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Posted on: November 16, 2021

Blog: CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION: Monday, November 15

Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Monday morning, November 15, to discuss changes to the city's Municipal Code, purchase order requests, a supplemental budget ordinance, and a plan to hold the spring 2022 Municipal Election. 


Councilors Doug Glaspell, Dave Frank, Anthony Russo, and David Reed met in City Council Chambers along with city staff. Councilors Barbara Bynum attended via zoom. 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.


UPDATE TO MUNICIPAL CODE SECTION 5-2-1 REGARDING HOTEL ROOM TAX


City Councilors were presented with the possibility of adding the definition of marketplace facilitator, “MPF,” to the hotel room tax provisions in the Municipal Code to hold them responsible for collecting hotel room tax on sales facilitated through their marketplace. 


According to Assistant City Attorney Chris Dowsey, an MPF is defined as a person who contracts with a marketplace seller or multi-channel seller to facilitate for consideration, regardless of whether or not the consideration is deducted as fees from the transaction, the sale of the marketplace seller's tangible personal property, products, or services through the person's marketplace; engages directly or indirectly, through one or more affiliated persons, in transmitting or otherwise communicating the offer or acceptance between a purchaser and the marketplace seller or multi channel seller; and either directly or indirectly, through agreements or arrangements with third parties, collects payment from the purchaser on behalf of the seller. 


Online hotel booking sites facilitate the sale of lodging services which are subject to city sales tax by: offering the lodging services of third-party lodging services providers through their website or mobile app (marketplace); transmits the offer and acceptance between purchaser and third-party lodging services provider; and arranges payment between the purchaser and lodging services provider. Thus, the hotel booking site is likely required to collect and remit the sales tax on these sales, not the lodging services provider. 


However, since the hotel room tax is an excise tax and not a sales tax—the MPF definition and ordinance do not speak to any excise taxes, only sales tax—the online hotel booking site is not required to collect and remit the hotel room tax. The hotel will be liable for this excise tax. 


Hotels and individuals who rent their rooms or houses through MPFs may not understand that they are liable for the hotel room tax. They may assume that the MPF is collecting and remitting all taxes since they are doing so for sales tax, which would have deficiencies in the amount of hotel room tax collected. Adding this definition to the hotel room excise tax will result in the collection and remittance of all applicable taxes for the rental of a house/room through a MPF coming from one source, thus eliminating confusion as to who is liable for this tax. 


Additionally, this modification will avoid confusion for local restaurants who sell through MPFs that deliver their food. The pandemic made third-party food delivery companies popular. Depending on their business model, such providers may fit within the definition of an MPF. If so, it again would eliminate confusion about the collection and remittance of all applicable tax from one source. 


EQUIPMENT PURCHASE REQUEST


City Councilors were presented with a purchase request for Public Works to acquire two trash trucks and two vector trucks from Faris Machinery in Grand Junction. The total price is $1,950,478. 


According to Public Works Manager Jim Scheid, steady growth in Montrose over the past several years has presented the need to expand the trash and recycling fleet as well as a new Vactor truck to keep up with sewer collection demand. The new vactor truck will also serve as an emergency backup. 


MONTROSE PUBLIC SAFETY COMPLEX FITNESS EQUIPMENT


City Councilors were presented with a purchase request for Lifetime Fitness/ Hammer Strength fitness equipment from Advanced Exercise for a total of $71,552 for Police Department officers to use in the new Public Safety Complex. 


According to Public Works Manager Jim Scheid, the city is purchasing fitness equipment for the fitness center within the new Montrose Public Safety Complex. This fitness center is designed and intended for physical fitness training for Police Department and city staff members after proper application and safety training. 


The fitness center will allow efficient and secure access for staff training and fitness needs. The type of equipment utilized in the fitness center was requested by PD staff for their specific training needs and for general fitness.


The purchase of fitness equipment has been an anticipated owner expense for the MPSC project and will be funded from the Public Safety Fund.


2021 SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET ORDINANCE


City Councilors were presented with a 2021 supplemental budget to accommodate  expenditures in excess of the approved 2021 budget. Each fall city staff present a supplemental budget to the council, if needed. City Council must pass any supplemental budget with an ordinance. 


The supplemental budget items include the city's Retail Sales Enhancement Fund, the Fleet Management Fund, the Black Canyon Golf Course, and the Montrose Urban Renewal Authority. 


The ordinance states, "In addition to the aforementioned supplemental items, the following projects were approved  throughout the 2021 budget year using existing General Fund budget.  These projects included a contribution to asbestos abatement in several mobile home parks, La Raza Park upgrades and the sidewalk on North 9th, partnering to fund a childcare needs assessment study, property acquisition  such as the house adjacent to the CMU campus and the Bullock Plant purchase."


2022 MUNICIPAL ELECTION PLAN AND RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A MAIL BALLOT ELECTION


In accordance with the City Charter, the 2022 Municipal Election is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Due to mid-term appointments made for two City Council seats, four seats will be on the 2022 ballot:


• District I - four year term

• District II - four year term

• District III - two-year term

• At-Large - two-year term  


The procedures for the 2022 election are unchanged from 2020. The City Council district boundaries will be adjusted following the 2020 Census, as required by the Charter, with adoption of an updated map scheduled for December 7. Candidate information will be available on the city website on or before Monday, December 13. 


According to City Clerk Lisa DePiccolo, the city has been using a mail-in ballot system since 1994. In the 2020 Municipal Election the ballot return rate was 41%, according to DelPiccolo. 

The city will contract with the Montrose County Elections Office for production of the ballot packets and tabulation of the election results. 

A resolution authorizing a mail ballot election is scheduled for City Council consideration at the December 7 City Council meeting. 


•••


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 Public Meetings Portal.

 

For more city news visit CityOfMontrose.org.


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