Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for their regular meeting Tuesday evening, November 14, to proclaim November as Uncompahgre Gives month in the city and review and approve a number of ordinances and resolutions for ongoing city work including the 2024 Municipal Budget.
Mayor Barbara Bynum and councilors Dave Frank, Doug Glaspell, David Reed, and Ed Ulibarri met in the City Council Chambers at 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.
COLORADO GIVES / UNCOMPAHGRE GIVES PROCLAMATION
Mayor Barbara Bynum read a city proclamation recognizing November 1 through December 5 as Uncompahgre Gives for Colorado Gives Day in the City of Montrose and encouraging members of the community to be aware of the good our local nonprofits do for the health of our community and to find it in their hearts to give back and support their favorite local causes.
“The Colorado Gives Day campaign encourages philanthropy and generosity for the nonprofits whose services we benefit from as a community and through the efforts of Colorado Gives 365, and their Regional Champion Uncompahgre Gives of the Montrose Community Foundation, donors are driven to support local, participating non-profits of Ouray, Delta, and Montrose Counties,” Bynum read. “The Montrose Community Foundation, a non-profit charitable partner for over 30 years, envisions a healthy and vibrant community for all the Uncompahgre Valley and our area nonprofits accomplish this through our community’s generosity.”
No members of the public offered any public comments.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the November 6 special meeting and the November 7 regular meeting.
The city’s archive of past meeting minutes can be found on the Public Meetings Portal and at CityofMontrose.org/ArchiveCenter.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION APPOINTMENTS
City Councilors voted unanimously to appoint Darline Mora, John Eloe, and Kenn Huff for reappointment to the city’s Historic Preservation Commission. Other applicants included Kent Kinsey, Marlene Gravitz, and Peg Evanoika.
The commission is appointed by the City Council. At least 60% of its members are residents of the city and at least 40% are professionals or individuals with extensive expertise in a preservation-related discipline, including but not limited to history, architecture, landscape architecture, American studies, American civilization, cultural geography, cultural anthropology, planning or archaeology.
Members serve three-year, staggered terms from the date of their appointment. A chairperson presides over the commission's meetings, one member serves as the vice chairperson, and one member serves as secretary. The members so designated serve in these capacities for terms of one year.
More information about the commission and its purpose can be found here: LINK
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Resolution 2023-26 to create the Otter Pond Circle Utility Relocation Special District as part of an agreement between the City of Montrose and the Otter Pond HOA.
City Engineer Scott Murphy said the Otter Pond HOA is tentatively scheduled to replace its dam’s outlet works starting in late 2023 or early 2024. Concurrent with this project, water and sewer utilities that currently run through the dam will also be relocated outside of the dam to reduce structural risk to the dam and improve access for future utility maintenance. Additional details on the history and events leading up to the dam’s replacement can be found in the meeting packet for the October 17, 2023, regular council meeting.
The total cost of the project is expected to come in around $1.3M. To date, the city has contributed $100K in ARPA funds to assist with the initial emergency drawdown and project design, $11K in water and sewer relocation design, and $370K in reimbursements for the water and sewer relocation work once it is completed. This leaves $830K of the project cost to be funded by the Otter Pond HOA for the replacement of the outlet works and related projects, such as dredging of the inlet area.
Since early 2023, the Otter Pond HOA has been working to secure the financing/capital needed to complete the project. In general, since it is a private pond, they have been unsuccessful in securing any grants or low-interest loans. In the absence of any grants, the HOA has been left to perform a special assessment for its residents to pay for their portion of the project. For the 85 lots within the HOA, this originally equated to a special assessment of approximately $9,765 per lot ($830,000/85 lots).
Given the magnitude of these assessments, there were many residents within the neighborhood who were unable to pay or obtain financing for the special assessment. The HOA was also unable to secure financing for the improvements given the lack of physical assets that could be collateralized. As a result, the HOA was left without a means to fund its portion of the project.
The Otter Pond HOA then met with city staff to brainstorm funding options. One option requested of the city was to create a special improvement district (SID) where the city would front the funds for construction and then be repaid by the neighborhood’s residents over time through a special assessment on their property taxes. SIDs can be formed with a petition from residents and with subsequent approval by the City Council; however, SIDs can only be used to finance public infrastructure.
ORDINANCE 2645 - SECOND READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 2645, on second reading, approving the 2024 Municipal Budget of $109,099,344.
Finance Director Shani Wittenberg delivered an overview of the budget, breaking down the various funds, capital projects, and expected expenditures in 2024.
Per the City Charter, the City of Montrose must adopt, by ordinance, a municipal budget for the following year before the end of the current calendar year.
The City Council, along with city staff and department heads, usually begins the budget process each spring to outline the top funding priorities for the city moving forward.
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Resolution 2023-25 to formally adopt the 2024 Municipal Budget.
ORDINANCE 2651 - FIRST READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve a supplemental budget for the 2023 budget year, which contains several line items that have changed over the past 11 months.
Each fall the City Council approves the municipal budget for the following year. The council also reviews a supplemental budget that contains unexpected expenses and slight changes to the approved current-year budget to make sure all expenses are accounted for and formally approved ahead of the city’s annual financial audit.
City Councilors will formally vote on the second reading of the 2023 Supplemental Budget ordinance on December 5.
ORDINANCE 2652 - FIRST READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 2652, on first reading, updating and amending portions of the official code of the City of Montrose as it relates to the operation of the city’s Municipal Court.
City Attorney Matt Magliaro said the updates are designed to make the code easier to read and clear up typos and other housekeeping items to bring the code into a more modern form.
ORDINANCE 2646 - SECOND READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 2646, on second reading, updating amendments to Section 11-7-12 of the Land Development Regulations of the City of Montrose related to rezoning and the zoning of additions.
City Planning Manager Jace Hochwalt said the purpose of the proposed code amendments is to eliminate ambiguity and clarify the current rezoning and initial zoning processes as they relate to the decision-making procedures and roles of both the Planning Commission and the City Council.
With the recent code consolidation efforts and amendments that took place earlier in the year, the Land Development Regulations section (Title 11 of the Montrose Municipal Code) was consolidated for the purposes of modernization and elimination of redundancy. With the consolidation efforts now complete, staff will continue to refine the code to eliminate ambiguity where applicable. One section specifically flagged by city staff is Section 11-7-12, which relates to the rezoning of property within the city limits, as well as the initial zoning of property being annexed into the city limits.
To clear up any confusion as to how the code currently reads, city staff is proposing amendments in 11-7-12 (A)(2) to clarify this process. In addition, staff is proposing to amend the wording of 11-7-12 (A)(3) to clarify when conditions can be imposed on a rezone. There were approved rezones in the past that had very specific conditions set within the zoning ordinance. Since zoning ordinances are not recorded and do not always accompany a title report, a zoning ordinance with specific conditions can add confusion to property owners and staff alike as properties transfer ownership. Other mechanisms, such as a planned development or an annexation agreement, are better tools for imposing conditions.
ORDINANCE 2647 - SECOND READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 2647, on second reading, approving the annexation of the Osprey Addition.
City Planner William Reis said the Osprey Addition Annexation is approximately 9.53 acres in size. The property is divided into two tracts, both located on the north side of E Oak Grove Rd. Tract 1 is a residential property, currently addressed as 1665 E Oak Grove Rd. Tract 2 is a small sliver of right-of-way. It is within the city’s Urban Growth Boundary, the City of Montrose Sewer Service Area, and the City of Montrose Water Service Area.
ORDINANCE 2648 - SECOND READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 2648, on second reading, to approve the zoning of the Osprey Addition Annexation as a “P” Public District, “R-4” high-density district, and “R-3A” medium high-density district.
ORDINANCE 2649 - SECOND READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 2649, on second reading, approving the Bluff Harbor Lot Addition Annexation.
City Planner William Reis said the Bluff Harbor addition annexation is approximately 0.72 acres in size. The parcel is located along Juniper Road, across from its intersection with El Camino Real Road. It is within the city’s Urban Growth Boundary, the City of Montrose Sewer Service Area, and the Menoken Water Service Area. Annexation of this property will allow for connection to city utilities.
ORDINANCE 2650 - SECOND READING
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve Ordinance 2650, on second reading, zoning the Bluff Harbor Lot Addition Annexation as an “MHR” manufactured housing residential district.
PHASE 2 LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS CODE UPDATE SERVICE AGREEMENT
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve a professional service agreement with Plan Tools, LLC in the amount of $105,000 for Phase 2 of updates of the Land Development Regulations (Title 11) of the Montrose Municipal Code. This agreement and the associated work are expected to run through December 2024.
City Planner Jace Hochwalt said Plan Tools, LLC performed professional planning services for the City of Montrose in 2022 and 2023 related to its code consolidation efforts (referred to as Phase 1 code updates) in which the Land Development Regulations section (Title 11 of the Montrose Municipal Code) was consolidated for the purpose of modernizing it and eliminating redundancy. With those consolidation efforts now complete, staff is again seeking contracted help from Plan Tools, LLC to continue to eliminate ambiguity in the code and update it to align with the city’s Comprehensive Plan.
NIAGARA-HILLCREST ROUNDABOUT CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT
City Councilors voted unanimously to approve a contract totaling $3,209,461 for the construction of the Niagara-Hillcrest Roundabout Project. This proposal includes the award of a construction contract to Oldcastle SW Group, doing business as United Companies, in the amount of $3,078,461, a survey and engineering support contract to Del- Mont Consultants in the amount of $111,000, and up to $20,000 in expenditures to Delta-Montrose Electric Association for street lighting associated with the project.
City Engineer Scott Murphy said the city performed a traffic study of Hillcrest Drive from Main Street to Niagara Road in 2016 as part of long-range traffic planning efforts and in response to neighborhood petitions, congestion, and safety issues experienced along the corridor. This study recommended the installation of roundabouts at the intersections of Miami, Sunnyside, and Niagara as both the near- and long-term solutions to these issues.
In response to these recommendations, the city completed the roundabout at Hillcrest and Sunnyside in 2016. The roundabout at Miami and Hillcrest was completed in 2019. The Niagara and Hillcrest intersection is currently controlled as a four-way stop. A recent traffic study for a nearby subdivision indicated that the intersection was approaching capacity and would soon experience unacceptable levels of service during peak hours. In response to this, the city started designing the roundabout in 2022, completed necessary property acquisitions in 2023, and is now ready to construct the project.
Murphy said closure of the intersection is expected to begin in mid-February and the project will be completed by the beginning of the school year in late August.
Finance Director Shani Wittenberg delivered the sales, use, and excise tax report for September 2023. Wittenberg also delivered a third-quarter budget review to councilors detailing the city’s budget expenditures during the third quarter of 2023.
Read all finance reports in their entirety here: www.cityofmontrose.org/259/Finance
Police Chief Blaine Hall said city employees are beginning the process of updating and formalizing city processes as they relate to disasters and emergency management in the event of a crisis that could happen in the city. City Councilor Dave Frank said the City of Montrose is planning many holiday events in the coming weeks. For more information visit the link here.
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.
For more city news visit CityOfMontrose.org