The Board of Trustees (BOT) convened a special meeting on Monday night (the fifth Monday of the month), and the results were, well, special.
During a very brief staff report, Administrator Victoria Simonsen informed the Board that she was looking into having a local contractor remove some of the remaining debris (rocks, dirt, river cobble, etc.) from Bohn Park so that the ongoing recovery efforts could proceed unimpeded. She told the Trustees that the
cost would be in the $10K neighborhood. The Board gave their approval, and Trustee James Kerr suggested Simonsen contact Boulder County to see if they might be in need of some fill for some of their recovery efforts, and thus defray some of the expense. Simonsen agreed to contact the appropriate entities.
Four people addressed the Board during audience business. Former Trustee Dawn Weller asked the Trustees if they might consider turning off the lights in Bohn Park at night since no one is allowed to use the park, or at least turn them off earlier (before midnight). Three others spoke to the proposed lodging excise tax that the voters will be voting in April. Craig Ferguson and Brian Eyster, of Planet Bluegrass, asked that the revenues collected be spent on promoting the businesses that pay the tax (Ferguson), and that the tax begin at the end of the year, instead of this June (Eyster), citing the uncertainty and difficulty of having already sold most of this year's camping passes via the internet without knowing that this tax would go into affect if approved by the voters. They also suggested that a better definition of campsite (i.e., number of people/wrist bands, or sites) be fleshed out.
Amy Reinholds also spoke to the proposed lodging tax, and suggested to the Trustees that it might be a little too low (two dollars per night).
In a move that is seldom witnessed, the consent agenda, consisting of a resolution memorializing the and accepting the dedication of a Railroad Avenue right of way; a resolution authorizing payment to Design Concepts for additional services provided in the DRBOP (404-buyouts) project; and a resolution authorizing a joint letter of intent with a local developer for a potential affordable housing project within the Town, was passed in its entirety without pulling any items!
The council chambers were then cleared, as the Board called for an executive session to discuss the possible purchase, acquisition, or transfer of real property, and to determine negotiating positions and strategies and instructing negotiators for the purpose of providing affordable housing within town. This endeavor took about forty-five minutes, and the audience (about a dozen people) kicked back (out of ear shot) and gossiped in a room deep within the rabbit's warren that is Lyons Town Hall.
Upon reconvening, under general business the Trustees passed a resolution, in a four to zero vote (Trustees Michael Karavas and Barney Dreistadt were on their way back from Texas, having volunteered to help in the Houston flood-recovery efforts, and Trustee Juli Waugh took her leave after the executive session to celebrate her husband's birthday. Happy birthday Kenyon!), to approve a revised ballot question related to imposing a lodging excise tax. (They decided that Eyster had a point, and if the measure is passed by the voters, it will go into affect in December of this year.)
The other three resolutions passed during general business had to do with the possible purchase of four acres of platted land in Lyons Valley Village, owned by Keith Bell, located just southeast of the current subdivision, that would be developed with local developer David Wickum, as the long-talked about affordable housing project, with possibly as many as forty-three rental units. (See details in Amy Reinholds column in this edition.)
These three resolutions, as well as direction to staff to prepare and distribute a request for proposal for another possible affordable housing project, were also passed in a four to zero vote.
An exuberant Mayor Connie Sullivan, using a sport's metaphor, exclaimed, “Lyons sinks a three-point shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime!” (The Trustees had to get a parcel of land “under control” by January 31, in order not to risk losing the four million dollars allocated by the Feds for Lyons' affordable housing flood recovery efforts). Adding onto Sullivan's point an emotional Mayor-Pro-Tem Dan Greenberg, who has been spear-heading the affordable housing efforts for the last four years, chimed in, “This is a really great day, but it is only a first step.” A very big, and welcome first step, he might have added. Sullivan cautioned everyone that, “There are still many hurdles that need to be overcome, and there will be the usual steps in the process with PCDC input, public hearings, etc., but we are on the way toward getting this done by the December of 2019 deadline.” When the resolutions were passed, those remaining audience members still in the room broke out in spontaneous applause.
The meeting, which started at 5:30 p.m., was then adjourned, and it was barely 7:30! Why can't we have meeting like this all the time?