MAY 24, 2011
STATE OF COLORADO )
COUNTY OF LOGAN )ss
CITY OF STERLING )
As required by the Colorado Sunshine Law, the meeting was posted timely in the City Hall lobby more than twenty-four hours in advance of the meeting.
Councilmember Fuller gave the invocation. Mayor Fetzer led the Pledge of Allegiance.
The City Council of the City of Sterling, Colorado, met in regular session in Council Chambers of City Hall, on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. Mayor Fetzer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
City Manager Kiolbasa
City Attorney Barlean
City Clerk Forbes
Public Works Director Allen
Engineer Technician Kaufman
Parks, Library and
Recreation (PLR) Director Hungenberg
Fire Chief Vogel
Citizens present: 32
Councilmember Haynes made a motion to approve the consent agenda. Councilmember Lawson seconded the motion. By a six-yes and one-abstain vote, the motion was approved.
Councilmember Joy advised that he was abstaining, as he was not at the meeting.
Voting was as follows:
Haynes yes Lawson yes
Joy abstain Delgado-Diaz yes
Fetzer yes Fuller yes
Items on the consent agenda were: City Council meeting minutes of May 10, 2011.
COMMUNICATION AND PERSONAL APPEARANCE OF NON-SCHEDULED CITIZENS BEFORE THE COUNCIL:
BOND COUNSEL FOR ELECTION QUESTION REGARDING A LODGING TAX INCREASE:
Mayor Fetzer advised that this issue deals with the Lodging Tax increase. He knows that there are hotel representatives present to address Council and he would like to hear from them first.
Present to address Council was Mr. Alex Wright. Mr. Wright advised Council that he talked with the County Commissioners regarding part of the tax being diverted to them and asked for a letter of support. The Commissioners advised Mr. Wright that they did not feel that this was appropriate to put in writing; however, they are completely willing to discuss this matter with Council. Mr. Wright addressed the three current options. The first option is to do nothing. The second option is to have the citizens of Sterling pay for the beautification. The third option is to have the people visiting Sterling to pay for the beautification. Mr. Wright advised Council that there are some that feel that beautifying Sterling will not make a difference, but the general consensus is the project should be done. He advised that the Crest Motel is in the process of beautifying their grounds and have already seen a difference. Improvements in Sterling will make more people come to visit. As far as the citizens paying, why should we have the citizens pay when others can pay. Most owners that were talked to felt that people do not pay attention to the tax. Mr. Wright went over average costs of motel rooms in Sterling, Fort Morgan and Sidney, Nebraska. The average is Sterling is the lowest. By making Sterling more beautiful, it will increase revenue for hotels, restaurants and other businesses.
Councilmember Joy expressed that the Logan County Economic Development Corporation is in favor of the citizens being given an opportunity to vote for this tax.
Next to address Council was Ms. Lana Hahn, 12192 County Road 370. Ms. Hahn advised Council that she is the general manager at the Ramada. She has met with a group from other motels on this issue. She advised that the statement of people not caring they have to pay extra taxes is not true; five out of six customers that walk in want to know what they are paying. Everyone believes that Sterling needs to be beautiful and no others want to have their business have an extra tax. The County has strict permitted uses on what they can use the lodging tax for. Ms. Hahn read a letter from the Comfort Inn who is also not in favor of this. She advised in their meetings the Travel Lodge and Buffalo Hills are against it. Ms. Hahn advised that motels are just now recovering from the economy. She expressed the concern if the City wants to beautify it, by letting others, such as visitors pay for the beautification, would there be the pride that we have done this.
Next to address Council was Ms. Sandy Glaser, 103 Park Circle. Ms. Glaser advised that she is on the Economic Development Corporation Board. She does a lot of travel. The very last thing on her mind is the amount of tax being paid. Ms. Glaser advised that it is time for Sterling to move forward.
Mayor Fetzer asked regarding the seven percent tax that is being quoted, where this came from. Mr. Wright advised that right now they are looking at a five percent tax.
Next to address Council was Cindy Vandemoer, 14702 County Road 20, Atwood, Colorado. Ms. Vandemoer advised Council that she is an owner of Buffalo Hills and she was at the meeting that Lana Hahn had referenced. She advised that Sterling is not a destination point. People stop in Sterling because it is right off the Interstate.
Next to address Council was Ms. Kim Sellers, 306 Forest Road. Ms. Sellers advised she respects issues that everybody has in the community. She advised that other communities have done the lodging tax and it has worked for them. She asked that the Council allow the community to decide by this being on the ballot.
Next to address Council was Ms. Tara Barlean, 18447 Shawnee Place. Ms. Barlean asked Council if they would like additional taxes placed on their business. She advised that there are questions regarding the tax, such as if there is a committee and if Council has looked at other ways to raise taxes. She advised that it was advertised that the City has collected 12 percent more in sales tax why couldn’t this be used. Ms. Barlean advised that there has been a lot of misleading information out. She again agreed that nobody disagrees about the beautification, just about the revenue source.
Next to address Council was Mr. John Wray, 17932 County Road 30. Mr. Wray advised that he is on the Lodging Tax Board and he agrees with the beautification but he is concerned about the options. He advised there needs to be more of a study done. He is scared of the unintended consequences that something like this could do. He is concerned that the lodging people can see this would hurt them.
Next to address Council was Mr. Chris Vandemoer, 14702 County Road 20, Atwood, Colorado. Mr. Vandemoer advised his question is accountability. He advised if the lodging people are helping to collect this money, they should be represented in how the money is spent. He advised all the beautifying is being done on a path that is away from where the lodging is. He again stated that Sterling is not a destination town. Mr. Vandemoer advised he feels more research should be done.
Again, to address Council was Mr. Alex Wright. Mr. Wright advised Council that he did not say that he talked to all the hotel owners.
Councilmember Joy advised that he has been working with the beautification project. They have explored many options. They did not want to do another project and just place it on the shelf. The lodging tax has been done in a lot of communities. He does respect the opinions of the hotel owners.
Ms. Barlean advised that there are several video projects being done and asked if it had been considered doing more videos as a way to market Sterling more.
Ms. Cindy Vandemoer asked if they could be more specific of how different towns had the tourism affect them. Councilmember Joy advised that there has been a study of benefits that show that it does help the town. Ms. Vandemoer felt that this survey was done on the Front Range.
Ms. Lana Hahn advised that tour companies also look at the rate. Again, she stressed that she is not against the beautifying. The less they receive in room revenue, the less there is for taxes. She advised there should be more discussion regarding this.
Council next went to the letter of engagement for legal services for Sherman and Howard.
City Manager Kiolbasa advised Council that they approved the City Manager to contact the legal firm of Sherman and Howard regarding the hotel tax being discussed and the possible debt question for the ballot on November 1, 2011. Kim Crawford of the firm has submitted a proposal on behalf of the firm.
Mayor Fetzer advised that the Council has the proposed letter of engagement. The agreement states that if the City does not move forward there would be a cost of $5,000. City Manager Kiolbasa advised Council that when he visited with Ms. Crawford some of the questions that came up this evening she also had. For example the amendments that would need to be made to the Sales and Use Tax Code, how long the tax would be in effect, if it is a tax and a debt or a tax and a bond, the TABOR issue, the accountability issue, if it would go to general fund or separate funds and how an IGA would fit in.
Councilmember Joy advised that he agrees that we should move forward. He feels there should be more research done and input to bring back.
Councilmember Haynes made a motion to table the Letter of Engagement for legal services of Sherman and Howard. Councilmember Fuller seconded the motion. By a seven-yes vote, the motion was approved.
CONSIDERATION OF PROPOSALS FOR DESIGN OF THE MONUMENT SIGN:
City Manager Kiolbasa advised Council that at the Council meeting on April 26, 2011, Council reviewed three proposals for design services. Beam, Longest and Neff-$26,700, Short Elliott Hendrickson-$23,000 and David Evans-$66,000. The Council wished to review the proposals and consider them this evening. The location was discussed. Moving the sign west across the Smith Henderson Ditch appears to be a possible solution to the location. The funds are not in the budget but could be reappropriated. City Manager Kiolbasa advised that he handed out maps.
Councilmember Joy advised that Council should first look at the location. There was further discussion.
Councilmember Lawson advised that he does not feel the monument is a way to accomplish the goals of beautification. This is not going to create jobs. There is already an electronic sign in the area. He does not see this effecting tourism. The engineering alone is $23,000.
Councilmember Joy advised that this is just the first of the talks from the CSU DOLA Project. He advised there would be donated materials from Home Depot and labor from the Department of Corrections. He has the community support and is optimistic to get the engineering work done.
Councilmember Joy advised that he had talked to all three engineers.
Councilmember Fuller made a motion to accept the proposal from Short Elliott Hendrickson for $23,000. Councilmember Delgado-Diaz seconded the motion. By a six-yes and one-no vote, the motion was approved. Voting was as follows:
Fuller yes Delgado-Diaz yes
Lawson no Fetzer yes
Haynes yes Joy yes
PRPESENTATION OF RELAY FOR LIFE, PAINT THE TOWN PURPLE DAYS, PROCLAMATION:
Mayor Fetzer presented the Relay for Life proclamation to Jonna and Jeff Bloomfield.
RESOLUTION NO. 5-3-11, SERIES OF 2011 – A RESOLUTION BEFORE THE CITY OF STERLING, LOGAN COUNTY, COLORADO APPROVING AN ADDENDUM TO AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF STERLING AND sustainablesterling.org, FOR USE OF CITY-OWNED PROPERTY FOR A COMMUNTIY GARDEN:
City Manager Kiolbasa advised Council that the City entered into an agreement with sustainablesterling.org for lease of certain City-owned property, dated May 17, 2010, which expires by its terms on May 31, 2011. Discussion has taken place regarding sustainablesterling.org’s desire to expand into a farmers/craft market in addition to the community garden, but not all concerns have been resolved, and because of the time constraint, in order for sustainablesterling.org to continue at least the community garden, it is necessary to enter into an Addendum to extend the current lease. This resolution approves an Addendum to the present Agreement extending the term, and eliminating the previous provision of the agreement for the City to provide water for the community garden.
Councilmember Haynes made a motion to approve Resolution No. 5-3-11, Series of 2011. Councilmember Lawson seconded the motion.
Councilmember Fuller asked if the City provided them water last year. Council was advised that is correct. This year they will be paying for their water.
By a seven-yes vote, the motion was approved.
RESOLUTION NO. 5-4-11, SERIES OF 2011 - A RESOLUTION CONSENTING TO THE CREATION OF A PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT LOCATED PARTIALLY WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE CITY OF STERLING, STATE OF COLORADO:
City Manager Kiolbasa advised Council that pursuant to state statute, if a portion of a Public Improvement District (PID) is located within the boundaries of a municipality, such municipality must consent by resolution to the establishment of such district. Star Clean Oil, LLC has filed a petition with the County to create a PID, a portion of which is within the boundaries of the City of Sterling. This resolution consents to the creation of that district as required by statute. It should be noted that the petition as filed includes property owned by the City and the City’s consent to the creation of the PID could be interpreted as an implied consent to the City’s property being included as part of the PID. Therefore, if the resolution is approved, it is necessary to designate an elector for the City of Sterling, Colorado, who shall have full power and authority to act as the representative of the City in election matters concerning the PID. This designation can be done by motion.
Councilmember Delgado-Diaz made a motion to approve Resolution No. 5-4-11, Series of 2011. Councilmember Rice seconded the motion.
Councilmember Joy advised Council that there would be two separate addressed districts. There was discussion on the bonds.
By a seven-yes vote, the motion was approved.
Councilmember Fuller made a motion to designate City Manager Kiolbasa as the designated elector. Councilmember Delgado-Diaz seconded the motion. By a seven-yes vote, the motion was approved.
CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT AGREEMENT – NORTH DIVISION AVENUE WATER SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS:
Public Works Director Allen advised Council that sealed bids were received May 5, 2011 for the North Division Avenue Water System Improvements. The bid proposals have been reviewed and tabulated for accuracy. Sufficient funds are available in the adopted 2011 Budget. Upon concurrence and approval from City Council, authorization is requested for the Mayor to sign the construction contract agreement with Concrete Specialties & Utilities Construction, Inc. for $132,902.70 and Notice of Award will be issued accordingly.
Council asked what the alternatives were. They were discussed. There was a question that there was the City Attorney’s stamp on the contract but not the signature. City Attorney Barlean advised Council that it was okay.
Councilmember Delgado-Diaz made a motion to approve the construction contract agreement with Concrete Specialties & Utilities Construction, Inc. for $132,902.70 for the North Division Avenue Water System Improvements. Councilmember Lawson seconded the motion. By a seven-yes vote, the motion was approved.
CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT AGREEMENT – 2011 STREET IMPROVEMENT PROJECT:
Public Works Director Allen advised Council that sealed bids were received May 5, 2011 for the 2011 Street Improvement project. The bid proposals have been reviewed and tabulated for accuracy. Sufficient funds are available in the adopted 2011 Budget. Upon concurrence and approval from City Council, authorization is requested for the Mayor to sign the construction contract agreement with McAtee Construction Company for $725,838.03 and Notice of Award will be issued accordingly.
He advised that the bid submitted was for $845,043.60; however, there were not sufficient funds in the street budget. Negotiations between McAtee Construction and the Public Works Department determined it was the best interest of the City to reduce the project scope. South Division Avenue portion and adjustment of utilities is being eliminated from the amount. Therefore, the proposed contract amount with adjustments will be $725,838.03. He advised this is a unit price bid.
Engineer Technician Kaufman advised Council that the engineer’s estimate was off due to 20 percent variance in asphalt costs in the months of March and April.
Councilmember Haynes made a motion to approve the construction contract agreement with McAtee Construction Company for $725,838.03 for the 2011 Street Improvement project. Councilmember Lawson seconded the motion. By a seven-yes vote, the motion was approved.
CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT AGREEMENT – 2011 CURB RAMP AND ON-CALL CONCRETE CONTRACTOR PROGRAM:
Public Works Director Allen advised Council that sealed bids were received May 12, 2011 for the 2011 Curb Ramp and On-Call Concrete Contractor program. The bid proposals have been reviewed and tabulated for accuracy. Sufficient funds are available in the adopted 2011 Budget. Upon concurrence and approval from City Council, authorization is requested for the Mayor to sign the construction contract agreement with Yost Construction Co. for $39,261.00 and Notice of Award will be issued accordingly.
Councilmember Haynes made a motion to approve the construction contract agreement with Yost Construction Co. for $39,261.00 for the 2011 Curb Ramp and On-Call Concrete Contractor program. Councilmember Lawson seconded the motion.
Councilmember Delgado-Diaz asked if this had been advertised as a curb ramp and on-call program. She was advised yes.
By a seven-yes vote, the motion was approved.
AUTOMATED HORN SYSTEM:
City Manager Kiolbasa advised Council that he has been contacted by a company that manufactures this system. They have offered to come to Sterling and do a presentation and look at the crossings.
PROPOSED ORDINANCE FOR THE LINVILL PROPERTY:
PLR Director Hungenberg advised Council that this was willed to the Corporation of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory at Gothic. This is on the other side of the mountains and they would like to transfer ownership to the City of Sterling to be used in the same way. The property is on County Road 27. The Museum is excited about this, as it is a possible way to have tours to show what the native land looked like. The estimated cost is $1,000 for the title insurance.
City Manager Kiolbasa advised Council that he would like CIRSA to look at the idemnification.
There were questions from Council regarding the liability issue.
Present to address Council was Mr. Brian Tappy, 19548 Marigold. Mr. Tappy advised that he farms to the north and northeast of the property. He advised if the City takes this property, they would like to see something put up to take care of people going into their field.
More information will be gathered and it will come back to Council.
EXCEPTION TO COMPETITIVE BIDDING FOR A LIFT IN CITY HALL:
City Manager Kiolbasa advised Council that there is a provision in the City Code where the City Manager and the Finance Director can advise that it is not in the best interest to do a competitive bid on a project. He asked that Council allow Yost Construction to install a lift at City Hall. The estimated cost is $55,000 to $60,000. The reason staff is looking at Yost is that they built the building, looked at the design and could save seven percent by using the current design.
It was the consensus of Council to let the City Manager do this.
City Manager Kiolbasa advised Council that he had been contacted by someone who has water for sale off Sterling No. 1. He will be meeting with the gentleman.
City Manager Kiolbasa advised Council that CDOT has advised that the City must give permission to continue to use Chestnut and North 5th Streets as a truck route.
City Manager Kiolbasa advised Council that the Masons want to install a corner stone in the new Library. This will be done on July 20. They wish to have the month of July designated as Masonic Month. This is their 150 anniversary.
City Manager Kiolbasa advised Council that Kidz Ark has received a loan for sanitary sewer. This will be coming back to Council.
Mayor Fetzer reminded Council that the CML dinner is in Yuma on Thursday, May 26.
Councilmember Joy advised Council regarding the downtown plaza. He advised that he has talked with the railroad and they are interested in a lease of a portion of the Front Street area. He will be taking this information to the CSU DOLA meeting.
EXECUTIVE SESSION – NEGOTIATIONS:
Mayor Fetzer made a motion to go into executive session for the purpose of determining positions relative to matters that may be subject to negotiations, developing strategy for negotiations, and/or instructing negotiators, under C.R.S. Section 24-6-402 (4) (e). Councilmember Fuller seconded the motion. By a seven-yes vote, the motion was approved.
Council went into executive session at 9:44 p.m.
Council came out of executive session at 10:27 p.m.
Mayor Fetzer advised that the participants in the executive session were City Council, City Attorney, City Manager and Fire Chief.
For the record, if any person who participated in the executive session believes that any substantial discussion of any matters not included in the motion to go into the executive session occurred during the executive session, or that any improper action occurred during the executive session in violation of the Open Meetings Law, he asked that they state their concerns for the record.
There was none.
There being no further business to come before Council the meeting adjourned at 10:29 p.m.