Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for their regular meeting Tuesday evening, April 18, to appoint a new mayor and mayor pro tem and consider a number of ordinances and contracts for city projects.
Councilors Barbara Bynum, Mayor Dave Frank, Doug Glaspell, David Reed, and Ed Ulibarri met in the newly renovated City Council Chambers in the Elks Civic Building along with city staff.
The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
Watch the meeting here.
To begin the meeting Mayor Dave Frank announced that the City of Montrose is participating in the annual National Mayors Water Challenge. More information about the water challenge can be found here.
EARTH WEEK PROCLAMATION
Mayor Dave Frank read a proclamation recognizing the week of April 21 - 28, 2023, as Earth Week in the City of Montrose. "The global community faces challenges such as environmental degradation, climate change, food and water shortages, and health issues, and all people, regardless of race, gender, income, background, or geography, have a moral right to a healthy, sustainable environment," Frank said.
ARBOR DAY PROCLAMATION
Mayor Dave Frank read a proclamation recognizing Friday, April 28, 2023, as Arbor Day in the City of Montrose. The proclamation urges “all (Montrose) citizens to support efforts to protect our trees and woodlands and to support our City’s urban forestry program. Further, we urge all citizens to plant trees to gladden the hearts and promote the well-being of present and future generations.”
MUNICIPAL CLERKS WEEK PROCLAMATION
Mayor Dave Frank read a proclamation recognizing the week of April 30 through May 6, 2023, as Municipal Clerks Week in the City of Montrose. The proclamation read “The role of the Municipal Clerk is a time-honored and vital part of local government throughout the world, and the profession of Municipal Clerk is the oldest among public servants.”
Frank said Municipal Clerks provide a professional link between the citizens, local government, and government agencies at other levels and Municipal Clerks and Municipal Court Clerks have pledged to be ever mindful of their neutrality and impartiality, rendering equal service to all.
“Colorado Municipal Clerks and Municipal Court Clerks continually strive to improve by participating in educational opportunities and programs offered by regional, state, and international professional organizations,” Frank said.
The proclamation extends appreciation to “Municipal Clerks and Municipal Court Clerks for the services they perform and their dedication to the communities they represent.”
CALL FOR PUBLIC COMMENT
Two members of the public offered comments to the council. The first speaker was the new park superintendent for the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. He wanted to “stop by and say hello” and said, while being new to Montrose, he’s already seen the community as a wonderful place to live.
A second resident offered comments to the council, asking the city to be more mindful of the water quality flowing in the Uncompahgre River. With the river containing heavy metals from the San Juan Mountains, the resident asked the city to consider building a water treatment plant on the south side of the city to treat the water before it arrived in Montrose. The resident also wants the city to monitor public and private property lines in the city limits to make sure people building fences are doing so only on their property and not encroaching on bordering properties.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
City Councilors voted unanimously, with David Reed abstaining, to approve the minutes of the April 3 special City Council meeting and the April 4 regular City Council meeting.
The city’s archive of past meeting minutes can be found on the new Public Meetings Portal and at CityofMontrose.org/ArchiveCenter.
APPOINTMENT OF MAYOR AND MAYOR PRO TEM
Mayor Dave Frank passed the gavel by nominating Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Bynum to become the new Mayor for the 2023-24 term. David Reed was appointed Mayor Pro Tem for the 2023-24 term.
PRESENTATION TO OUTGOING MAYOR
Mayor Barbara Bynum thanked Frank for his work as mayor over the past 12 months, mentioning his leadership on many civic issues. Notably, Frank served as mayor as the city opened the new Public Safety Complex on South First Street and was part of the negotiations to move City Hall from South First Street to Main Street. Frank was also mayor when the City of Montrose was officially named the largest Gig City on the Western Slope having connectivity to high-speed broadband internet throughout the community.
"Mayor Frank’s commitment to our community is inspiring and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his tireless efforts to make Montrose a better place to live, work, retire, or raise a family," Bynum said.
Bynum then presented Frank with the gavel he used while serving as mayor.
Stressing the grave importance of keeping rural Colorado municipalities in control of local land use decisions, the Montrose City Council unanimously approved a resolution opposing Senate Bill 23-213 (SB213), as currently written, urging the Colorado State Legislature to work with local governments to find housing solutions that work for all communities.
The proposed legislation is seen as an attempt to remedy the housing shortage in Colorado by placing mandates over land use decisions that normally are under the authority of local governments.
The City of Montrose, a home-rule municipality, prides itself on having modern policies and procedures to govern land uses that ensure current and future growth aligns with its community vision.
One of the city’s top, ongoing priorities is working with developers to bring a more attainable housing supply into the Montrose market.
Resolution 2023-06 states that “it is the position of the City of Montrose that municipalities are best suited to determine appropriate zoning laws for their communities and that collaboration and cooperation – not top-down statewide mandates and giveaways to special interests – are the solution to Colorado’s affordable housing problem.”
The City of Montrose also prides itself on having one of the best planning departments on the Western Slope. And the city’s citizen-led Planning Commission works closely with city staff, developers, and other community members to make well-informed decisions regarding new and ongoing developments in the community.
The Montrose City Council feels that since the city has already created a community-involved roadmap for the future of Montrose, any unnecessary state-imposed mandates would hinder the city in working towards a vibrant, prosperous, and welcoming community for generations to come.
By jointly signing Resolution 2023-06, the Montrose City Council urges state lawmakers to vote NO on this unprecedented and irresponsible legislation.
ORDINANCE 2620 — SECOND READING
City Councilors voted 4-1 to approve Ordinance 2620, on second reading, authorizing a plan to release historic City Hall as collateral and replace it with the city’s Animal Shelter and the Brown Center. Councilor Ed Ulibarri voted against the ordinance.
In the late 1990s, the city borrowed $10 million for improvements throughout the city including the construction of the Montrose Pavilion. The city used the historic City Hall as collateral in that loan. The city is selling City Hall to be transformed into a hotel and educational facility for Colorado Mesa University. The city will replace City Hall with the city’s Animal Shelter and the Brown Center, located on the city’s northern side, as collateral in this loan. The combined value of the Brown Center and Animal Shelter equals the value of the historic City Hall.
An ordinance was needed to complete the substitution of other city property for the City Hall building under this lease-purchase financing.
ORDINANCE 2621 — FIRST READING
City Councilors voted 4-1 to approve Ordinance 2621, on first reading, which dedicated the proceeds of the sale of City Hall to fund the city’s portion of the Montrose Permanent Fund, a $2,000,000 endowment fund. Colorado Mesa University will fund the remaining portion of the fund through the Colorado Mesa University Foundation, which shall provide a permanent source of funding to support Montrose students who attend Colorado Mesa University.
SOUTH 3RD STREET PLAZA CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve a construction contract with Skip Huston Construction in the amount of $659,528, and $40,000 in engineering support to Del-Mont Consultants, for the construction of the South Third Street Plaza.
City Engineer Scott Murphy said the City of Montrose and Colorado Mesa University (CMU) have collectively been working over the years to expand the CMU campus and improve the campus experience within downtown Montrose. As a continuation of this effort, CMU is working on a remodel of Cascade Hall (336 South 3rd Street) and the City of Montrose has been planning to perform street and sidewalk maintenance/improvements on South 3rd Street. These overlapping projects have created an opportunity to improve South 3rd Street to meet the long-term needs of both entities. To that end, this joint city/CMU project will convert a portion of South 3rd Street into a parking lot with an extension of the existing CMU plaza.
Project elements include:
- Partial closure and vacation of South 3rd Street. The project will extend the existing plaza alongside the library to include the area in front of Cascade Hall.
- Pedestrian Plaza. The pedestrian plaza’s long-range plan includes gathering/seating areas, new landscaping and irrigation, lighted seat walls, a bike rack, new lighting, benches, picnic tables/chairs, and a flagpole to be used by the summer police academy. Due to budget constraints, some of these elements will be constructed at a later date.
- Conversion of South 3rd and CMU parcel to parking lots. The remaining area of South 3rd Street and the vacant lot owned by CMU west of Cascade Hall are planned to be converted to public parking lots. Even when accounting for parking losses along the northern side of Cascade Hall, this will result in a net increase of eight parking spaces over what is currently available within the project area.
ORDINANCE 2622 — FIRST READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve the vacation of a portion of South 3rd Street to make way for the South 3rd Plaza.
SUNSET VILLAGE ADDITION ANNEXATION
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Resolution 2023-07 and Ordinance 2623, on first reading, approving the annexation of the Sunset Village Addition.
Planning Manager Jace Hochwalt said the Sunset Village Addition is an annexation of approximately 10.01 acres in size. The property is two parcels located at 576 6600 Road and 616 6600 Road. The parcels are within the city’s Urban Growth Boundary, the City of Montrose Sewer Service Area, and the Tri-County Water Service Area. Annexation of this property will allow for future single or multi-family residential development. An annexation agreement has been completed.
Proposed Zoning: “R-3A” Medium High-Density District
Applicant: Cook Family Trust (Floyd L. Cook as Trustee)
ORDINANCE 2624 — FIRST READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 2624, on first reading, approving the zoning of the Sunset Village Addition as an “R-3A” Medium High-Density District.
OTTER ROAD RIGHT OF WAY DEDICATION PLAT
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 2624, on first reading, to approve the Otter Road right of way dedication, an official act of the City of Montrose Plat.
Planning Manager Jace Hochwalt said the developer of The Grove subdivision is getting ready to start infrastructure construction, but before that can begin, Otter Road must be dedicated as city right of way, as it is providing primary access to the initial phase of the proposed subdivision. With this proposed official act of the city, Otter Road will be extended approximately 680 feet to accommodate access to The Grove subdivision.
Typically, all rights of way would be dedicated by the developer at the time of subdivision, however, because the area that encompasses Otter Road is situated on a separate parcel with a separate owner, an official act of the city is required for right-of-way dedication. The area of Otter Road that is being dedicated is currently owned by Sunshine of Montrose, Inc.
The plat map for the dedication has been reviewed and approved by staff, and the property owner has been in contact with city staff and has agreed to sign the right-of-way dedication plat. Once approved, the developer can start infrastructure construction.
2023 PAVEMENT MARKING CONTRACT AWARD
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve a contract for an amount not to exceed $200,000 to Stripe A Lot of Montrose for 2023 pavement marking services.
Public Works Manager Jim Scheid said the city’s Street Division is committed to following all rules and regulations in the Federal Highway Administration’s Uniform Traffic Control Codes. In-house operations are geared towards meeting signage, barricade, object marker, and traffic control regulations, but assistance is needed in meeting all pavement and curb marking regulations. This professional service will provide traffic symbol placement as well as long-line pavement painting. The contractor assists by striping all city streets that require striping at least once per year and painting all crosswalks, stop bars, arrows, or other regulatory markings twice a year or as directed by the Street Division’s superintendent.
Scheid said the contractor will apply pre-formed thermoplastic symbols at all roundabouts and other high-traffic areas such as Main Street. This product is specific to markings in high-traffic areas because they last significantly longer than paint, which means lower maintenance costs and fewer interruptions for restriping. This type of application allows for work to be completed at least once every four years but can be applied as needed.
Stripe a Lot has been a top performer for many years with the City of Montrose. The contractor holds many other professional references from local municipalities and has provided additional bid tabs from other municipalities as a reference. This is extremely helpful for staff when comparing proposed rates to what other municipalities are paying.
The scope of work for pavement marking in 2023 is very similar to 2022 with the exception of two additional city-owned public parking lots and transitioning to utilizing a higher-performing epoxy paint for long-line striping. The use of this paint will be expanded to more high-traffic areas after seeing great results from testing conducted in 2022.
Finance Director Shani Wittenberg delivered the sales, use, and excise tax report for February 2023.
Read the reports in their entirety here.
YOUTH CITY COUNCIL
Youth City Council Mayor Grace Hotsenpiller said the youth council is planning a couple of clean-ups along the city’s trails and roadways. With the school year winding down the council is focusing more on school than council duties.
GENERAL CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSIONS
Mayor Frank thanked the staff and the council for a great year as mayor. ‘
Deputy City Manager Ann Morgenthaler said with all the recent moves of city departments, the city is working on preparing new public awareness materials to make sure the public knows where to find city departments that have moved.
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 on-demand through the city’s Public Meetings Portal.