Newly crowned Colorado 2A high school state wrestling champ Keegan Bean was recognized for his achievement at Tuesday night's Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting; the young grappler then led the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance to start the meeting. That and the new chairs and tables in council chambers were the high points of the evening.
Lyons Substation Supervisor Sgt. Bill Crist of the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, with a crimson face, apologized to the Trustees
for missing the February 6 meeting. He could have easily claimed he got called away on an emergency, but he manned up and admitted, “I forgot. I'm still not used to working on Mondays and Tuesdays.” Nice to see someone in a position of power and authority not subscribing to the current trend of “alternative facts.” He reported that he is still exploring options (portable speed bumps, circles, signage, etc.) to deal with heavier traffic and increased speeds through neighborhoods. He intends to schedule meetings with residents to get their input (date and location TBD; probably won't be on a Monday or Tuesday). Crist also noted that the Old Man Winter event went off relatively smoothly; only a couple of “minor incidents,” despite the fact that the number of participants (about nine hundred) and spectators was about double of what was expected.
Finance Director Tony Cavalier ran the Board through a finance update (cash position, cash flow, sales tax, year-end financials, and Community Disaster Assistance Loan). As of the end of January the various Town bank accounts have a collective balance of approximately $11 million; that's good. Cash flow (reimbursements) from the state and federal governments still remains a challenge and will have to be managed closely to ensure that scheduled flood recovery projects continue unimpeded; not so good. Sales tax revenues (a little over a $1 million) for 2016 were above what was budgeted ($840K) for; seemingly good. Because of the increased sales tax revenues, the Community Disaster Assistance Loan (Sort of like a low-interest line of credit the state gave the Town back in late 2013, which might have turned into a grant if the Town were not able to get back on it's feet economically.), which has not been drawn on yet will have to be paid back (and not become a grant) if the Town should decide it needed to use the available funds. So all in all, the Town's financial state is more good than bad considering what it has been juggling over the last three and a half years.
Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen informed the Board that Bohn Park recovery efforts were “moving along,” and that the river has been diverted for reshaping and grading work. She told the Trustees that many of the trees, which the flood uprooted or silted in, had died and needed to be removed, but assured everyone that efforts to replace the trees would be undertaken. She also notified the Trustees that “alternatives” for the Fourth Avenue pedestrian bridge were being explored, and that the ultimate design for the replacement bridge “would not be as we knew it, and would be at a cost of three times what was budgeted.” Simonsen also announced that the annual spring clean-up day would take place on the weekend of May 5 and 6.
Jeff Crane of the Watershed Board, and its newest member Robert Brakenridge addressed the Trustees about the proposed design plan for the reaches above and below the Old South St. Vrain bridge, and the need to integrate the two. They also discussed some funding issues facing the river mitigation efforts along stretches of the North St. Vrain in Apple Valley.
In what was essentially an annual procedural endeavor the Trustees approved the second reading of an ordinance that prescribed terms for the Town's water rights to use Colorado Big Thompson Project water with the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District.
Half of the consent agenda was pulled for further discussion. The items that remained were the first reading of an ordinance to amend Town code concerning compensation for the Mayor and Trustees; the February accounts payable; and two resolutions approving professional service agreements (one with Oskar Blues and the other with Adventure Fit) for the operation of the 2017 Lyons Outdoor Games.
During general business, two resolutions dealing with the renting of LaVern Johnson Park to Planet Bluegrass for camping during the RockyGrass and Folks Festivals were once again discussed at great length. The BOT discussed this very issue only two weeks ago, and pretty much touched all the bases and possible scenarios; the only difference was that this time Brian Eyster from the Planet was present. Eyster assured the Trustees up front that access to the park by “80540 locals” was fine, and the Planet was prepared to issue special wrist bands to any and all walk-in locals who desired to use the park during the festival weeks. None the less, another rambling discussion among the elected officials ensued, covering the exact ground and issues that were so extensively covered on February 6. Mayor Connie Sullivan still felt that either everyone from the general public, no matter their zip code, or none of the general public should be allowed access, a point she made several times. The other Trustees also weighed in with pretty much the same issues and thoughts they expressed a fortnight before. Trustee Dan Greenberg did question whether Planet was prepared to allow everyone from 80540 (over 2,000 residents) or impose a limit. Eyster indicated that all locals who desired access would be accommodated. About the only new ground that came to light was when the Mayor asked that Planet Bluegrass be made aware that all signage (parking and directional) must be temporary, and no more spray painting of the sidewalks and road ways. Parks & Rec. Director Dave Cosgrove then sheepishly admitted that the spray painting last year was done by one of the Town staff. Oops! Never mind. In the end, the resolutions (allowing 80540 residents access) both passed in a six to one vote. Sullivan, who voted no because of her “everyone-or-no-one” stance, asked Eyster to, “Tell Craig (Ferguson) nothing personal.”
Three other resolutions deeming work done immediately post-flood to be “reasonable and necessary” by Robert Boone of Lyons Excavating, Steve McCain of Hat Rock Excavating, and Louie Gonzales of American Landscape & Restoration, were approved. These were similar to the three passed at the last meeting deeming the work of Dave Wechsler of Portable Welding, Raul Vasquez of Blue Mountain Stone, and Robert Ribble of Triple R Excavating to also be “reasonable and necessary.” A big “thank-you” is owed to all these men and businesses who stepped in when they were needed most.
Two items removed from the consent agenda for further discussion were the first reading of an ordinance amending Town Code concern terms of office (two years or four years) for the Mayor and Trustees, and the first reading of an ordinance setting compensation (Mayor - $400 pr/mo; Trustees - $200 pr/mo) to commence after the 2018 municipal election were passed, the former in a six to one vote (Trustee Wendy Miller descenting) and the latter by a seven to zero margin. There will be a second reading and public hearing on these matters at March 6 BOT meeting. The other two items pulled, the February 6 BOT meeting minutes and a resolution to accept public improvements for Lyons Valley Park filing #8, needed a small correction and a typo on a date. These were quickly and unanimously approved.
Then it was time for Trustee reports, a summary of action items, and adjournment.