In the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that the author of this article is married to the Mayor.In a Tuesday night meeting (Monday was MLK Day) that at times looked as if it could go on forever, the Board of Trustees (BOT) slogged their way through a very dense agenda and still managed to adjourn before 10:15 p.m. Even Lyons Substation Supervisor Sgt. Kevin Parker, who in recent months has been a study in brevity when giving his reports, took fifteen to twenty minutes to brief the Board on a multi-stage U.S. Pro-Am Cycling race that will pass through Lyons on its final stage (Saturday, August 25). The race will involve about 125 world-class cyclists, and will be covered by NBC Sports. Parker said that the event could bring thousands of spectators into Lyons, and would necessitate closing either Main Street or Broadway (final details need to be worked out) for maybe an hour to an hour and a half. He indicated that the race organizers would be coming to town later this year, to meet with the Trustees and work out all the details. In an “oh by the way” moment after Parker’s report, Administrator Victoria Simonsen informed the Board that there might be a special concert at Planet Bluegrass that same weekend, later in the evening. So, August 25 could be a very busy day here in Lyons.
The consent agenda, consisting of the July, August, September, October, and November Clerk & Treasurer’s report, the July, August, September, October, and November financials, the January accounts payable, and the January 3 BOT minutes was approved. After which, a report and final recommendations by representatives (Roger Flynn and Tom Douglas) from the Planning and Community Development (PCDC) and Economic Development Commission (EDC) on the Commercial Eastern Corridor (CEC), now known as the Gateway Corridor (GC). The discussion was entailed design standards, sight plan reviews, formula businesses, permitted uses, conditional uses, use by special review, and criteria for such. The discussion also included input from Town Planner Danna Ortiz, and a phone hook-up with Town Attorney Tim Cox. After about an hour, it became abundantly clear that this was a very complex issue that was going to require a lot of hashing about and word-smithing before it actually becomes a “final recommendation.” So, Mayor Julie Van Domelen suggested a workshop with the PCDC and the EDC be set up for sometime in February.
Two resolutions, one calling for the approval of a contract (not to exceed $7,500) with Organizational Development Services for a compensation classification study for Town Staff salaries, and the other a contract for legal services (not to exceed $15,000) with Carolynne White were approved. The first passed 5 – 1 (Trustee Kathy Carroll was out of town), with Trustee LaVern Johnson voting no and saying it was “a waste of money, since we can only pay the Staff so much, no matter what the comparables are!” Van Domelen also had misgivings saying, “I’m probably going to regret this down the line.” The legal services with Ms. White will cover negotiations and representation in the discussions with the City of Longmont concerning the fate of the decommissioned water treatment plant properties to the east of town. This item was passed unanimously 6 – 0.
The first reading of an ordinance, that would no longer require a referendum approval by the voters on non-residential annexations over five acres, to no one’s surprise, proved to be quite divisive among the Trustees. Trustee Sandy Banta, fearing the motives of developers and future Boards, wanted to do nothing, and just leave things as they are. Van Domelen noted that only six other municipalities in Colorado had similar “annexation by referendum” ordinances in place, and five of those have since rescinded the need for referendum. The Mayor said that virtually no annexations had taken place in any of the municipalities after instituting the annexation by referendum ordinances, and added, “the referendum acted more as wall than a filter.” Van Domelen and Trustee Ed Bruder leaned more toward passing it at first reading, getting public input at the second reading and then, depending on the public sentiment, either taking action as a board, or putting it to a vote in April. Trustee Udovich seemed to be in favor of an April vote, and Trustee Kathy Jacobson felt that an April vote was, “too rushed.” Everyone felt that they and the public needed more information about the proposed design standards for the Gateway Corridor, and the completion of the pending Intergovernmental Agreement with Boulder County before a decision could be made. The discussion went on and on, late into the night, and after a motion to table it indefinitely failed in a 1 – 5 (Banta voted to table), a second motion to continue the first reading until late March (with a scheduled workshop “with public input” in the interim) passed 6 – 0.
The first reading of an ordinance to reduce the base water rater for metered properties passed 6 – 0 (yaaaaay!!!!), and the second reading of an ordinance to apply and contract for beneficial use of water (Big Thompson Project Water) between the Town of Lyons and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (the Whipp annexation) was continued to the February 6, BOT meeting because of a posting snafu.
The Mayor, reminding everyone that it was now 10 o’clock, asked for Trustee and Staff reports. Thankfully all took heed of the late hour, and were brief, and the meeting was adjourned post haste.