During a pre-meeting workshop the Trustees interviewed two law firms (Widner & Juran, LLP; and Michow, Cox, & McAskin, LLP) about representing the Town in the future. Michow and Cox were formerly with the Widner group, and represented the Town before
breaking off to form their own firm. They, Michow, Cox, & McAskin, currently represent the Town in legal matters. A third firm will be interviewed before a decision is made.
Lyons Substation Supervisor Sgt. Bill Crist of the Boulder County Sheriff's Office was not able to make Monday night's Board of Trustees' meeting, but his report was read into the record. The portable lighted speed limit trailer has been repaired and will be back in use at various locations around town where drivers might need a little visual reminder. And, not too surprisingly (because of the inclement weather) no incidents were reported in the parks over the weekend.
Finance Director Anna Canada gave the Board her monthly update on how things stand with the Town's finances for this quarter. Things look good, and as an unexpected bonus, the Town's energy supplier, MEAN, sent the Town a rebate check for around $58K. Maybe we should change their name to NICE!
Flood Recovery Manager Richard Markovich informed the Trustees that after phone conversations with various federal and state agencies pertaining to the recent issues (the excavation of the historic manure treasure trove and not having conducted the proper environmental or historical/cultural impact survey) with the Bohn Park Phase 2 project, he is hopeful there is “a path forward.” But, he cautioned the delays could be as long as three to six months, and might mean an increase in the cost. Oh well, good news from the Finance Director, bad news from Flood Recovery. As long as Markovich was in the hot seat, Trustee Mark Browning took the opportunity to grill him about the “promised” scheduled public meetings to get input from residents and users concerning the proposed skateboard plaza in Bohn Park. Browning seemed a little perplexed when it was determined that no public meetings had yet occurred, nor have any been scheduled, and the contractor's “perfect plans” seem to be going on without that public input. Markovich admitted that he was not really up to speed on the skateboard plaza, and it was decided that Parks & Rec. Director Dave Cosgrove would occupy the hot seat at the next meeting and fill the Trustees in on all things having to do with the plaza.
Town Engineer Job Kubala reported that the Biochemical Oxygenated Demand (BOD) count at the wastewater treatment plant was still above the state's operating levels for the licensing of the plant. The latest BOD count was 954 BODs, which is well above the allowed 704 BODs. They, the state, would actually prefer the levels to be twenty percent below the allowed number, so the real target number would be 560 BODs. Kubala indicated he has been working with businesses to ensure that they are complying with Town codes, i.e., installing, maintaining, and cleaning grease traps, and getting the word out to all users (residential and commercial) of the system about what should and should not be put down their drains and toilets. Kubala was fairly confident that these steps will help get the BOD numbers into the acceptable range. On a brighter note, he informed the Board that despite the high numbers, the plant is working exceptionally well and effluent was “very clean.”
Director of Community Programs & Relations, Kim Mitchell, updated the Trustees on the Downtown Revolving Loan program set up pre-flood by former Mayor John O'Brien and others back when he was the Chair of the Lyons Economic Gardening Group. The program allows business owners to apply for loans (zero percent for the first two years, and then a negotiated low interest rate for the rest) to grow their business. Several business owners have taken advantage of the loans and are paying them back, but the program has kind of fallen by the wayside over the last few years. Mitchell indicated that she is in the process of getting additional funds for the program, and would like the public to be aware of the opportunities it presents. Several Trustees voiced that the additional funds for loans might be helpful for businesses wanting to come into compliance with the aforementioned BOD ordinance. Just a thought.
Steve Simms from the Ecology Board gave an update on what his group has been up to. Basically, it's weeds, and mitigation of weeds both in the parks and along Main Street. Do we pull by hand with volunteer help, spray chemicals, or plant and maintain other ground cover to hold the weeds in abeyance? And what are the costs? Those are the questions the Board will be wrestling with during the upcoming “weed season.”
Craig Ferguson, of Planet Bluegrass, asked the Trustees during a public hearing to amend (for the upcoming 2018 festivals only) the restrictions against holding “minor events” (in this case the traditional line-up for camping spots on the grounds of Planet) at the recently annexed Planet Bluegrass Ranch (the former Williams property) on Sundays. Since Bohn Park will still be under construction, and rather than have Song School and Academy participants park haphazardly around town while waiting for camping spots, Ferguson wants to have the two hundred and fifty cars line up at the Ranch, and then be escorted, twenty-five at a time, by sheriff's deputies to the festival camping grounds. There was some discussion among the Board of setting precedents, transparency, and changing/amending annexation agreements. Mayor Connie Sullivan didn't feel that all other options, i.e., the Bohn Park Phase 1 completed parking lot or the wastewater treatment plant parking lot, had been explored. Trustee Jocelyn Farrell was worried about clogging up traffic in town, and the two were the dissenting votes when the measure passed five to two.
The consent agenda, consisting of the May accounts payable and the May 7, BOT meeting minutes were passed unanimously in the blink of an eye. A third item, a contract for a part-time hire of a human resource staff assistant for flood recovery, was pulled by Trustee Juli Waugh; she thought it should be a full-time assistant, and should be considered in future budget talks. This too was passed unanimously.
During general business, the Board got a housing update, via phone, from Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen, and had a discussion and gave direction to staff concerning the Green's development proposal for the former Longmont wastewater treatment plant. (See Amy Reinholds' column in this edition for details.)
Finally, there was a discussion with Town Planner Paul Glasgow concerning the prioritization of projects for available funds for sub-regional transportation improvement projects. It was decided that the two most likely projects, with “regional benefits,” to get approval were: improvements on Broadway between Third and Fifth Avenues, and a traffic study.