In the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that the author of this article is married to the Mayor.
Citing a case of acute “Bieber Fever,” Lyons Mayor Julie Van Domelen called in sick for Monday night’s Board of Trustee (BOT) meeting. Instead of attending to her elected duties, she handed the gavel to Mayor Pro Tem Kirk Udovich and opted to attend a Justin Beiber concert at the Pepsi Center in
Denver with her eleven year-old daughter and a classmate. She could not have chosen a better meeting to miss.
On the agenda were a few “New year housekeeping resolutions”(little administrative chores that must be taken care of at the first meeting of each year), three first readings of ordinances (no discussion from residents allowed; that comes at the second reading and public hearing), and the consent agenda. Light agenda! Should be out by 8:30 p.m. at the latest, right? Not!
Lyons Substation Supervisor Sgt. Kevin Parker got things rolling with a brief recount of the day’s lion capture (see full story in this edition), and then he introduced the Trustees and Staff to his replacement (he’ll be leaving on January 31, more on that later) Sgt. Nick Goldberger. Five minutes, right? Not! A question about golf cart safety at school drop off, and it was off to the races! After a somewhat protracted discussion (about 35 minutes) concerning rules, regulations, seat belts, car seats, helmets, capacity, cross walks, where golf carts are allowed, where they aren’t, education versus prosecution, effectiveness of officer presence, priorities, etc., it was decided “education” would be the best avenue to pursue.
So here it is in a nutshell people: golf carts are allowed on all municipal streets and roads within the Town of Lyons, except those that are also State Highways (Routes 36, 66, and 7; including Main Street and Broadway), but carts are allowed to “cross” State Highways. Golf carts must have seat belts and use car seats (for infants and children) just like automobiles. Drivers must obey all the usual “rules of the road,” just like automobiles, and golf carts must be equipped with lights (head/tail) if they are being operated after dark, again, just like automobiles. That’s pretty much it. If you drive a golf cart, just think of yourself as a slow car without any doors and obey all the usual rules and regulations (In the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that the author of this article drives a golf cart, and practices what he preaches, most of the time).
A late addition to the agenda concerning a level two contract with Honeywell Engineering for the design and specs of the wastewater treatment plant upgrade was discussed and agreed to move forward. This will be finalized at the next BOT meeting on Tuesday, January 22. (Monday, January 21, is Martin Luther King Day.)
Then it was on to the first readings. The first two concerned repealing and reenacting sections of the municipal code, and creating regulations and categories for “Use By Special Review” for the creation of the new Commercial Eastern Corridor zone. Both of these items had been discussed multiple times, for hours on end, at many BOT and PCDC (Planning and Community Development Commission) meetings and workshops over the last two years.
But, items like these do not go gentle into that good night, rather they rage, rage against the dying of the light (just thought I’d throw a little Dylan Thomas in for good measure), and after another protracted discussion, this time about the difference between a wedding, a festival, or a farmers’ market, theater or performance space, indoor versus outdoor, drive up or drive through, sole purpose versus multiple use and on and on. Finally, after some wordsmithing by committee, and the notation of a few typos, the two ordinances were approved to go to pubic hearing phase, also on January 22.
The third ordinance for first reading was the rate increase for electric services. This too has been discussed at previous meetings and workshops. After a somewhat briefer discussion, it was decided that in order to make up for the recent shortfall in revenues (there hasn’t been a electrical rate increase since 2000), this would also be sent to second reading and public hearing on January 22. It was noted that unlike Xcel’s (a for profit corporation) recent rate increase, the Lyons rate increase is just to catch up to the actual cost for the delivery of the electricity. The total monthly increase for a customer will vary depending on use (residential versus non-residential/summer rates versus winter rates). Utilities and Engineering Board Chairman Steve Wratten estimated that the increase would result in approximately a 15% increase in revenues for the Town electric fund, which last year operated at a $380,000 deficit. Unfortunately, in order to get totally caught up, more rate increases will be coming over the next few years. Ouch! We might actually have a few people at the next public hearing.
The consent agenda, consisting of the December 17 BOT meeting minutes and the January accounts payable was passed without much discussion, and then it was on to general business, the afore-mentioned “housekeeping.” Displaying admirable wisdom, the Board voted to designate The Lyons Recorder as the official newspaper of record for the Town of Lyons. They also passed a resolution to adopt a pay plan for employees of the Town of Lyons (after Town Clerk Deb Anthony assured them she hadn’t “inserted any pay raises into the plan”). A resolution regarding an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the City of Longmont and the Town of Lyons, concerning the decommissioned water treatment plant east of town was approved. Basically, this is IGA which says that Longmont won’t actively advertise the sale of the facility for one year, while Lyons puts out requests for proposals to developers and/or other interested parties to ensure that any potential development of that area is in sync with the wants and needs of Lyons. Also part of the IGA are provisions that allow for the parceling of the property, future annexation into the Town of Lyons, and technical staff supported from the City of Longmont. Since most of the Commissions, Councils, and Committees took a hiatus over the holidays, there wasn’t much to report during Trustee reports. During Staff reports, Attorney Tim Cox told the Trustees that he would be preparing language to add to the recently enacted recreational marijuana business moratorium to cover the unexpected “social marijuana clubs” that have apparently been popping up in Denver and other places around the state. Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen told the Board that she was planning an “open house” at Town Hall to thank Sgt. Kevin Parker for his many years of service to the community. It will be held on Friday, February 1, (time to be determined, most likely from 3 to 6 p.m.) the public is invited to stop by, have some refreshments, say good-bye, and thank-you. A motion was made to adjourn the meeting, and it was so.