By Joseph Lekarczyk
In the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that the author of this article is married to the Mayor.
With Mayor Julie Van Domelen en route to Africa, Mayor Pro Tem Kirk Udovich got a chance to bang the gavel at Monday evening’s Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting. It was the first “real” meeting for the newly elected Board, where they actually got to “take care of business.” And, things went smoothly for Udovich, once the emergency flashflood-warning test announcement stopped interrupting his efforts to open the proceedings.
During audience business, Attorney David Eisenstein, speaking on behalf of Ashley Rheingold, proprietor of Headquarters, a local medical marijuana center, notified the Board that he would be seeking permission to relocate his business from its current location (the old Red Hill Motorcycle WERX building next to the Diamond Shamrock gas station) to a new location in the Lyons Village Central Plaza (138 Main Street, the site of the former Lyons Indoor Gardening store). Headquarters was originally located in the old Lyons Veterinarian Clinic on Main Street, but in January of this year, they had to move because they were within 1,000 feet of the Lyons Elementary School. It had been rumored that the business was going to relocate into the retail portion of Gwynne’s Greenhouse at the intersection of Rtes. 66/36, but Rheingold apparently changed his plans. He asked that the item be put on the agenda for the first BOT meeting in June (June 4), but unfortunately there won’t be a quorum for that meeting (Van Domelen, Udovich, and Trustees Dan Greenberg and Dawn Weller will all be out of town). The Board decided instead to re-schedule the meeting for Monday, June 11, at 7 p.m.
Under general business, Lyons resident Matt Booth presented a petition asking the Trustees to consider lowering the speed limit for the McConnell Drive cul-de-sac (just east of the high school) from 30 m.p.h., to 15 m.p.h. Booth cited the number of small children who live on the street, and the potential for tragedy. Everyone was in agreement that drivers in the area should slow down, but there was some speculation that since it is currently a dead end street, and most drivers who use the street live on the street, perhaps the worried parents would be better served to appeal to their neighbors and visitors to curb their speed. In the end, for the sake of continuity with other neighborhood speed limits, a 20 m.p.h. limit was enacted, and it was suggested that a sign, warning motorists about the children at play, be erected.
A series of resolutions were then approved. The first was a license agreement between the Town of Lyons and 4196 Ute Highway (Spirit Hound Distillery) for occupation of a building on Town-owned property. A small portion of the building (the old Red Hill Motorcycle WERX building) straddles the right of way. Trustee Sullivan recused herself since her husband is one of the partners in the new distillery operation. The vote passed 5 to 0. The third, fourth, and fifth resolutions were between the Town of Lyons and Planet Bluegrass for the leasing of Town property (Bohn and Meadow Parks) for the annual festivals, and a new two-day event (the Yonder Mountain String Band concert) on August 24 and 25. These items passed without too much discussion, although Trustee LaVern Johnson did make her annual appeal to Craig Ferguson to please do everything within his power to prevent festival-goers from parking in the neighborhoods. Ferguson assured her that short of using a taser on the uncooperative few, he would continue his efforts toward total compliance.
The Board then heard a presentation by Town intern Jeremy Matsen on parking strategies within the Town for the upcoming summer season. He and Administrator Victoria Simonsen informed the Trustees that the Community Service Officers (aka the guys who give out tickets) are once again on the beat. The two-hour parking limit will again go into effect beginning this weekend (last weekend, they were only giving out warnings). Also, the weekend and holiday parking fee ($5) for Bohn and Meadow Parks will also go into effect, and run through September. Lyons residents can obtain a free parking sticker for one of their vehicles by going down to Town Hall during business hours. Non-residents can also get a sticker for a small fee.
The first reading to amend an ordinance concerning outside gas grills and camp stoves in the Town’s parks was tabled until the May 21 BOT meeting because there was some confusion about why camp stoves would be banned for people who were using the parks for overnight camping. It is expected that Parks & Rec. Director Dave Cosgrove (not present because he was under the weather) will be able to shed some light on the matter at that time.
The consent agenda, consisting of the May accounts payable, the April 16 meeting minutes, the reappointment of Town Attorney Tim Cox, Town Judge Kristin Brown, Town Clerk Deb Anthony, and Town Treasurer Jody McClurkin was approved. The only caveat was that a request for proposal be drawn up for the position of Town Attorney in order to save time and money (Cox commutes from Evergreen). Everyone agreed that Cox has done a good job; they just wanted to investigate other options.
The Trustees and Staff then gave their reports. Not too much to report, since half of the Trustees have only been on the job for two weeks, but Simonsen reported that she and Town Engineer Jim Blankenship and the Mayor would be putting together a request for a million-dollar-plus grant to do some “streetscape” work (signage, sidewalks, low walls, etc.), similar to the Main Street project of a couple of years ago, along Broadway, between Third and Fifth Avenues. Udovich then brought the gavel down and adjourned the meeting at a reasonable 9:45 p.m.