By Joseph Lekarczyk
In the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that the author of this article is married to the Mayor.
If you’ve gotten a couple of parking tickets in Lyons over the last few years, and you’ve put off going down to court in Town Hall on the third Wednesday of each month to take care of the fines, consider yourself notified the next time you park in Lyons (legally or not), you could find yourself uttering the line, “Dude, where’s my car?” The Lyons Board of Trustees (BOT) on Monday evening passed on second reading an ordinance that will allow the Town to impound vehicles, which have been ticketed twice in the last three years, and have failed to pay
restitution for the parking fines levied. The ordinance came about at the behest of the Town Prosecutor who advised the Board that there were literally scores of unpaid parking tickets sitting in his files, and he had no recourse to collect the fines. Under the new system, a delinquent owner will have to pay all outstanding parking violations plus the towing fee in order to get the impounded car back. Oh by the way, your free-to-Lyons-residents Bohn/Meadow Park summer weekend parking stickers (which are necessary from April through October) are now available at Town Hall.
The Board also passed on second reading an ordinance that would add a location and extent review process for public facilities projects in the Town of Lyons. Simply put, it means the Town would have to go through the same process of scrutiny and approval for its proposed public projects as a private developer would have to face. For example, the proposed construction of a new wastewater treatment plant will be reviewed in a public process. The idea is to ensure transparency, and the chance for public comment, in all the Town’s projects and undertakings. This new ordinance would not affect small projects such as cutting a street to do work on a water or utility line, or fixing a pothole, etc.
The Trustees also passed, on first reading, an ordinance that would allow the Town to use surplus funds in the General Fund to retire the debt (about $170K) on the Town owned Post Office building. The revenues from the lease agreement (approximately $96K annually) would then be used over the next three or four years to replenish the surplus in the General Fund, and finance needed capital improvement street projects (there are a boatload of street repairs that have been on the backburner for years because of a lack of funds). The second reading and public hearing on this ordinance will be held at the June 3 BOT meeting.
As the Lyons Liquor Authority (LLA) the members approved a request for a special event permit by the Lyons Chamber of Commerce to conduct a beer tent at this year’s Good Old Days Celebration. There was some discussion about the location and direction of the stage (down at the southern end of Bohn Park near the bike jump park). Mayor Julie Van Domelen voiced concerns that this could lead to “sound and parking complaints" from the residents in the nearby residential neighborhoods. When other Trustees asked why things couldn’t be sited in the northwestern corner like they were in the past, Administrator Victoria Simonsen explained to the Board that she was told by Parks & Rec. Supervisor Dave Cosgrove that it had to do with availability of water and power. The LLA also voted yes on a special event permit for the Boulder County Art Alliance to hold four events at the Lyons Farmette over the summer. Acting again as the BOT and not the LLA, the Trustees also approved the consent agenda consisting of the May 6 BOT meeting minutes, the May 2013 accounts payable, and the January 2013 and February 2013 financial statements in a 5 to 0 vote (Trustee LaVern Johnson was a little under the weather and Trustee Connie Sullivan was out of town on business).
During general business, the Board heard an overview report from Gary Berngard, of Honeywell Corporation on the status, progress, and timing of the proposed wastewater treatment plant project. They also got an update from Gary Sanfacon on the inter-agency Regional Mountain Trails Master Plan Initiative, which is gathering input from public meetings about connecting existing non-motorized trails and locating trailheads in the foothills and mountains in and around Boulder County. The Trustees also got a quarterly report from members of the Economic Development Commission. Some of the news was good, some bad. All of it was interesting. You really should come down to a BOT meeting sometime and check it out, it’s not just about medical marijuana anymore, and the budget meetings aren’t until October.
The Trustees and Staff gave their reports, and everyone was on their way by 10:15 p.m.