John Scarffe, Nederland.
Nederland residents packed the Nederland Community Center to express their views on marijuana growing operations in the Town’s residential neighborhoods before the Nederland Board of Trustees during a meeting on January 5, 2016. The Board was considering an ordinance to change zoning and licensing laws related to retail marijuana cultivation, as they related to place of operation.
The ordinance would prohibit retail marijuana cultivation to take place in residential zoning districts, specifically the High, Medium, and Low-Density Residential zones and the Mountain Residential zone. Mayor Joe Gierlach proposed passing the ordinance. The motion passed with Trustees Lee and Mueller voting against it.
On February 8, 2016, the Nederland Downtown Development Authority sent out an informational email with regards to their Debt Authorization Ballot Question. The email stated that the NDDA will ask the Trustees to approve their 2016 Debt Authorization Ballot Question on February 9, 2016 so that they may begin their new projects.
The NDDA Vision and 2016 Master Plan guide the NDDA in their work. That work is meant to benefit the business district, the town and surrounding region by bettering the “health and financial viability” of the town’s businesses.
The email went on to say that the Ballot Question will ask the NDDA district voters (the property owners and business lessees within the NDDA district) to approve allowing the NDDA to borrow up to $2.924 million plus interest (amount pending approval) to pay for improvements and programs in the district.
During a special session at 8:30 p.m. on February 9, 2016, the Nederland Board of Trustees voted on whether to place a debt authorization for the NDDA on the ballot in April. The Board considered a resolution to call an election of the Nederland Downtown Development Authority electorate to consider a ballot question for debt.
The NDDA Board approved the question at its January 20, 2016, meeting. Town Administrator Alisha Reis said this debt authorization allows the DDA to look for opportunities for grants and partnerships. The Board passed the resolution sending the question to the April election on a three to two vote with Trustees Donahue, Lee and Wood in favor, and Trustees Fiori and Mueller voting against it.
A final contract for the NedPeds pathway and storm water project at a cost of $936,000 traveled to the Board of Trustees on February 16, 2016. Reis said the total cost was within the Town’s budget. The pathway connects the RTD parking lot with other pathways and bus stops along Second Street to East Street in town to the Post Office and improves storm water drainage along the way. The Board considered the final contract with Greeley-based Consolidated Resource, which was the responsive bidder in last fall’s solicitation for contractors to build the NedPeds pathway and storm water project. Consolidated Resource’s bid fit within the available construction budget.
The Board voted to award the project to Consolidated Resource and authorized the Mayor to sign the ensuing contract. The contract was signed by the contractor on February 11, 2016.
The Trustees considered a water discount proposal for the Community Gardens at 34 East First Street on March 15, 2016. Nine Nederland residents spoke in favor of the proposal.
Trustee Charles Wood pledged $50 of his own money for the project and moved to approve the fee waiver. The Board approved the motion.
A State grant will fund repairs to the Town’s sanitary sewer pipelines with a related engineering task order for Town contract engineers JVA Inc. Nederland has been awarded funds from a natural disaster grant from the State Health Department totaling $256,000 to continue repairs to the Nederland Sanitary Sewer system.
As in past grants received, a portion is allocated to engineering and construction administration. For several years, Nederland has been trying to address inflow and infiltration problems with the collection system.
This spring, the Town will camera more of the collection system, pinpoint areas to improve and once again make the necessary repairs to mitigate inflow and infiltration. The 2016 budget also includes $50,000 toward the project, which will be exceeded due to the grant funds, thus allowing the Town to re-direct those funds to another project. The Board agreed to accept the grant.
The Board approved a request from the Mountain Pickleball & Tennis Association (MTPA) for a grant match to resurface the Racquets and Ice for Nederland Kids (RINK) tennis and ice courts on March 15, 2016. A $2,650 Board commitment would match funds for a United States Tennis Association (USTA) grant to resurface Town owned tennis courts.
Also on March 15, the Board considered a plan to convert streetlights to LED technology with Xcel Energy. Xcel contacted the Town about replacing street lights with LED technology.
Representatives from Xcel Energy, the community’s electrical and gas service provider, contacted the Town earlier this year to introduce the company’s new program to convert street lighting to light-emitting diode (LED) technology. Town staff and elected officials had been talking with Xcel representatives for several years about Nederland’s goals to reduce energy use and light pollution.
The Board agreed that the Town can compete with Xcel on this and can get the same service at a cheaper price. The Board should wrap all the lights into one plan instead of just what Xcel has.
A representative of LiveWell Colorado stepped up for a presentation to the Board on March 15. Julie George, director of HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign for LiveWell, presented the program and a sample resolution.
Cities and towns and their residents face increased health care costs and diminished quality of life due to the epidemic of obesity. Municipal leaders across Colorado are addressing the crisis by implementing policies that increase opportunities for healthy eating and active living (HEAL).
The HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign began in 2012 when LiveWell Colorado received grant funding from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and entered into a strategic partnership with the Colorado Municipal League (CML). The Campaign aims to reduce and prevent obesity by engaging municipal leaders to champion healthy eating and active living in their communities.
The Board approved the resolution and approved a resolution declaring March 15 as Earth Day in Nederland. The April 5 Board meeting was canceled due to Town elections.
A new mayor and three trustees were sworn into office, and a fourth trustee was appointed during the April 19, 2016 Board meeting. Town Clerk LauraJane Baur swore in new Mayor Kristopher Larsen and new Trustees Dallas Masters, Julie Gustafson and Stephanie Miller.
According to results from the April 5 Nederland elections, Larsen was elected as mayor by a vote of 273 to 181 over Chris Perret. Larsen presented the next item on the agenda, filling the Board vacancy left when he was elected mayor.
Topher Donahue, who had just finished his term as trustee and ran again for the position in 2016, was appointed to the position. He procured the next highest number of votes in the election, with 195 votes.
The Board re-appointed all current staff members: Alisha Reis as town administrator and zoning administrator, LauraJane Baur as town clerk, Paul Carrill as town marshal, Carmen Beery as town attorney, Donna Schneider as town prosecutor and David Gloss as municipal judge. Gloss also received a two-year extension of his contract.
The new Board learned about dealing with contracts that same night. First the board considered a contract with Robert Half International (dba Accountemps) for accounting services. The proposed contract was for professional services with the Boulder accounting staffing firm.
The Board approved the contract. Next the trustees considered a contract with MW Golden to build the new Town Maintenance Shops. The Board approved the town shop project in the summer of 2015.
The project was put out to bid late last fall, as voters in November 2015 approved the retention of project grant funds awarded by the State Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). The Board approved the contract.
The Nederland Downtown Development Authority debated methods for promoting its draft master plan on April 20, 2016. The master plan discussion followed the April 5 Nederland election during which the Board’s ballot question was defeated by a 33 to 29 vote.
The ballot question asked voters to approve a $2.9 million debt authorization with an overall 20-year repayment of $5.1 million. The debt authorization would have financed projects in line with the DDA’s Plan of Development, a document that governs all expenditures within the district and further described in its master plan.
Board Member Susan Schneider asked what had to change to turn it from the master plan draft to a final plan. Harms said the board needs to take comments from the advisory boards and the public and incorporate those into the draft.
The Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Development presented its recommendations to the Board on May 3, 2016. Task Force Chair Randy Lee summarized a report of 14 recommendations, including a second crossing over Middle Boulder Creek and hiring an economic development staff person.
Multi-family units meeting Nederland’s need for housing are underway on Third and Fourth streets in the coming years.
Nederland resident Wendy Williams brought a proposal for the units to the Board on May 3. The Board approved the application for a Final Planned Unit Development.
The proposal includes 12 total units on Third and Fourth Streets. Eleven of the units, except Williams’ existing residence, will be less than 1,000 square feet in size and one-story, one-to-two bedroom units. The eighth unit will be a two-story unit attached to the Williams’ current principal residence at 442 W. Fourth Street.
On May 17, 2016, the Board was introduced to two new personnel who will enforce building and general codes for the Town of Nederland. Michael Sizemore was introduced as the new building official, and Jennifer Nelson will be enforcing Town codes.
Safebuilt provides inspection services for the Town, and reports will now be made quarterly. Michael Sizemore, with Safebuilt, said he is in his third week in Nederland and his 31st year in building inspection. Jennifer Nelson will be replacing Sherry Snyder in code enforcement.
The Nederland Downtown Development Authority discussed feedback on its draft master plan on May 18, 2016. The board also learned about upcoming board vacancies, and that current members planned to reapply for those positions.
The board sought a new debt authorization and needed to have the master plan completed, so the Board of Trustees could approve the debt authorization in August, in time to place the question on the November ballot. Trustee Liaison Kevin Mueller had a large number of edits for the plan.
The board also learned that it had two board terms expiring on June 30, 2016. The seats were held by Board Chair Katrina Harms and Susan Schneider. They both reapplied for their seats.
The NedPeds project to construct a new Nederland pathway from the RTD lot to the Post Office began in May. The project began by staking the route and contactors stockpiled materials at Guercio Memorial Ballfield
Reis presented updates on the project at the May 17, 2016 Board of Trustees meeting and at the NDDA meeting on May 18. “We will see some materials arrive, heavy equipment, water piping. They’re going to dig up Second Street, dig a big hole and then fill it and cap it with concrete,” Reis said. The project was surveyed and ready to start.
The Board discussed a resolution setting goals for economic sustainability, infrastructure and housing and established work sessions for each on June 7, 2016. The Board’s goals for the 2016 to 2018 term arose out of a retreat attended by all members of the Board and Town management staff.
The first goal, economic sustainability, involved the Nederland Downtown Development Authority (NDDA). The Board’s second goal was infrastructure and the Town Shop. The third goal was the housing situation and projects that will advance workforce housing.
The Board discussed a draft ordinance to increase density of housing units in High Density Residential (HDR) zoning districts on June 7, 2016. The Nederland Planning Commission forwarded the draft ordinance to the Trustees.
The ordinance would extend the ability to increase the density of housing units, already permitted in Neighborhood Commercial (NC) zoning districts, to High Density Residential (HDR) zoning districts, as well. HDR areas are located mainly in Old Town, with a few lots near Chipeta Park. The NC areas, where the density increase allowance already exists, are located in downtown areas near the reservoir and around the library. The Board agreed to set a public hearing on the issue for July 19, 2016.
The Board approved a resolution authorizing a loan from the Town’s Water Fund to the Nederland Downtown Development Authority (NDDA) in support of NedPeds construction. Reis said the funds can be allocated to complete construction for storm water improvements and the pathway. The June 21 meeting was canceled due to lack of quorum.
Nederland Mayor Pro-tem Charles Wood led a work session with the Nederland Board of Trustees and The Nederland Downtown Development Authority Board on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. The work session resulted from the Trustees’ goal regarding economic sustainability.
Wood, the Trustee liaison to the NDDA, and Trustees Stephanie Miller and Julie Gustafson, who attended by telephone, met with the full NDDA board. Changes to the Master Plan were to be completed by the end of July for a review and acceptance at the NDDA’s August Meeting.
The Master Plan was released to the public and sent to the Board of Trustees in September. The NDDA Board voted to place the Debt Authorization up for vote in February 2017 and presented a schedule at the July meeting.
On June 19, 2016, Old Town residents packed the Nederland Community Center to debate the proposed ordinance, introduced on June 7, that would increase the density of housing units. During public comment, more than 10 residents addressed the Board. Three favored the ordinance and the rest were opposed. Mayor Larsen said the Board should table this tonight and use it as a springboard for discussions at the August work session.
The Board considered a proposal for third-party commissioning for the Town Maintenance Shop project on July 5, 2016. The proposal, by Iconergy, included several work tasks and pricing related to observations, testing, documentation and training for the new facility.
The proposal was broken down into individual tasks, and costs were assigned to each task. The total proposal would add up to $11,775 to the project, and would need to be provided for by cash in the Town’s fund balance, as the project budget was allocated and included a tight contingency. The Board approved tasks nine through 12.
The Board also approved reappointments for the Nederland Downtown Development Authority, the Board of Zoning Adjustment and the Planning Commission. Katrina Harms and Susan Schneider, DDA members, for terms expiring in June 2020; Mark Moll, BZA member, for a term expiring in June 2021; and Jesse Seavers, PC member, for a term expiring in June 2020.
Alisha Reis provided an update on the NedPeds project to the NDDA Board on July 20, 2016. The project was pushed back, because the contractors hit the gas line.
The Town was working with folks along Second Street east of the roundabout. They were excavating, and that changed parking. The Thai restaurant was impacted.
The biggest problem was locating a provider for the permeable asphalt. The block of Second Street became a giant permeable basin that will create a second basin for the whole town. It filters run off and manages storm water.
Elizabeth Allen, a horticulturist who handles flowers for the Town, presented a vision of uniformity for beautification throughout the town. Allen said she would like to see more beautification and more conformity in the Town’s horticulture efforts.
Better landscaping could include the Caribou Shopping Center, Ron Mitchell’s parking lot, the Peace Garden by Roasted Toad’s Barbecue and undeveloped town land, such as the Aspen Grove area from the Black Forest to Doc Joe’s Veterinarian office. She would also like to see improvements in front of Town Hall, a new garden at Ned’s and flower pots along Highway 119.
The final acre for the Town Maintenance Shop became part of Nederland on August 2, 2016. The meeting started at 8 p.m. instead of the usual 7 p.m., because the trustees participated in the Nederland Community Meeting regarding the July Cold Springs Fire from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. that day.
The Board approved an ordinance to annex into Nederland the final 1.04 acres of the Town Maintenance Shop property at 294 Ridge Road. The proposed annexation for the new public works facility site is adjacent to the town at Ridge Road. The rest of the Town Shop site, 6.67 acres, was annexed into the Town in November 2012.
Todd Ficken with F&D International gave the Trustees an update on the NedPeds project and said it had been a slow start for the construction company. The pathway on Highway 72 is nearing completion.
They had trouble getting porous material. Finding a supplier of porous pavement was an obstacle to beginning construction on East Second Street. As a result, alternatives to porous pavement were considered.
Trustee Dallas Masters said: “I’m a little concerned about the project. Now you’re telling us that no one else in Colorado is doing this. If I would have my druthers, I would tell you to choose a different material. Are we kidding ourselves here? By the fact that we can’t find the material, we’re continuing to make a bad decision.”
Ficken said the Town was being applauded for doing something sustainable, and that will echo with other communities. “We’re doing something new. It will require some continuing maintenance and vacuuming of the street.”
Nederland First Street residents complained about a wedding at Ron Mitchell’s parking lot on East First Street on August 16, 2016. Four residents told the Board about loud noises at the event and their concern with other activities on the lot.
Neighbor Tina Patterson said the Town gave Ron Mitchell a permit for a wedding at the parking lot on First Street, zoned High Density Residential. “We don’t understand why he was given that permit and why he can advertise that the lot is available for performing arts.”
Reis said the Town issued a noise variance at that site, and a parking lot is a use by right. “We do not issue permits for weddings. What we issued was a noise variance permit.”
The permit allowed amplification, Reis said, and the Town did receive a couple of complaints after the event. Larsen said the Trustees could bring this back as changes to the noise variance policy, and Masters said he likes the idea of revisiting the noise variance policy. Larsen asked the Trustees if they agreed to directing staff to put this on a future agenda, but they did not all agree.
After more than a year of study and discussion, the Nederland Board of Trustees agreed to move ahead with the first phase of a major project to correct problems with the Waste Water Treatment Plant on August 16, 2016. The Board received a request to use existing funds allocated for relining the waste sludge pond to begin engineering the first phase of constructing a digester.
According to a letter from JVA, Inc., on July 13, 2015, the Town was issued a Compliance Inspection Letter by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The letter required that the Town develop an action plan to address a potential seepage violation of the clay-lined solids holding pond.
Furthermore, the solids holding pond produces odors periodically, especially during the summer months. The Town received a letter on February 23, 2015, with odor warnings from CDPHE with a penalty of up to $15,000 a day if odors are not mitigated.
The Board approved a motion to reallocate $23,000 for a site application amendment and engineering report that could begin the process of designing a digester and will include the project’s life cycle cost, sustainability, OPR, third-party commissioning and an integrated design process.
Nederland residents had their first opportunity to participate in the Town’s 2017 budget process during the Budget Open House from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at the Nederland Community Center. During the event, folks could discuss projects and programs with Town staff and members of the Board of Trustees and Nederland Downtown Development Authority.
Town staff set up tables throughout the Community Center meeting room, and those attending could write down or discuss ideas for what priorities should be in the Town’s next budget. Reis and Trustees were available to answer questions.
Most of the NedPeds project was to be be completed by the end of September, but the porous asphalt cap on Second Street won’t be in place until spring, the Board learned on September 6, 2016. Ficken told the Board that the contractor, Consolidated Resource, needed to be substantially complete with the pathway by the end of September.
Ficken wrote: “Last month, we reported, based on representation by the contractor, that Highway 72 should be completed or nearly completed by the week of August 22. That did not happen.
They continue to work on Highway 72. Progress has been made, the pedestrian trail is done, and we are trying to get the choker course of gravel down. We recently rejected the gravel for being out of specification, and Consolidated Resource is working with their supplier to get ‘spec’ material. As soon as that is resolved, Highway 72 should be completed soon.”
Consolidated Resource anticipates having Second Street, east of Snyder, completed by the end of September,” Ficken wrote. This includes a temporary, nonporous, asphalt road patch.
“Securing porous asphalt is still proving to be a challenge. It was recently decided to move to Plan B, with respect to the porous asphalt. Plan B or Option B will be put into place for the winter,” Ficken said. “We’re not able to procure porous asphalt this year.”
“Plan B is to put a regular asphalt, three-inch cap down, because going into winter without some kind of cap would cost more than not putting a cap down and would risk contaminating the rock layers that will help with drainage,” Ficken said. “We’re trying to protect the work that is in place.”
The Board revisited a resolution on environmentally friendly practices on September 6, 2016. At a previous meeting, the Board requested that the resolution be called up for further discussion regarding its requirements for Town projects.
On March 2, 2004, the Board adopted a resolution to encourage environmentally friendly business practices, products and services, and to reduce contributions to the waste stream. The resolution requires that Town contractors demonstrate efforts in environmental protection before any contract is awarded.
It also requires that any new structure built for the Town meet the basic tenets of Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), which is promoted by the U.S. Green Building Council, unless the Board determines that good cause exists to waive the application of these tenets. The Board discussed the resolution and the advantages and disadvantages of LEED certification but did not come to a consensus.
Town staff re-introduced an ordinance to update the Town’s building codes to the 2012 International Code Council Building Codes on September 20, 2016. Reis said that since 2012 the Board and Planning Commission have been wanting to update the building codes.
The Town’s adopted building codes are the 2006 International Code Council suite of Codes. The building codes were previously updated to the 2006 versions on December 4, 2007. Starting in 2012, the Board and the Planning Commission began considering updating the building codes, first to the 2009 codes and later to the 2012 codes.
Mayor Kristopher Larsen said a public hearing should be scheduled for the next meeting, and Mayor Pro-Tem Charles Wood asked that the Task Force recommendations be highlighted.
Project Coordinator Susan Davis and Area Manager Preston Gibson with Xcel Energy presented information to the Board on the company’s LED streetlights conversion program. Xcel contacted the Town earlier this year to introduce the company’s new program to convert street lighting to LED technology. This program was first discussed at the Board’s March 15, 2016, meeting.
LED is a directional lighting technology, which emits light in a certain area. The current incandescent lighting emits light is all directions, creating glow. Downward-cast, directional lighting is in line with the Town’s goal to preserve the night sky.
Larsen said maybe this is the time to move slowly because the technology is changing so rapidly. Masters suggested the Trustees table this for a while, and the Board agreed.
Second Street residents and members of the Nederland Board of Trustees expressed aggravation with the NedPeds project on September 20. For the second meeting in a row, Todd Ficken and Alex Knettel with F&D International gave the Board an update.
The asphalt was scheduled to be put down. The crusher fines on the trails were an approved material for the U.S. Forest Service trail system, Ficken said. Reis said that these materials were then presented to the Board and had to be approved by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
The Board reviewed the Town’s noise ordinance and listened to public comment about noise in town on October 4, 2016. Mayor Larsen said the goal of the night’s discussion was to look at whether the Board wanted to revise the ordinance.
Residents on First Street spoke to the Board in August about noise from a site in their neighborhood, at 100 E. 1st Street, during a summer wedding, and further expressed concerns about ongoing events and the potential for noise.
The current noise code, adopted by Ordinance 693 in July 2011, established the upper limit by variance of 105 decibels (live rock music/table saw). The upper limit for sound without a variance permit is 72 decibels (e.g. vacuum cleaner/ lawnmower).
The previous upper limit for all sound was 80 decibels (garbage disposal/freight train), regulated by zoning district (the 80dBA upper limit was permitted only in the Industrial zoning district). The limit in business zones was 65 dBA (office sounds/air conditioning unit), and in residential zones, it was 55 dBA (conversation/refrigerator).
Larsen said the issues boiled down to special events policy, decibel levels, neighbor notification and whether it should be zoning based. They also needed information from the Town Marshall on what kind of burden enforcement would add to the department. Staff discussed new ideas, and researched what other towns were doing.
After receiving a letter from the ACLU, the Board repealed a Town ordinance on loitering on October 4, 2016. Town Attorney Carmen Beery introduced a letter that was sent to several cities and towns by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU), including Nederland, referencing the Town’s loitering ordinance.
The letter requested that the Town repeal it, saying, “This ordinance not only unfairly targets poor and homeless persons whose pleas for assistance are protected by the First Amendment, but it is also legally indefensible.”
The code in question states: “It is unlawful for a person to: (1) loiter for the purpose of begging…” The letter further requested the Town to instruct its police not to enforce the law. Marshal Paul Carrill confirmed that this law is not currently enforced, and there were no current cases citing it in violation.
Larsen suggested that the Board direct staff to review and submit policy for Board consideration. The Board also considered an ordinance amending the Utilities Code in reference to billing to provide a method for utilities customers to apply for relief from unusually high utility bills stemming from a catastrophic event. The ordinance passed with the modification that staff may process applications if they are less than $300.
The Board adopted updates to the Town’s building codes on October 18, 2016. Reis introduced an ordinance to update the Town’s building codes to the 2012 International Building Codes.
Updating from the current 2006 codes to the 2012 codes has been considered by all of the Town’s advisory boards and has been studied by a task force including representatives of all the trades working together to produce a six-page document that makes up the recommendations for the update, Reis said.
The Board also discussed an ordinance to update the Town Sign Code in light of the Reed v. Gilbert decision. The Nederland Planning Commission reviewed this issue on September 28, 2016, and voted to forward the sign code, with revisions, to the Board of Trustees.
After a full review of the code, several changes were suggested and it was determined that several questions needed to be posed to the Board for consideration. Town Attorney Carmen Beery said she had questions about how the Board wants the sign code to read going forward. Mayor Kristopher Larsen said staff should reach out to the Nederland Downtown Development Authority on this and come back in January or February, 2017, with the revised version.
Joe Minicozzi, who makes presentations throughout the United States and assists cities with downtown planning, spoke to Nederland residents and Town officials on Monday night, October 24, 2016. Ten members of the Nederland Board of Trustees, Downtown Development Authority and Planning Commission and about 25 members of the public listened to the presentation and then participated in a joint work session.
The presentation was brought to Nederland by Downtown Colorado, Inc., a nonprofit, membership association committed to building better communities by providing assistance to Colorado downtowns, commercial districts and town centers.
Minicozzi gave a slide presentation explaining how cities can increase property tax revenues by increasing the density of downtown areas. He said he wanted to explain how taxation works because the policies run counter to smart growth.
After the presentation, Mayor Kristopher Larsen said that since so many people attended they would throw it open to questions from the public. Local Business Owner Ron Mitchell said he was a major business owner in the downtown area and wondered if Minicozzi had any recommendations of what might work here.
Minicozzi said that he doesn’t have a financial picture of where the Town is. “You guys need to develop. I’m familiar with your plan and your project,” Minicozzi said to Mitchell. “It’s a very big project that would be a dramatic change to your community.
“If you’re going to have change, how you do that is something you guys are going to have to have a conversation about. I can’t solve it after one conversation,” Minicozzi said.
After questions, the work session began among Nederland Board members with the intention of discussing density and how Nederland will approach downtown development and identifying the next steps to get past the obstacles.
The Nederland Public Works Department asked the Nederland Board of Trustees to approve a grant request for improvements to Chipeta Park on November 1, 2016. Public Works Director Chris Pelletier presented a resolution to request funds from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) for the rehabilitation of Chipeta Park and to improve ADA accessibility.
The project will include a paved path from the parking area to the kids’ fishing dock, rebuilding the fishing dock to be ADA compliant, improving and beautifying the Veterans’ Memorial, repairing the Tungsten Trail next to the Weir Bridge, and adding park benches and a picnic table.
“I have community support for the project and have secured multiple donations to make the project successful,” Pelletier wrote.
“I also have the support of Parks Recreation Open Space Advisory Board (PROSAB). This project will meet their goals of improving the Tungsten Trail.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Charles Wood said he is in favor of the grant, and he made a motion to approve the resolution. The Board voted to approve the motion and the Chipeta Park grant application.
The Board introduced its 2017 budget at a public hearing on November 1. The Board discussed the budget and creating a task force on the local economy. To begin the budget discussion, John Cutler of independent auditors, John Cutler & Associates, presented the Town’s 2015 audited financial statements. The end result was a clean, unmodified opinion.
Reis said that three goal areas set by the Board are driving the 2017 budget: economic sustainability, infrastructure and housing. The Board had work sessions and set up some goals to work on.
Items advancing Town goals in the budget include a street and storm water bond project, biosolids phase one and two and the backwash project at the water treatment plant. A rental housing and short-term rental licensing program is moving forward, and the Planning Commission will make recommendations about it on December 14, 2016, after a public hearing on the proposed ordinance.
The budget also calls for a new snow plow and dump truck for street maintenance and the incorporation the new Town Shop into Public Works. Staff has also been discussing an economic development position, as well as potential housing development with Boulder County.
Following a presentation on downtown development by planning consultant Joe Minicozzi on October 24, 2016, Nederland boards proposed creating the Mayor’s Task Force on Downtown Development Guidelines and Incentives. The Nederland Board of Trustees and the Nederland Downtown Development Authority Board discussed the task force during regular meetings on Tuesday, November 15, and Wednesday, November 16, at the Nederland Community Center.
The Task Force would study and recommend limited term policies to encourage mixed use development in downtown Nederland. The purpose of such policies is to incentivize property owners and developers to create appropriate housing and commercial development in underused infill areas downtown. The Board agreed to table forming the Task Force until January 17.
DDA Board Chair Katrina Harms told the DDA Board on Wednesday night that she was curious as to the Board’s reactions to Minicozzi’s presentation. Board Member Susan Schneider said she thought it was very interesting because she hadn’t concentrated on development and the revenue it generates. “If we need so much money for projects that need to be done for town infrastructure, revenue has to provide that.”
Wood went over the suggested membership of the Task Force and said they would want two representatives from the DDA Board. Harms said the approval date would be January and asked if anyone was interested in jumping in on it. She will ask Board Member Peter Marshall if he is interested.
Town staff presented the draft supplemental budget for 2016 to the Board on November 15. The supplemental budget accounts for unanticipated revenues and unallocated expenditures associated primarily with capital projects.
The budget includes increased revenue and expenditures related to the Cold Springs Fire response and for the Town Maintenance Shop project, the NedPeds project and the Sanitary Sewer Phase III project, increased revenue from sales and property taxes and from planning and building projects, increased expenditures in accounting and salaries for staff accountant and offsetting administrative costs for the Nederland Downtown Development Authority.
Reis also presented the current draft of the 2017 budget, and the Board offered an opportunity for public comment. The Board conducted the public hearing on the 2017 budget at the November 1 meeting.
Comments from the public at that meeting included support for various goodwill proposals, including Food Pantry and Frozen Dead Guy Days, as well as support for increased spending and staffing in the Streets Division. The Board discussed various points of input, including ideas for increasing revenue for Town operations and projects and changing the budgeting model to a more high level, aspirational one.
Larsen also presented a discussion item to form an informational technology task force. The IT task force would review the current status of Town IT infrastructure and services and make recommendations and goals to improve cost basis and efficiencies. Mayor Larsen and Trustee Masters have volunteered to chair the task force.
Resident and local IT business owner, David Hardy, has volunteered to serve on the task force, and current Town IT contractor with Alpenet, Randy Lee, will serve as a consultant to the task force. The Town is currently contemplating changes to its internet system and provider and pursuing improvements to a number of IT-related services and infrastructure components.
The Board moved the item from a discussion item to an action item and voted to approve creation of the task force.
The NedPeds project was scheduled to be wrapped up by Friday, November 18. Ficken said, “I’m happy to report they did a lot of the punch list items, so things are getting wrapped up for this interim season.”
The contractors have to get a few items done still, but they should be wrapped up by Friday of this week,” Ficken said. They have to shut off the water valves, and the RTD buses keep driving over the path, so they may have to install a guard rail.
The contractors did clean up their construction yard and got a bunch of the paper work done that the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) requires for grant reimbursements. They do have erosion control in.
Reis told the DDA Board that the contractor is pretty well through the punch list. The Board of Trustees asked that the project team look at a couple of solutions for parking on gravel, the instability of that material and looking at the viability of the crusher fine in that area.
The team will be looking at that as well as the operations plan – getting down to long-term care and maintenance of the project, Reis said. The Town has paid the first two bills for construction, totaling $180,000, and submitted those to CDOT for reimbursement. General fund cash paid for everything, and now they’re reconciling it. The contractor completed the required CDOT paperwork, so F&D International could look at it and start getting reimbursements.
The Board approved the 2017 budget, mill levy and fee schedule and the 2016 supplementary budget on December 6, 2016.
Estimated revenue and sources of cash for 2017 are Anticipated Revenues from all sources at $4,206,706, and Anticipated Use of Reserves at $313,637 for a total of $4,520,343. Estimated expenditures for each fund are General Fund, $1,809,705; Conservation Trust Fund, $16,000; Community Center Fund, $342,904; Water Fund, $542,038; Sewer Fund, $657,955; Downtown Development Authority Fund, $771,206; Downtown Development Authority TIF Fund, $210,277; Total $4,350,085.
Reis said a couple of items from the budget discussion will be on the agenda in January. The Town needs to increase its revenue programs, and the Board discussed a potential partnership between the Visitor Center and Eldora Mountain Resort. It will be discussed further in January.
According to the resolution to set the mill levy, the amount of money necessary to fund the Town of Nederland budget for general operating purposes, including bonds and interest, is $1,809,705, and the amount of money necessary to fund the Nederland Downtown Development Authority operating budget, is $771,206, including most payments for NedPeds pathway expenses occurring in 2017.
The 2016 net assessed valuation for the Town of Nederland as certified by the Boulder County Assessor is $22,879,501, and the 2016 combined base and incremental assessed valuation of the Nederland Downtown Development Authority, as certified by the Boulder County Assessor, is $6,185,121.
“For the purpose of meeting all general operating expenses of the Town of Nederland during the 2017 budget year, there is hereby levied a gross mill levy of 17.274 mills upon each dollar of the total valuation for assessment of all taxable property within the Town of Nederland for the year 2016,” according to the resolution.
Nederland Town Administrator Alisha Reis announced that she will leave the position on March 3, 2017. She will be the longest-serving Town Administrator in Nederland’s history, having served 6 ½ years when she steps down next spring.
Reis first made the announcement at a December 10 Town staff holiday party, she said in a Mountain-Ear interview on December 13, 2016. Reis said she let the Nederland Board of Trustees, to whom she reports, know that she was leaving on December 6, at her annual performance review.
The process to identify a successor will begin in January 2017, with release of a job recruitment notice. The Board of Trustees will review and make any necessary adjustments to the job description before advertisement.
Reis said she and her family will remain in the community. “I have had the great pleasure of working with a talented, committed group of people in the Town of Nederland, in service to our beautiful community,” Reis said. “I look forward to seeing the community continue to move into a bright future.”