As often happens in the twice-a-month Board of Trustees (BOT) meetings, the really good stuff comes out near the end. Monday night was no exception. As the meeting slipped past the ten o'clock hour, Flood Recovery Manager Richard Markovich informed the Board that the work on Bohn Park Phase 2 has hit a snag. Remember a few weeks ago when it was announced that approximately $600K worth of rich top soil (from an historic manure pile) had been discovered just beneath the surface in the middle of Bohn Park? Well it seems that the excavation of
that top soil has run a foul of state and federal officials because a “cultural resource survey,” (CRS) prior to the disturbance of a previously “undisturbed” site of more than an acre was not done. But, according to Town staff, a CRS was done on the site when it was under consideration as a location for the public works building. So now a conference call has to be set up between an alphabet soup of state and federal agencies including FEMA, DOLA, SHIPO, and Town staff to try and come to a resolution. According to Markovich, worst-worst case scenario is that the Bohn Park Phase 2 project will be halted and the grant money rescinded; worst case scenario, the ballfields will be adversely affected; best case scenario, the CRS for the public works building will be accepted by the powers that be, and Bohn Park Phase 2 will be delayed.
In earlier goings on, Lyons Substation Supervisor Sgt. Bill Crist of the Boulder County Sheriff's was pleased to inform the Trustees that, “The scheduled power outage (for maintenance on the system) went smoothly; all went well.” He also reported that there were, “no incidents in the parks” during the season's first summer-like weekend. Sgt. Crist also felt that the recent CDOT striping at several locations around town is having a positive impact on the traffic calming efforts.
Markovich gave the Board an update on various projects he has been overseeing. The new public works building in the Eastern Corridor of town will be increasing in size from approximately 7,200 square feet, to a little over 9,000 square feet. He said the plans for the Second Avenue Bridge are currently at the “thirty percent level,” and that the “soft opening” for Bohn Park Phase 1 last weekend went well, and the initial feedback on the amenities has been very positive. In fact, he said that “Bohn Park Phase 1 is essentially open.” As for the progress on the whitewater features being constructed from Black Bear Hole down to the October Hole, not so much. Markovich reported that “the features will soon be completed,” but he was less than pleased with some of the work along the banks of the river near the October Hole. When pressed for an explanation by Mayor Pro Tem Barney Dreistadt, Markovich explained that the bank that looks like an amphitheater is steeper than he had envisioned, however he “hoped” that the contractor would revisit the site and make the desired adjustments.
Director of Community Relations Kim Mitchell informed the Board that the Town would be partnering with Adventure Fit in promoting and producing the PowerMan event (an international running/cycling event) scheduled for early October. Adventure Fit is a Boulder-based event production company that the Town and Oskar Blues have been working with recently to produce the Lyons Outdoor Games/Burning Can Festivals. On that note, because the Phase 2 portion of Bohn Park will most likely be delayed, Mitchell told the Trustees that the Outdoor Games/Burning Can events will be held in the dog park area of Bohn Park. She felt that because of the added distance of the stage from neighboring homes, that the sound/noise issues would be mitigated to some extent. However, she did say that she might be looking for volunteers to form a poop-scooper line to “clean up” the dog park before the start of the event.
Mitchell also talked to the Trustees about the installation of flashing pedestrian signals (similar to the ones you see in Boulder) that the Board has been considering. The cost would be about $9K per site, and the discussion centered around the number and locations. After a lengthy discussion involving nearly everyone on the Board, Mitchell, Sgt. Crist, and Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen, Mayor Connie Sullivan felt that the budget would be able to cover the added expense and directed staff to proceed with the project. The three sites deemed a priority were: Park/Rte. 36 (near the Black Bear Hole), Second/Main (near the Bank of the West), and Fifth/Main (near The Fork Restaurant). The one caveat was that an “educational” component was needed to let the public know that just because you have pressed the button and the lights are flashing, don't assume the traffic will automatically stop. You still have to be vigilant, and like Momma used to say, “Look both ways before crossing.”
Simonsen reported that because of the recent rainy/snowy weather, combined with the now balmy temperatures, the weed problem on properties (both public and private) throughout town was becoming troublesome. She wanted the public to know that now that there was a compliance officer on staff, that residents might be getting a visit if they are remiss in their efforts to control those pesky plants. She also indicated that the public did not seem to take full advantage of the discount period for licensing their K9s, and it might behoove the effort to get all dogs legal if the period was extended. (Editor's Note: Perhaps if the Town offered free licenses for all dog owners who were willing to “volunteer” to be part of the pooper-scooper line for the Outdoor Games/Burning Can it might improve the turnout).
Several residents of Upper Fifth Avenue spoke during audience business. They all reminded the Trustees about the history of the ongoing sewer problems along their street, the shifting plot/property lines and rights-of-way/easements, and the Town's previous efforts to rectify the problems as well as communications with previous Town administrations, which the residents felt showed that the sewer lines should indeed be considered public, rather than private.
Acting as the Lyons Liquor Authority, the Board approved a new tavern liquor license for The Quarry (the former Ax & Oar). The “tavern” will be using a new “self-serve” concept whereby wristbands will be issued to customers of legal age, who will then be able to self-pour their beverages (exotic craft beers from around the world, wines, and hard ciders). A computer will be synced to the wristbands to regulate (how many ounces) a particular patron will be able to pour. The proprietors said they would also be serving a limited food menu consisting of “elevated mac & cheese” (gourmet variations of the traditional comfort food), salads, and appetizers; adding that they wanted their clientele to be able to enjoy a meal and a couple of beers for around fifteen dollars. Color me there! If all goes according to plan, The Quarry will be open in time for Memorial Day weekend.
Aaron Kaplan, the Chair of the Utilities & Engineering Board (UEB), addressed the Board concerning their findings on the troublesome sewer on Upper Fifth. It seems the UEB could only find records, vis-a-vis, resolutions, H.O.A. covenants, developers' paperwork etc., going back to the mid-90s (the first houses were built in the 60s), and no maps or official documentation that would indicate whether the six-inch main (not up to current code) is actually a “publicly” owned main or a “privately” owned joint lateral. According to Town code, residents are responsible for the maintenance of laterals from their house to the Town's main. No one on the Board seemed particularly anxious to stick the eleven home owners with the bill for upkeep and repair of the line, but there was also hesitancy to have the other users in town foot the maintenance/replacement costs. Different options ran from $1000 annually to “jet” the line, to as much as $200,000 for a replacement of the line to bring it up to code. The money would have to come out of the capital improvements project fund. The issue was not resolved, and we will most likely be revisiting this thorny issue in the weeks/months to come.
Speaking of thorny issues, Kaplan also addressed the ongoing problem of too high a count of Biological Oxygenated Demand (BOD) particles going into the wastewater treatment plant, and the UEB's recommendations on crafting an a “pre-treatment ordinance” targeting businesses and other offenders to deal with the issue. It seems the problem with creating a new ordinance is the monitoring and enforcement aspect. Setting limits, and then charging an extra fee for violators doesn't solve the problem, and the continual heavy BOD loads keeps the wastewater treatment plant out of compliance with the state, and could throw a monkey wrench into development proposals in the Eastern Corridor. The Mayor stressed that “urgent steps need to be implemented” and suggested a public awareness campaign between the Town Staff and business owners, and added that quarterly or even monthly records be submitted to the Town on the maintenance and cleaning of grease traps and the monitoring of discharge of BODs into the system. This is certain to be another issue that finds its way back onto the BOT agendas in the future.
Despite the fact that no one spoke, either for or against, during a public hearing to approve an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) for a house currently under construction at 1024 Fourth Avenue, the ensuing discussion among the Trustees went down one of those rabbit holes that touched on among other things, amending the current ADU ordinance and how long that would take, setting precedent for possible future applications for ADUs, allowing the required time and opportunity for neighbors to weigh in on the process (already required in the current ordinance), ADU compliance and enforcement, the transparency of applicants' intentions, enacting a moratorium on the acceptance of applications for future ADUs, enacting a moratorium on ADUs “already in the pipeline,” defining “pipeline, and on and on. At one point when Trustee Wendy Miller questioned Town Planner Paul Glasgow what the square footage of the primary home and the ADU were, rather than allow the applicant, who was in the room and had the figures at his finger tips, to provide the answer, Sullivan shushed him and allowed Glasgow to continue to scroll through pages and pages of the application on his laptop as he searched for the information. Eventually, the Mayor allowed the applicant to provide the answer; about 3,500 sq. ft. for the primary, and a little over 600 sq. ft. for the ADU. After the resolution to allow this ADU was finally approved by a unanimous vote, a motion to direct staff to create a new ordinance to solve this “problem,” and motions to enact two separate moratoria started breaking out all over the place, none of which were noticed, nor were they on the night's agenda. Neither of the moratoria votes passed. So it was on to the consent agenda.
This included a resolution to approve an IGA between the Town and Boulder County to develop a recycling center at the wastewater treatment plant; a resolution to accept an environmental sustainability matching grant from Boulder County relating to the IGA; the May accounts payable, the April 16 BOT meeting minutes for the outgoing Board; and the April 16 BOT meeting minutes for the incoming Board.
During general business the Board discussed the delay of Bohn Park Phase 2, which we already covered, and an affordable housing update (see Amy Reinholds' column in this edition).
No executive session was needed, Trustee reports were given, and an adjournment was called.