Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Tuesday morning, April 4, to discuss a number of contract awards for city projects and hear proposals for other city projects, including network upgrades and city street improvements.
Councilors Barbara Bynum, Doug Glaspell, Dave Frank, 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 Zoom.
The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
Watch the meeting here:
GVTPR, SMART, AND ALL POINTS TRANSIT PRESENTATION
City Councilors heard a presentation about local and regional transportation, focused on making transportation accessible throughout the greater Montrose, Gunnison, and Telluride region and making commuting more efficient.
During the presentation, City of Montrose Community Engagement Specialist Ross Valdez was joined by Michelle Haynes, executive director of Region 10, David Averill, executive director of the San Miguel Authority for Regional Transportation , and Sarah Curtis, executive director of All Points Transit, to discuss local transportation operations and future goals to improve regional transportation.
6700 DEJULIO ADDITION ANNEXATION AND DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT
City Councilors were presented with a proposal to approve the 6700 DeJulio Annexation and Development Agreement to include the purchase of rights of way and easements required for completion of 6700 Road between Sunnyside and Miami Roads at a cost of $291,300.
City Engineer Scott Murphy said the City of Montrose Comprehensive Plan calls for the eventual completion of 6700 Road as a minor arterial, which hinges on the construction of a missing segment between Sunnyside and Miami Roads. This project has been a high-priority capital project due to continued traffic growth in the area; however, the city does not own all of the rights of way necessary to complete the missing link. A privately-owned 9.35-acre parcel (“Missing Link Parcel”) and single-family residence currently occupy the proposed 6700 Road alignment.
Rights of way and easements for roadways are typically dedicated to the city of Montrose concurrent with annexation and/or development of the land. However, in instances where the private landowner does not wish to develop their land or does not wish to develop in time to meet the needs of a road project (e.g., the road project is needed within the next five years but the affected landowner doesn’t intend to develop within that timeframe), the city must typically purchase the necessary rights of way and easements to complete the road project.
For the Missing Link Parcel, the landowners did not have any intention of subdividing the land; however, they had expressed interest in constructing a large single-family residence on the parcel similar to what was performed on a similarly-sized parcel immediately to the east. If this residence were to be constructed within the Missing Link Parcel, it would have made a future extension of 6700 Road much more costly and impactful to that residence. This possibility prompted renewed discussions with the landowners that led to a proposed agreement to purchase the necessary right of way and easements for the extension of 6700 Road as detailed below.
Annexation and Development Agreement
Given the long, slender nature of the Missing Link Parcel, the extension of 6700 Road through its middle would leave two remnant parcels on either side of the roadway. Not knowing if the landowners desired to further develop these remnant parcels, the city initially offered to purchase either the entire Missing Link Parcel or only the necessary rights of way and easements through the middle. The landowners elected for the latter, leaving the remnant parcels in their ownership for future development.
In consultation with the city’s on-call land-use attorney, it was recommended that the right of way purchase be incorporated into a single annexation and development agreement. This document is intended to outline the responsibilities of each party to facilitate the right of way dedication and to also help the landowners further develop their adjacent property.
The agreement includes, but is not limited to, the following main elements/commitments by the city:
1. Preparation of required application materials for the annexation of the Missing Link Parcel (including an initial zoning recommendation of R-1A, Large Estate District).
2. Granting of the following variations and exceptions to the Land Use Code:
• Minimum lot depth of 90 feet (vs. 125 feet typical of the R-1A zoning district)
• Minimum front setback of 20 feet (vs. 25 feet typical of the R-1A zoning district).
• One shared driveway access to 6700 Road per two parcels with a turnaround to avoid backing onto the roadway.
It should be noted that these variations look to facilitate compatible development of the remnant parcels and accommodate their unique geometry. Given the low housing density present on each side of the Missing Link Parcel, it was felt that the most compatible use would be additional low-density (0.5-acre minimum) lots; however, achieving this low density through the R-1A zoning district required some variations to the dimensional standards. This configuration also has the added benefit of limiting the number of direct access points onto the minor arterial roadway.
3. Purchase of the 6700 Extension rights of way and easements at a cost of 291,300. This value was based on appraisals of the property and includes the existing single-family residence on the property. The dedication would be performed through the creation of an “Official Act of the City” plat similar to recent dedications on other city roadway projects. It should be noted that the residence is required to be vacant before closing on the land.
4. Design of the 6700 Road extension project in 2022. This design work was included in the approved 2022 capital budget.
5. Recommend construction of the 6700 Road extension in the 2023 budget. This project is expected to cost approximately $3.5M to complete (2022 dollars). The proposed road template would be the same as the recently-completed South Hillcrest extension and would include the placement of water and sewer main lines within the roadway.
6. Prepare a preliminary plat for the landowners to develop approximately 12 half-acre lots on the remnant parcels on each side of 6700 Road. The owners would remain responsible for the installation of the remaining infrastructure (power, communications, and natural gas) as well as the final platting of these lots if they choose to move forward with development.
Following favorable outcomes of the public annexation, zoning, and road dedication plat hearings and actions, the city would schedule a closing date with the landowners to purchase the right of way and record all related documents. Should these processes not be approved as intended, both parties reserve the right to renegotiate the terms of the annexation and development agreement.
As a general practice, the city does not include anticipated land purchases in the adopted budget as these purchases are subject to negotiation. In line with this practice, this anticipated land purchase was not included in the 2022 budget and may require inclusion in an end-of-year supplemental budget appropriation. The city has sufficient reserves to cover this expenditure.
CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING REQUEST (FY 2023)
City Councilors were presented with a draft resolution to apply for funds from U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper’s office in the amount of $1,850,000 as the city plans to complete Phase II and III of river restoration improvements on 4,900 lineal feet of the Uncompahgre River (“Uncompahgre River Improvements Project”) and a 1,900 linear feet extension of the Uncompahgre Riverway Trail to complement the Montrose Urban Renewal Authority Development (MURA) and the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Connect Initiative Trail.
Community Program Manager Kendall Cramer said the proposed projects meet the eligibility requirements of Congressionally Directed Spending, a mechanism whereby members of Congress can request funding for specific projects in their home state that have been submitted for consideration by state and local government entities and nonprofits.
If the funding request is awarded, the City Council resolution would authorize the city manager to execute the grant contract and city staff to act on behalf of the grant agreement.
VEHICLE DISPOSAL RECOMMENDATION
City Councilors were presented with a proposal to dispose of four city police cars to the Western Colorado Law Enforcement Academy (WCLEA).
The vehicles listed below are scheduled for replacement in 2022. Their replacements have been budgeted for from the Fleet Fund. These vehicles were not on the 2022 Disposal List that was approved in January 2022 because they were to be held for the PD’s use for an additional year.
Vehicles for disposal
325-2014 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor (Police Patrol)
326-2014 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor (Police Patrol)
327-2014 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor (Police Patrol)
328-2014 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor (Police Patrol)
Public Works Manager Jim Scheid said all items are disposed of in accordance with Section 1-16-5 of the Municipal Code.
Police Academy Driver’s Training.
The four cars would be added to Western Colorado Community College (WCCC) and Colorado Mesa University’s (CMU) existing fleet. With City Council’s approval, these vehicles would be donated to WCCC/CMU, giving WCLEA and the WCCC academy in Grand Junction access to ten patrol vehicles for training.
WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT MOTOR CONTROL CENTER REPLACEMENT
City Councilors were presented with a proposal to replace a motor control center, MCC, at the city's Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP).
Utilities Manager David Bries said the current MCC at the Wastewater Treatment Plant dates back to the plant’s construction in the mid-1980s and has reached the end of its reliable life expectancy. In 2021, the City of Montrose contracted with Browns Hill Engineering & Controls (BHEC) to design and develop a replacement plan for the WWTP MCC, and $380,000 was included in the city’s 2022 budget for the replacement. Upon the completion of the design, staff met with BHEC to discuss the process for replacing this critical piece of equipment with minimal impact on the treatment plant’s operations. The replacement process will be methodical and complex, requiring a significant amount of qualified staff to minimize the time that certain plant components are out of service and avoid Wastewater Treatment Plant effluent limit violations.
BHEC believes that Sturgeon Electric is the only contractor on the Western Slope that has the necessary staffing level and experience in this type of work to avoid causing issues that could affect the WWTP’s discharge. BHEC has successfully worked with Sturgeon Electric on similar projects. Sturgeon Electric has proposed a cost of $329,027 for the labor, equipment, and common materials to perform the MCC replacement.
BHEC has obtained bids from material suppliers for the major electrical components that make up the MCC and has proposed to procure these materials for $312,370. Due to the current supply-chain issues, electrical components now have a 50-week lead time, meaning that some of the required materials would not arrive until 2023. Staff recommends that the notice to proceed would not be issued until all materials have been delivered to prevent operational issues at the WWTP.
Due to the complicated and detailed nature of this project, BHEC has proposed to oversee the construction of the MCC replacement for a not-to-exceed cost of $35,200.
The total cost for all three of these contracts is $676,597.
Net Financial Result of Contract:
$380,000 is included in the 2022 Wastewater Treatment Plant budget for the replacement of the MCC, although it appears that these costs will likely carry over into 2023. The current pricing provided by BHEC is locked in until May 1 and is likely to increase after that date.
MOVING MONTROSE FORWARD SURFACE TREATMENT (SLURRY AND CAPE SEAL) CONTRACT AWARD
City Councilors were presented with a proposed contract award to A-1 Chipseal in the amount of $1,428,079 for the completion of the Moving Montrose Forward 2022 Surface Treatment Project.
Starting in 2018, the City of Montrose developed the Moving Montrose Forward (MoveMo) initiative, which placed a renewed focus on street maintenance, reducing traffic congestion, and improving pedestrian and vehicular mobility throughout the community. As part of this effort, each year the city hires contractors to perform some of the larger-scale and specialized street maintenance construction. This contracted street maintenance work is in addition to routine maintenance activities performed by the city’s Streets Department.
The city’s street maintenance and capital plan is available on the city’s MoveMo webpage and at https://tinyurl.com/COMStreetPlan. The plan identifies funding needs to sustainably maintain an acceptable pavement condition throughout the city and describes how available funds should be allocated between the various types of maintenance activities (e.g., surface treatments, mill and overlays, rebuilding of failed roadways, etc). Allocation of these funds is geared toward the creation of a comprehensive street-maintenance program that is focused on striking a balance between maintenance of the better-condition roadways (keeping the “good roads good” and at a lower cost) and eventually restoring those that have experienced failure and are more costly to repair. It should be noted that asset management software and modeling are used to help prioritize appropriate maintenance treatments for the city’s roadways and optimize the use of limited resources.
The city budgeted a record $3.3M for this year’s MoveMo contracted street maintenance efforts. Approximately 50% of this street maintenance work is focused on surface treatments consisting of slurry and cape seals. Slurry seals are a combination of a fine aggregate and an asphaltic binder that work to smooth out surface irregularities and protect the roadway from water intrusion and UV degradation. Slurry seals are used in lieu of chip seals within residential neighborhoods, given the public’s general dislike of chip seal and its lower effectiveness in areas lacking high traffic volumes to press in the chips. Cape seals are used on higher volume roadways or those with heavier degradation and include a chip seal followed by a slurry seal several weeks later.
Project Schedule and Traffic Control:
Work under the proposed contract is scheduled to begin in June and will be completed by the end of September. Although the project does contain some isolated patching, the majority of the work will be slurry and cape seals. Work on major roadways or those with a single point of access (Shanes Way, 6375 Road, Colorado Ave, South 12th, and Sunnyside) will utilize flaggers in order to maintain at least one lane of access during work operations and avoid the need to close the roadway.
Slurry seal work within the Cerise Park parking lot will be coordinated around major events and be performed one half at a time in order to avoid closure of the park. All remaining areas (residential subdivisions) will require a full closure of each roadway while the material is being applied and for approximately six hours afterward to allow the material to cure. Residents along affected roadways will be notified via door hangers and ‘no parking’ signage at least 48 hours before work begins. Residents are usually able to plan their trips or park on nearby streets if needing to leave during the slurry seal process. Street work will be staggered to allow for parking on nearby streets during the application process. Access to emergency services will be available at all times during the project.
Contract Administration and Project Financials:
Contract administration, project management, and construction inspection will be performed by the City of Montrose Engineering Department.
The total budget for contracted street maintenance in 2022 is $3.3M. It should be noted that this is in addition to street maintenance budgets for in-house work being performed by Public Works crews. The proposed surface treatment contract will be funded from this $3.3M with the balance of the budget going toward the upcoming street overlay and rebuild contract.
NEW CITY HALL NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE PURCHASE
City Councilors were presented with a proposal to upgrade network equipment inside the former Wells Fargo bank building on Main Street.
City Information Systems Director Greg Story said the recent decision to move forward with the purchase and remodel of the Wells Fargo building to house city administrative offices has prompted the IS team to acquire cost quotes for the required networking equipment.
The model of network switch the city typically uses has a lead time of 12-plus months. A vendor was able to find Cisco switches with a much shorter lead time (168 days as of the time of the quote).
The cost of four Cisco 9300 48 port PoE switches and required parts and licensing totals $51,677. Delivery is expected in mid to late September with the ability to cancel the order outright until early August. This expense is not included in the 2022 budget requiring the use of the Undesignated General Fund balance to fund the purchase.
DISCUSSION ON CONTINUATION OF HYBRID IN-PERSON AND VIRTUAL CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS
City Council was asked to discuss whether to continue hosting Council meetings in a hybrid format, incorporating both in-person and virtual participation methods for the public during the meeting. During the most cautious times of the COVID-19 pandemic, consistently offering a virtual meeting option via Zoom allowed Council, staff, and the public a virtual option for participation.
Deputy City Manager Ann Morgenthaler said that, prior to the pandemic, Council meetings were live-streamed on our website and that practice has continued. The meetings are also available for on-demand viewing afterward via the city’s YouTube channel and the city’s website. This is an excellent way to remotely watch City Council meetings, however, it does not offer virtual participation in the live meeting. Recorded meetings are also now available via the Civic Clerk portal on the city website.
City staff prepared information regarding the methods of watching City Council meetings and the number of people who have done so for each category during the past ten Council meetings. Members of the public infrequently watch Council meetings by Zoom as compared to other methods and infrequently participate in meetings using Zoom.
City staff members recommend Council consider discontinuing a virtual meeting option for the public due to low participation, technical challenges, and stable pandemic conditions. A virtual option such as Zoom or Google Meet could be used as needed to accommodate participation by Council members, staff, applicants, or presenters.
CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION
Deputy City Manager Ann Morgenthaler said the A Better Montrose app is now working for Android users. The app is available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
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.