On Monday evening the Lyons Board of Trustees (BOT), friends, family, and neighbors said good-bye to Mayor Pro Tem Dan Greenberg (term-limited after three two-year terms on the Board) and James Kerr (chose not to seek re-election after two two-year terms), and hello to new Trustees Mark Browning and Joycelyn Farrell (incumbent Trustees Barney Dreistadt, Michael Karavas, Wendy Miller, and Juli Waugh were re-elected, as was Mayor Connie Sullivan who ran unopposed) with a small “thank-you” ceremony that included cake, punch, nuts, and coffee.
As is the custom, the outgoing Board cleaned up a few items that have been on their “to-do-list,” and then Sullivan read proclamations of gratitude for the outstanding service and dedication of the outgoing Trustees (they also got nifty little cheese plates/cutting boards).
On the “to-do-list” was the usual report from the Boulder County Sheriff's Office (there were a couple of arrests recently in LaVern M. Johnson Park); a financial update from Finance Director Anna Canada (the first quarter numbers seem to be on track); and an informational report from Parks & Rec. Director Dave Cosgrove (about a proposed two-lane crusher/fine service road going down the eastern border of Bohn Park from the parking lot to the dog park; as well as an explanation of the “green stuff” sprayed on many of the rocky/gravel surfaces along Main Street and in the Parks around town. It's a safe herbicide used for weed control that will lose the green color in a few days as it is exposed to sunlight and/or rain).
An ordinance approving a “rent free” lease with Lyons Communications, LLC for Town-owned property (up on water tank hill) that the Board and Town staff have been hashing out for quite some time took a little more time than one would have thought at first blush. The yet-to-be sworn in Browning, “speaking as a private citizen,” warned the Board of his experiences in Texas with small communication businesses being “bought and sold like Pokemon cards,” and felt that there should be a provision included to say that the five-year lease could/should be renegotiated at “market rate” in the event Lyons Communications be bought out by an out of town conglomerate. There was some concern by Dreistadt and Karavas about the word “asset,” and just exactly whom the asset belonged to. Both also wanted to know what other Town-owned land was leased for (some strips of land behind Blue Mountain Stone, Spirit Hound Distillery, and Clark's Hardware are leased at approximately $3000 annually) and expressed a desire to add a caveat about renegotiating the terms of the lease if the communication business was sold. Greenberg was adamant that because Lyons Communications was a locally owned business using the land to serve the public good (as opposed to the other businesses, which lease the land for private storage and other uses), and since the lease was so short, that any market rate money missed out on by a hypothetical sale of the business would be minimal in the overall scale of the Town's annual budget. A motion was made to pass the ordinance “as stated” by Greenberg. Dreistadt made a motion to add an amendment to include the aforementioned caveat. Greenberg said he would vote “no” on the amendment, as did Sullivan. A vote was taken on the suggested amendment, which lost three to four (Waugh and Miller sided with Greenberg and Sullivan; with Dreistadt, Karavas, and Kerr voted “yes”). The “as stated” ordinance was then passed in a six to one vote .(Karavas was the lone holdout)
The consent agenda, consisting of a resolution authorizing the first amendment to a professional services agreement between the Town and JVA, Inc., concerning the Eastern Corridor Development project lift station; the May accounts payable; and the March 19 and the April 2 BOT meeting minutes, was passed with no further discussion.
The cheese plates/cutting boards were given out, Trustee reports (basically a round of thank-yous to Kerr and Greenberg) and the last meeting of this Board was adjourned.
Then it was on to the swearing in of the new Board. Quite a crowd had stayed around for the goings on, and it turned out it wasn't just the cake and punch they were there for. In his first order of business as a new Trustee, Mark Browning graciously made a motion to nominate elder statesman Dreistadt (he's been on the Board for four years) as the Mayor Pro Tem (Browning was the high vote getter among Trustee candidates in the recent election, and for the past decade or so, that person was appointed Mayor Pro Tem). The motion passed seven to zero (Dreistadt offered to recuse, but Sullivan didn't deem it necessary).
Cosgrove stuck around to give the new Board an update on the proposed skate park/plaza in Bohn Park-Phase Two. He indicated that because of budget constraints the eight thousand square foot (with a possible four thousand square foot future addition) skate park was being downsized to a five thousand five hundred square foot skate plaza that would include about a dozen features similar to the old skate park (i.e., quarter pipes, ramps, rails, etc.). Browning questioned Cosgrove as to whether there had been any “public input” up to this point about size, features, etc. When Cosgrove said no, but that a public input session would be coming, Browning pointed out that the contractor has described the proposed plaza as “perfect” and “perfectly suited” for the community's needs, and wondered how something could be deemed “perfect” without getting input from the public, and especially the users (the kids). Cosgrove didn't have a ready answer, but assured the gathering that a well-noticed public input session would be scheduled. He added that construction was scheduled to begin in late July or August, and assured Dreistadt that the kids would be skating before the cold weather sets in.
During audience business the Board heard from a dozen or more citizens, including five or six kids, about the need for a skate park facility, the importance of getting ideas and suggestions from those who will be using it, and the need to do it right so that it will be fully utilized. On another front, one citizen who lives adjacent to Bohn Park asked the Trustees to look into the proposed two-lane service road a little closer, feeling that the item might have been lumped in with other amenities (i.e., ball fields, skate parks, utility fields, etc.) and not thoroughly vetted by the public or the Trustees.
Standard “housekeeping” items were next on the agenda. State statute dictates that the reappointments of certain positions be approved after a new Board is seated. So, Michow, Cox & McAskin, LLP; Municipal Judge Kristin Brown; Town Clerk Deb Anthony; and Town Treasurer Ana Canada were all given the unanimous nod of approval for the next two years.
An in depth discussion on the possible installation of flashing cross walks (rapid repeat beacons like the ones in Boulder) ensued and staff was given direction to continue to gather information (i.e., effectiveness, cost, preferred locations, signage, etc.) and report back. A second discussion was about the planned power outage (for the wee hours, 2 to 4 a.m., of Sunday, April 29) for repairs to the system, and how the Town, the Sheriff's Office, and the Lyons Fire District might help prepare and assist businesses and medically at-risk residents during the down time. Also discussed were contingency plans in the event that the repairs can't be completed in the two hour window. Generators, fully charged phones, and dry ice were among the suggestions. Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen said that if the repairs were to take longer than anticipated, power would be fully restored by 6 a.m., at the latest, and the additional repair work would have to be rescheduled.
On that cheery note, the first meeting of the new Board was adjourned.