Central City Aldermen talk new water rates

Janet Perry, Central City.  The Central City Alderman meeting was called to order by Mayor Ron Engels at 7:09 p.m. on December 6, 2016 in City Hall.  Mayor pro tem Kathy Heider, Alderman Shirley Voorhies, Alderman Judy Laratta and Alderman Jeff Aiken were present.  Also present were City Manager Daniel R. Miera, Attorney Marcus McAskin, City Clerk Reba Bechtel, Finance Director Abigail R. Adame, Utilities Director Nelson, and Fire Chief Gary Allen. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.

 
The agenda was approved, with the Public Forum sessions going first due to the inclement weather. No conflict of interest was disclosed and the Consent Agenda was approved.

 
During Public Comment, Central City Elks spokesperson Tom Feeney requested a handicap space on Pine Street for their aging members. Staff will prepare options for the council to consider. The Tommyknocker event was a huge success, according to Barbara Thielemann.

 
The First Action Item under New Business was Ordinance No. 116-05, amending certain provisions of Chapter 13 of the Municipal Code with regard to municipal utilities. This ordinance relates to regulations pertaining to the city water system. Utilities Director Josh Nelson gave the background on the ordinance, which approves certain amendments to Chapter 13 of the Municipal Code regarding the City’s water system, including codifying two new monthly fees: the service line maintenance fee and the capital improvements fee. If adopted by City Council, both fees would become effective January 1, 2017.

 
Based on calculations performed by the City’s consulting engineer and reviewed by City Staff, the service line maintenance fee is expected to bring in approximately $2,440.50 monthly ($29,286.00 annually), and the capital improvements fee would generate approximately $7,321.50 monthly ($87,858.00 annually).

 
The Ordinance creates two separate fees assessed to City water service customers for the maintenance and repair of City water service lines and other parts of the City water system.

 

Customers will be charged a “Service Line Maintenance Fee” and a “Capital Improvements Fee.” Funds generated by the Service Line Maintenance Fee will be used specifically for the maintenance and repair of City-owned water service lines. The funds generated from the Capital Improvements Fee will be used for capital costs associated with the repair or replacement of parts of the City water system. The service line maintenance fee and capital improvements fee have been set to defray the costs incurred by the City in future years.

 
Alderman Voorhies moved to adopt Ordinance No. 16-05 and further moved that the second reading and Public Hearing on this Ordinance shall be scheduled for Tuesday, December 20th at 7:00 p.m. Without discussion, the motion carried unanimously.
Ordinance No. 16-06:  An ordinance of the City Council of the City of Central, Colorado adopting water rates, fees and charges for water services.

 
Utilities Director Nelson reviewed the details of Ordinance No. 16-06 which adopts water rates, fees and charges for water services provided by the City to its customers. The new rates, fees and changes will be effective on January 1, 2017.

 
The city’s current water rates are insufficient to maintain, operate and improve the City’s water system. The proposed amendments to the water rates will help the City properly maintain and operate its water system. The City’s consulting engineer, Will Raatz, P.E., at W2 Engineers, LLC, reviewed the new rates, fees and charges with City Council at the November 15, 2016 work session.

 
Mayor pro tem Heider moved to adopt Ordinance No. 16-06 on first reading, and further moved that the second reading and Public Hearing be scheduled for Tuesday, December 20, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.

 
Resolution No. 66-35 is a cost-sharing policy for residential water meters and scheduling repayment of costs to commence on January 1, 2017. Utilities Director Nelson explained that this adopts a cost-sharing policy for installation of water meters on residential properties and institutes the procedure for reimbursing paying the City for the portion owed by residential property owners. Specifically, the Resolution authorizes the imposition of a “Residential Meter Repayment Charge” of $7.50 per month. This is in addition to the $90.00 for installation.

 
Alderman Laratta moved to approve Resolution No. 16-35 and the motion carried unanimously.

 
Ordinance No. 16-07 would impose a temporary 180-day suspension on the submission, acceptance, processing, and approval of any application for a City of Central permit or license related to the operation of a marijuana-related business and declaring the intention of the City Council to consider the adoption of amendments to existing City regulations concerning the locations of such businesses and the adoption of limitations on the number of such businesses within the City.

 
Attorney McAskin explained that Ordinance No. 16-07 approves a temporary 180-day suspension on the issuance of medical and/or retail marijuana licenses under applicable provisions of the City of Central Municipal Code. The fear is that too many properties will be taken up by Cannabis shops and other types of shops might not be able to compete.
The proposed Ordinance does nothing to interfere with the operations of already-existing businesses. The city needs time to determine whether to amend the Municipal Code to address the potential increase in marijuana establishments within the City.

 
Mayor pro tem Heider moved to adopt Ordinance on first reading, and further moved that second reading and Public Hearing on this Ordinance be scheduled for Tuesday, December 20, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. Without discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

 
Resolution No. 16-36: adopting and appropriating the 2017 Budget, adopting the Capital Improvement Plan, setting the Property Tax Mill Levy and Approving the Central City BID 2017 Operating Plan and Budget.

 
Resolution 16-36 officially adopts the 2017 Budget and appropriates funding for the expenditures indicated. Resolution 16-36 also adopts the Capital Improvement Plan, sets the City’s property tax mill levy at 9.701 mills and approves the Central City Business Improvement District’s 2017 Operating Plan and Budget. During public comment, David Josslynn, said the City, Council and staff have made good progress on the budget.

 
Mayor pro tem Heider moved to approve Resolution No. 16-36, Voorhies seconded, and without discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

 
City Manager Miera said there is interest for potential development on the Big T Lot. Gaming on this property is limited to 200 slot machines.

 
City Manager Miera announced that traffic stops on the parkway are mostly warnings.
Alderman Voorhies thanked Barb Thielemann and volunteers for a great job with the Tommy-knocker event.

 
There were no requests for public comment at the end of the meeting.

 
Mayor Engels closed the meeting at 7:59 p.m.

 
The next meeting is scheduled for December 20, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in City Hall.