If it's October, it must be budget time. The Board of Trustees (BOT) held a lengthy pre-meeting workshop Monday evening to hear from staff about the requests from various departments for the proposed 2019 budget.
Lyons Substation Supervisor Sgt. Bill Crist was unexpectedly called away, so there was no Sheriff's report. But he will most likely be getting an earful from the Board about dogs off leash at the next meeting. It seems Trustee Michael Karavas and his wife have had three different incidents over the past few months of unleashed dogs attacking their leashed dog while on their morning/evening walks about town. At least one of which
resulted in a hefty vet bill. Mayor Connie Sullivan also reported numerous incidents of dogs off leash joining her on her daily runs in the vicinity of the high school track/football field. Apparently many dog owners assume that the leash law doesn't apply to and from the Bohn Park parking lot and the dog park. It does! Trustee Wendy Miller said, “Speaking from personal experience, call animal control, they will issue tickets with hefty fines.” Karavas countered that when the dog is running free, it is not always possible to determine ownership. Sullivan agreed, saying if you don't have your phone with you when you are out for a run, it's generally too late once you get home. Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen said part of the problem is that so few Lyons residents actually license their dogs. She estimated that only about thirty or so dogs have valid Town of Lyons dog licenses! Everyone agreed that hefty fines and stepped up enforcement by the Boulder County animal control officer and the Town code enforcement officer were needed, as well as enhanced public education. So Lyons dog owners, consider yourself educated.
Simonsen informed the gathering that the grading at the site for the new public works building was, “wrapping up,” and that the contract for the building itself was, “going out to bid.” Bohn Park Phase 2 is still in a holding pattern waiting for FEMA approval of the cultural/environmental impact studies approval. Simonsen said she was in talks with Boulder County about expanding the hours of construction for the water main through Apple Valley. Apparently Boulder County is more restrictive about hours of operation than the Town of Lyons, and the residents along the road are anxious to have the work completed.
The proposed Third Avenue pedestrian bridge (near the site of the former “Christmas House”) is moving along slowly and should be completed by the summer of 2019. Not so the replacement of the Fourth Avenue pedestrian bridge, which is back to the drawing board awaiting design approval from FEMA. Flood Recovery Project Manager Joe Kubala was pleased to announce that the paving over at the new wastewater treatment plant is completed, and “temporary fencing” is coming down and the permanent fencing, gates, and lighting will soon be installed. Also, he reported that the recycling bins (everything except the cardboard box crusher) on Railroad Avenue have been moved to their new site, located at the wastewater treatment plant.
During audience business, two concerned Moms, representing a consortium of Lyons Elementary School mothers, implored the Trustees to consider allocating funds for improvements to the signage/cross walks in the area surrounding the school during their budget discussions. They cited several incidents of close calls involving speeding traffic and kids making their way to and from school and were very worried that a tragedy is just waiting to happen. No doubt another thing for Sgt. Crist to address at the next meeting.
There were two public hearings, at which no one from the public spoke. The first was in regard to amending Town Code for the term of the mayor. This was voted on, and supported by the residents in the April municipal election. The term-limit for the mayor's position will now be four two-year terms instead of the previous three two-year terms. There was also some discussion about readdressing the term limits for the trustees so that they align with the mayor's. The second ordinance was in regard to the late fees charged on delinquent utility accounts. Trustee Juli Waugh immediately recused herself from the discussion and vote saying she felt was “too close to home” following the recent issue between the Town and River Bend/Wee Casa. (She is married to one of the partners.) This item was about amending percentages and math errors in the code. Trustee Mark Browning had some other suggestions to add to the amendment, but since the Town Attorney, Brandon Dittman, indicated he was planning on addressing several issues concerning delinquent accounts in the code, the rest of the Board felt it would be better to address these holistically at a future time. Both ordinances passed unanimously; the first seven to zero, and the second six to zero.
In an unusual move, the Board then called for an executive session to determine positions, discuss strategies, and obtain legal advice regarding the ongoing dispute with Honeywell International, Inc. involving an energy cost-saving contract. Usually executive sessions are called at the end of the meeting, but in order to speak with another attorney via phone, it was necessary to call this executive session earlier. So, everyone not entitled to be present was asked to leave the chamber.
About a half hour later, the regular meeting was resumed, and it was on to the consent agenda. Four of the nine items on the agenda were pulled for further discussion. The remaining five: the first reading of an ordinance concerning the proposed amending of the outdoor activity overlay district; a resolution in opposition of Amendment 74 to the Colorado Constitution requiring the government to compensate owners of private property for reduced value of property due to laws or regulations; a resolution awarding a construction agreement with DeFalco for work on the public works site; the accounts payable for October; and a resolution approving a $10K marketing grant were approved forthwith.
Under general business, the Trustees approved a resolution to create an Ad Hoc Advisory Committee for the revolving loan fund. Browning again had a few amendments he wanted added to this resolution. He felt in order to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, no member of the Ad Hoc Committee should be either a Town employees, nor a member of the Board of Trustees. Everyone agreed, and this measure passed without a dissenting vote. The Board then accepted the “initial draft budget for 2019” that was reviewed and discussed during the earlier workshop, and Simonsen gave the Trustees a housing update (see details in Amy Reinholds' column in this edition).
The first of the four items removed from the consent agenda was a resolution in support of Proposition #110 – Let's Go Colorado (a state-wide 0.62% sales tax increase to pay for needed transportation improvements). Sullivan wanted language in the resolution added to inform the voters that #110 would insure the a portion of the monies raised would go directly to municipalities (in Lyons' case, according to Sullivan, about $75K annually) as opposed to a similar proposition, #109 – Fix Our Damn Roads, on the ballot where the dispersion of funds directly to municipalities wouldn't be the case. A second resolution, this one involving an amendment to a construction agreement with ZAK Dirt, Inc., for overlot grading of the new public works facility; it seems there was a deeper layer of clay than the Town had originally estimated. The third resolution involved ratifying the decision made the BOT regarding utility payments for 501 West Main Street (aka River Bend/Wee Casa). This time both Trustees Waugh and Miller (who works for River Bend) recused themselves from the discussion and vote. The final item pulled from the consent agenda was the minutes from the September 17, BOT meeting. Browning wanted the record to reflect that he had voted “no” on the Library District request for sharing the expense of moving the flood warning siren, and the vote tally should have been 4 to 3, instead of 5 to 2 as was in the official minutes.
All four of the items passed unanimously, either 7 to 0, or 5 to 0 in the case of the recusals.
The Trustees then gave their reports. Sullivan asked that the next agenda (October 15) contain an item pertaining to a survey of Lyons residents concerning Boulder County's proposed shooting range just outside of Lyons. A second executive session was then called. This one for the purpose of discussing the possible purchase, acquisition, transfer, or sale of real property; and determining positions, negotiation strategies, and obtaining legal advice for real property interests in the Eastern Corridor and within the town limits. After the executive session concluded, the meeting was adjourned.