Central City allocates donation to Belvidere Theater

Janet Perry, Central City. The November 3rd Central City Alderman Meeting was called to order by Mayor Engels at 7:07 pm in City Hall. All current members were present as well as town staff. The consent agenda, with regular bill lists through October 29, and the council minutes from the October 6th meeting were approved.

Alderman Voorhies asked if the town had received reimbursement for a fuel incident.  City Manager Meira said the city had received $16,000 for the loss of fuel.

Mayor pro tem Heider then opened the Liquor License Authority so that they could review the Permanent Modification of Premise, for Reserve Casino Hotel. This would allow for a doorway opening to the patio on the second level and allow for an expansion of the storage area for liquor on the Level 1 parking area. The City Clerk said that this would be the first step for the hotel to make the necessary changes without disrupting their current business while they apply for their second liquor license and a Common Consumption Area allowing for extended hours to serve liquor. The Attorney for the Reserve Casino Hotel, Kevin Coates, said that this will allow construction to get started on the doorway to the patio and the expansion of the storage area in Parking.  Heider made the motion to approve, and the motion carried unanimously. Alderman Voorhies then made the motion to close the Local Liquor License Authority, and the motion carried.

The Second Reading and Public Hearing for Ordinance No. 15-07, regarding sign regulations was then begun to allow for public comment. Ordinance No. 15-07 was meant to repeal the old sign code and enact a new one. Chapter 14 of the Municipal code would be rewritten where it regards sign regulations. The consideration of regulations was for content neutrality, number, area, structure and placement of signs, allowed materials and design elements, lighting, illumination, and the maintenance and duration of signs.

Attorney McAskin said that this was intended to “balance First Amendment concerns with the city’s interest in advancing important, substantial, and compelling government interests.” A member of the Sign Code Steering Committee, Harrv Malstair, confirmed that the code contained a ‘set back’ from windows.

Special Counsel Todd Messenger added that additional changes had been made to prohibit roof signs, as well as to address window transparency above 8 feet in height. The 86% transparency standard will remain intact.

Although the sign at the Methodist church would be non-conforming, it would be allowed to remain. However, new, similar signs would not be allowed, according to Messenger. The Community Development Department will deal with code enforcement in a friendly, professional way, with a goal towards education, explained Meira. The motion to approve the new sign code was approved unanimously.

The next item on the agenda was Ordinance 15-8, approving a License Fee Rebate Agreement with G.F Gaming Corporation. Attorney McAskin explained that the city needs to secure funds to help with the purchase of, and improvements for, the Big-T parking lot.

G.F. Gaming is willing to pre-pay $600,000 in annual license fees, in accordance with Section 6-5-30 of the city’s municipal code. Negotiations continue on the initial draft of the Rebate Agreement. The agreement would only involve the Device Fee.

The Transportation Fee would not be affected. The city must recognize an additional $600,000 in revenue for Fiscal Year 2015 in order to approve the Rebate Agreement. The adopted Fiscal Year 2015 budget does not reflect the amount.

G.F. Gaming currently leases the Big-T parking lot from record owner, Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. Once purchased by the city, the parking lot would be used as a public surface parking lot. Employees and customers of the G. F. Gaming casinos would be permitted to use the lot.

A Public Hearing was opened for the ordinance, but there was no comment from the public. Mayor pro tem Haider thanked City Manager Meira for his work and noted that this was ‘exciting progress’ for Central City. The motion to adopt the ordinance was passed unanimously.

Similarly, the public hearing opened for Ordinance 15-9 brought no public comment.  The ordinance would approve the acquisition of the Big-T parking lot from Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. The City is in the final stages of the purchase and sale agreement with ‘Pinnacle’ for the property. There is a 45-day inspection period, explained Miera, and that would allow for a closing in mid-December. The motion was made to adopt Ordinance 15-9 and it too passed unanimously.

The Alderman meeting then moved to New Business. The first action item was an appointment to the I-70 Coalition and the Gilpin Ambulance Authority. Alderman Voorhies was then voted as the appointment for the I-70 Coalition, and Mayor pro tem Heider was appointed to the Gilpin Ambulance Authority.

The Main Street Lighting Program was the next action item. Manager Miera asked for direction for continuing the lighting on Main Street, as well as to have the staff work on expansion plans for Lawrence and Eureka. Council agreed it has been a positive program and voted unanimously to continue the program and to expand it onto Lawrence and Eureka.

The next action item was Resolution 15-20, accepting a private monetary donation from Amos B. Clark Jr. and deciding the allocation of the funds. The $10,000 donation was made on behalf of the Amos family, including his late wife, Patty Clark who wanted to support historic preservation in Central City. The donation also includes members of the Laird family, publishers of the Weekly Register-Call, and the Ress family of Russell Gulch. The Belvidere Theater project was agreed upon as a good use of the donation. The motion to approve the Resolution accepting the donation was approved unanimously.

The last action item was Resolution 15-21, calling for a Special Mail Ballot Election in Feb, 2016 to elect a successor for the remaining term of former Alderman Gaines. Alderman Gaines resignation was effective as of October 19, 2015. There would be a petition period from November 4 – November 23rd. The cost was expected to be between $1,500 and $2,000. The motion to approve carried unanimously.

Under Staff Updates, Alderman Voorhies gave a welcome back to Police Chief Krelle.  Public Works Director Hoover explained that all that was left of the project was the striping and rumble strips, except for some warranty work that would be completed in the Spring.

Under Council Comments, Alderman Laratta complimented City Manager Miera on the progress on City 2015. Miera then said the team effort of the council and staff has been important. Mayor Engels also thanked everyone for their work on the new sign code, purchase of the Big-T lot, and city beautification.

Under Public Forum, community member Jeff Nelson spoke of problems in the Spring Street neighborhood.

The GM for Reserve Casino Hotel, Shannon Keel, announced that she has resigned. She thanked the city for the work accomplished this past year. She was praised for her participation by the Mayor, who wished her the ‘best of luck.’

They then moved to adjourn and go into Executive Session to discuss an Employment Agreement.