal action on this item at a future council meeting.
The owner is asking the city to contribute $250,000, or six percent, to help cover the cost of the upgrades. If approved, the city would pay contractors hired by the owner. Morgenthaler said the city would create formal agreements with the owner to make ensure that all the improvements are completed.
City Councilors will formally vote to approve or deny the financial contributions at the August 3 regular meeting.
RIVERBEND RV PARK ADDITION II ANNEXATION
City Councilors were presented with an annexation application and associated zoning for the Riverbend RV Park Addition II.
The Riverbend RV Park Addition II is approximately 0.26 acres in size and is located near the current Riverbend RV Park located just north of Chipeta Lake.
Councilors will formally vote on this application at the August 3 regular meeting.
RIVERBEND RV PARK RIGHT-OF-WAY EXCHANGE
City Engineer Scott Murphy said there is a parcel of land at the Riverbend RV Park that has many different parcels tied to it. Murphy said by vacating and exchanging an old city right-of-way, both the park and the city would clean up property lines and boundaries.
Murphy said the city would use the right-of-way exchange to help with a plan to connect a concrete trail on the city’s south side to a new proposed trail running along Chipeta Lake. The city would still maintain its recreational access
LEASE AND SUBLEASE AGREEMENT FOR 3325 NORTH TOWNSEND AVENUE
City Councilors were presented with a new four-year lease and sublease of the Brown Center, which is owned by the city.
Community Engagement Specialist Ross Valdez said the current, three-year lease, expires this fall and that there are minor changes to the proposed lease language.
In 2018 City Councilors voted unanimously to lease the Brown Center facility to house farm workers during the agricultural season and provide emergency shelter to homeless people during the winter months.
The three-year lease between the city and Tuxedo Corn Company LLC, and a sublease agreement between Tuxedo and Montrose Lighthouse Inc., went into effect in September 2018. The lease is set to expire on September 15, 2021.
From roughly spring through fall the facility will house migrant farmworkers, who are critical to the operations of the Tuxedo Corn Company. The company is part of a local collaborative of about 19 growers who are constantly looking for ways to hire and house migrant workers, according to Olathe farmer John Harold of the Tuxedo Corn Company.
During the winter months, the center's 24 beads would be used to house both men and women who have no other place to stay. Hauck said if the lease were approved, Montrose Lighthouse would begin to prepare the center for homeless residents by November.
The facility sits in between the city's wastewater treatment facility and the Montrose Animal Shelter on the city's north side.
ALLOCATING PRIVATE ACTIVITY BONDS TO CHFA
Community Engagement Specialist Ross Valdez told councilors that on May 18, 2021, Shannon Friel from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) requested that the City of Montrose assign its 2021 private activity bond volume cap to CHFA.
The IRS allocates an annual per capita bonding authority for housing to each state, also known as PAB Volume Capacity or “Cap”. Colorado then allocates this authority to statewide authorities and local governments. In 2020 the allocation for the City of Montrose was $1,030,342. In 2021 the allocation for the City of Montrose is $1,091,612.
For the past three years, the City of Montrose has assigned its allocation of PAB to the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), and CHFA puts the PAB to use in Montrose. The City of Montrose has not desired to issue bonds directly, as there is risk and administrative burden in doing so. Allocating the PAB directly to CHFA allows the city to benefit from the PAB allocation without directly issuing bonds. In 2020, CHFA worked with the City of Montrose to use the PAB allocation to support Steele Properties, LLC’s rehabilitation of San Juan Apartments, which serves senior (62+ years old), Section 8, and residents with disabilities.
City staff recommended that City Council consider assigning our PAB allocation to CHFA again this year, and request that CHFA use the PAB to support first-time homeownership investment, a multifamily affordable housing project, and/or CHFA’s homeownership program known as FirstStep. If approved, CHFA will ensure that the allocation is used within the City of Montrose.
The City Council will consider a formal resolution to approve the PAB allocation to CHFA at the August 3 regular meeting.
VICTIM ASSISTANCE LAW ENFORCEMENT (VALE) GRANT APPLICATION
Montrose Police Chief Blaine Hall updated councilors on an annual grant the department applies for to fund one-half of the salary of the department's victim advocate.
Victim advocates are professionals trained to support victims of crime. Advocates offer victims information, emotional support, help in finding resources and filling out paperwork, and sometimes accompanying them in court.
Chief Hall said the department's advocate, Chantelle Bainbridge, is an invaluable resource for the community, and this grant is a routine funding resource to help pay for her services.
Councilors will vote to approve or deny the grant resolution at the August 3 regular meeting.
GENERAL CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION
City Councilors and City Engineer Scott Murphy discussed the city’s new water tank currently under construction on Sunset Mesa. Murphy said he estimated about 500 people turned out for their open house last week. The outside of the tank is still under construction. When completed, the tank will have an off-white paint scheme with a city logo. Murphy said there could be discussions later about adding public art to the tank.
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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