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The original item was published from 8/3/2021 9:07:32 AM to 2/1/2022 12:05:02 AM.

News Flash

City News

Posted on: August 3, 2021


Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Monday morning, August 2, to discuss a pair of contract amendments to public infrastructure projects, including the new Public Safety Complex, and to hear and discuss options for investing funds from the American Recovery Act.

Councilors Barbara Bynum, Dave Frank, Doug Glaspell, and Anthony Russo met in City Council Chambers along with city staff. Mr. Reed attended remotely via the Zoom platform. Members of the public were also able to attend in person or via Zoom. 

The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting. 

Watch the meeting here.


City Councilors were presented with a potential contract change order in the amount of $94,668 to Mountain Valley Contracting for piping of the Rice Ditch within the Montrose Urban Renewal Authority Phase II Public Infrastructure Construction Project. 

City Engineer Scott Murphy said the Rice Ditch is an open irrigation ditch originally built in the 1880s that diverts water from the Uncompahgre River and runs through the Montrose Urban Renewal Authority. The ditch supplies irrigation water to Taviwach Park and several industrial users as far north as LaSalle Road. 

As part of the master planning efforts for the Montrose Urban Renewal Authority, it was anticipated that the Rice Ditch would be piped concurrent with each phase of construction in order to improve safety for pedestrians in the area, improve groundwater conditions (to minimize saturation of soils under parking lots and foundations), and reduce maintenance obligations. However, during the design of the Basecamp Apartments, the developer of the site was working to avoid this cost and envisioned incorporating the Rice Ditch as a landscaped water feature instead. As a result, the city did not include any piping of the ditch with the Phase II public infrastructure project design and original bidding.

As the developer’s Basecamp project design continued to progress following bidding and award of the city’s public infrastructure project, it became apparent to the developer that piping of the ditch would be necessary for all of the reasons originally envisioned by the city. To that end, the proposed change order would add this piping back into the project’s scope of work. The work will include approximately 650 linear feet of 30-inch HDPE pipe, a headwall structure, debris screen, and concrete restraint collars. Costs for the work are summarized below, based on negotiations with the contractor. 

• 30” SDR 32.5 HDPE Pipe (650 LF) - $78,357.50

• Precast Headwall and Debris Screen - $13,632.50

• Concrete Restraint Collars - $2,678

Total: $94,668

This change order would be to the original $1.08M MURA Phase II Public Infrastructure contract awarded to Mountain Valley Contracting by City Council on May 4, 2021. This change order is in addition to the standard 10 percent contingency initially awarded with the project as these funds may still be necessary for other out-of-scope work items.

Contract Administration and Project Financials

Contract administration and general project management will continue to be performed by the City of Montrose Engineering Department. The original contract award was over $1M under budget due to cost savings and scope reductions that were realized between initial budgeting and final design. With this change order, the project will still remain approximately $965k under budget. 

City Councilors will formally consider the contract change order at a future council meeting. 


City Councilors were presented with a proposal for a $1,830,805 amendment to the funding authorized for the construction of the Montrose Public Safety Complex (MPSC).

In February of this year, City Council authorized $16,212,884 to be used toward the construction of the MPSC. $15,274,434 of the total was for SHAW’s contract. This amount was calculated from development design documents in December of 2020. Since that time there have been unprecedented increases in all construction material markets. Although there was a contingency included specifically for cost escalation, the amount of increase noticed over the last seven months has exceeded the contingency that was included at that time. 

Ty Withee of Shaw Construction said there are challenges in material and contractor availability as well that have complicated the construction and engineering process.

Work on the construction project began in March 2021 and most of the work on deep foundations and utilities is complete. 

Peter Icenogle of the Blythe Group said a substantial amount of unsuitable soils was encountered during the underground work. This unforeseen condition consumed a significant amount of the contingency allocated in the initial cost authorization.

The additions that are being proposed to be added at this time, and to be included in the SHAW contract amount, are for the planter seat walls around the front of the new building that resemble the same style of planter seat walls that are around the front of City Hall. These also offer added security to the building and tie into the existing historic civic campus. Adding the planter seat walls at a later date would be cost-prohibitive and disruptive to operations and public access. 

Contract Administration and Project Financials

This amendment would increase the SHAW contract amount to $16,595,215 and the owner’s contingency to $1,161,665. This project is funded by the Public Safety Fund, which consists of funding from the certificates of participation that were issued, City of Montrose Public Safety Sales Tax, and General Fund contributions.

Public Works Manager Jim Scheid said staff would like to bring this item before council Tuesday, August 3, because in supply market changes are happening so fast. 


City Councilors heard an update about funds dispersed under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to be used locally. 

City Grant Coordinator Kendall Cramer said the 117th United States Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), also known as the American Rescue Plan, on March 11, 2021, in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. As part of the Act, the U.S. Treasury launched the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program to distribute $350 billion to state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to respond to the COVID-19 emergency and bring back jobs.

The City of Montrose’s total allocation of ARPA funds is $4,972,200.85, which are distributed in two tranches. The city has received its first tranche of $2,486,100.43 and anticipates receiving the second tranche in May/June 2022. All costs must be incurred by December 31, 2024, and expended by December 31, 2026.

The scope of eligible uses for ARPA funds is broad, providing local governments with greater latitude than previous stimulus funding to spend funds according to community-based needs. ARPA funds must be used in one of the four eligible use categories specified in the Act and implemented in the U.S. Treasury’s Interim Final Rule. 

These categories are as follows:

A) To respond to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality.

B) To respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers.

C) For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the COVID–19 public health emergency relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year prior to the emergency.

D) To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.

All funding decisions must be supported by data that may be requested by the

U.S. Treasury during required annual reporting.

Cramer said city staff seeks direction on how to best utilize ARPA funds for the benefit of the community.

City Manager Bill Bell said city staff has considered using funds to help clean up local mobile homes parks, help to pay for water and sewer infrastructure to accommodate new growth, possibly increasing contributions to Project 7 to help pay for water infrastructure at Ridgway Reservoir, and potentially helping with child-care programs in the community during the pandemic. 

Councilor Dave Frank said he would like to see the city use funds to help clean up three local trailer parks with an emphasis on the parks’ water systems. 

Councilor Anthony Russo said a city priority should be making sure each trailer park’s water and sewer systems are functioning properly. 

Councilor Barbara Bynum said it would be “totally appropriate” to continue investing in housing and child care to help local residents recover from the pandemic. 

Councilor David Reed said he would like to see city staff compile a spreadsheet listing dollar amounts in association with each category, like child care services, to help councilors make decisions about where to spend the funds. 


With recent heavy rains, Public Works Manager Jim Scheid said the city’s storm drains have been able to keep up with increased water flow with only minor clogging. 


Assistant City Attorney Matt Magliaro and Judge Charles Greenacre presented an update about operations at the city’s Municipal Court. 

Magliaro spoke about technical improvements to accommodate defendants who need to appear remotely.  Judge Greenacre spoke about changes passed earlier this year by the state legislature that impact court operations. 

Judge Greenacre said the changes will affect the city’s collection of fines. 


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

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