Bus parking at the Grand Z Casino
By David Josselyn
The Central City Council met with Staff on August 1, 2017 for a work session prior to the regular council meeting. The topics of conversation were the Wayfinding Signage, Exit 7 on the Parkway, the Business Assistance Program, and the fire department’s truck number 32. Speakers addressing the Council were Director Ray Rears, Alderwoman Bell, and Manager Miera. The work session ran long and so part of Bell’s and Miera’s agendas were added to the regular meeting.
Regular Council Meeting
The Central City Regular Council Meeting of Tuesday, August 1, convened at 7:00 pm in City Hall Council Chambers. Council members; Jeff Aiken, Mary Bell, Judy Laratta, Shirley Voorhies, and Mayor Kathy Heider were present. In attendance for Staff were City Clerk Reba Bechtel, City Attorney Marcus McAskin, City Manager Daniel Miera, Community Development Director Ray Rears, Public Works Director Sam Hoover, Utilities Director Jason Nelson, and Fire Chief Gary Allen.
Mayor Heider led the Pledge of Allegiance and then asked for any amendments or additions to the evening’s agenda. One and a half items from the work session were added to the agenda as final items.
The Mayor called for a motion to approve the consent agenda which consisted of the minutes from the July 18 meeting and regular bill lists through July 26. Alderwoman Laratta moved to approve the Consent Agenda and was seconded by Alderman Aiken. Alderwoman Bell questioned expenses for the Wing Fest and medical supplies. On 7/19/17, a check was cut for $1,100 to cash for “gift cards – prizes for Fitbit and Wing Fest.” Manager Miera explained that although sponsored by Main Street Central City, the Wing Fest started as a City event and is coordinated with Main Street. The prize money is from the City. Additionally, the Fitbit promotion was for employee health incentives. Alderman Aiken asked about the expense to the Sheriff’s Office. A check was cut on 7/19/17 for $129,113.75 for “Sheriff Billing – Deputies.” Manager Miera said this is a quarterly billing, not monthly, and that they are spending less than the City budgeted for the Police Department in prior years. The motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Heider opened the floor to the public for anyone who wished to speak to a topic on that night’s agenda. Two people chose to speak to the Council.
David Josselyn, reporter for the Weekly Register-Call was the first to address the council regarding items on the Regular Bills List. Josselyn pointed out that even though he had a conversation with the City Manager regarding the limitations of the Caselle, Inc. software program, the public record will show that the City spent $900 on planters, $600 on a new trash can, and $256 on a single halogen light. Twenty years from now when the sitting Council is no longer there, people will wonder what they were thinking spending so much money on these items and wondering what happened to the gold trash can they purchased. As Manager Miera explained previously, the Caselle software will only print the first line item on a purchase order or invoice, so that is what shows on the bill list.
Joe Behm next addressed the Council on behalf of the Grand Z Casino, formerly the Reserve Casino, regarding bus parking. The Grand Z requested to restore a right-turn only lane into the parking structure for the casino. A turn lane had previously been marked out, but due to wear and tear, is now invisible. Now that Levitt Street is closed, parking for buses is an issue. The proposal is to remove four or five public parking spaces just above the casino and stripe them for bus-only parking. Alderwoman Voorhies stated that she spends a great deal of time in that area and when buses park there, they are not idling.
Request for Exclusion by the City
City Attorney McAskin introduced Ordinance 17-07 which would grant exclusionary status from the Central City Business Improvement District (CCBID) to the City of Central based on a petition for exclusion. The properties included are City Hall, the Belvidere Theatre, the Big-T lot, and the Visitor’s Center, as well as some smaller parcels. The Council must decide whether the change in boundaries will adversely affect the CCBID prior to adopting the Ordinance. A public hearing on the request of exclusion was held tonight. Since the City property is under the exclusion of taxation, it makes sense to have those properties excluded from the CCBID boundaries.
Alderwoman Voorhies moved to approve the petition for exclusion as it presents no adverse effects to the CCBID and was seconded by Alderwoman Laratta. The motion passed unanimously.
Alderman Aiken moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance 17-07 and set a public hearing and second reading for Tuesday, August 15, and was seconded by Alderwoman Laratta. The motion passed unanimously.
Excavating Under Scrutiny
Director Hoover introduced Ordinance 17-08 which would adopt a new article in the Municipal Code covering excavating regulations. The City of Central is in the Central City/ Clear Creek Superfund Site due to contamination from past mining activity. Several excavation projects have developed contamination issues and the State has recommended the City adopt environmental testing requirements in conjunction with excavation projects. This is the first reading and a public hearing will be held at the second reading. Projects with underground utilities on Spring Street revealed that there were no set standards for excavation or instruction of handling of materials pulled out. This Ordinance is modeled after an Ordinance that Black Hawk and other mining communities have. Manager Miera stated that for the record, all the samples from the Spring Street project came back clean.
Alderwoman Voorhies moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance 17-08 and set a public hearing and second reading for Tuesday, August 15, and was seconded by Alderman Aiken. The motion passed unanimously.
A Slight Fee Adjustment
Director Rears introduced Resolution 17-20 which would amend the City’s Comprehensive Fee Schedule. With the adoption of the Land Development Code, new fees need to be set, clarified, or stricken. Elevator Permits will be change from “TBD” to “Based on value and work to be performed.” Re-inspection fees will be $50 in addition to base building permit fees of $100. Several items in the Historic Preservation Code are updated or added. Finally, the sign permit fee will be shortened to “$25.00 minimum” instead of “Based on valuation with $25.00 minimum.”
Alderwoman Voorhies moved to approve Resolution 17-20 and was seconded by Alderman Aiken. The Resolution passed unanimously.
Director Hoover addressed the Council on work the City to repair damage to the street along Gregory Gulch after the rain storms.
Mayor Heider stated it “is nice to see HPC cases” in the staff reports and is curious as to what “NSFD” stands for. Director Rears responded that this is New Single Family Dwelling and is in reference to a resident that has reapplied for a NSFD permit that had not gone forward with a building permit from one year ago and had to renew their NSFD permit.
Business Assistance Program
Alderwoman Bell next talked to the Council about her work session items geared to business improvement. Bell proposed façade improvements and an ambassador program that would not only make the City more attractive to businesses and tourists, but also help improve perceptions of the City. All suggested proposals were directed to act upon by the staff either by getting expense estimates or adding to budget talks for 2018.
Mayor Heider opened the floor to the public for anyone who wished to speak to the Council on any items not on the agenda. No one chose to address the Council at this time.
Mark your calendars
Mayor Heider adjourned the meeting at 8:17 pm. The next regular Council Meeting will be Tuesday, August 15, 2017.