In the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that the author of this article is married to the Mayor
Despite no one speaking during audience business, the tabling of two resolutions and the first reading of an ordinance, all concerning amendments to the plat and rights of way for Turner Reed
subdivision at the end of 1st Avenue, until the August 2 meeting, and removing the clerk and treasure’s reports for March, April, and May, from the consent agenda, the Board of Trustees still managed to outlast the entire audience and make their meeting last until well after 10 p.m. Ya gotta give em credit, they sure can discuss things at length.
Sgt. Kevin Parker, Lyons Substation Commander, reported that other than some traffic snarls and bottlenecks near town hall, things went pretty smoothly during the weekend Centurion Cycling bike races. He says his office plans to sit down with organizers of the race and town officials and do a debriefING about what worked and what didn’t, so that next year’s race can be “tweaked.” He added,that nearly all the complaints his office received were from non-locals upset about not being allowed to picnic in Meadow Park.
There was a very long and troubling discussion about two amendments (60 and 61) and a proposition (101), which will appear on the November ballot, and according to Administrator Victoria Simonsen and the Colorado Municipal League (CML), if passed “would have significant negative impact on the financial situations of nearly all municipalities and school districts in Colorado.” Prop 101 would drastically reduce vehicle registration fees, which again, according to CML estimates, could mean a loss of as much as 500 million dollars annually to the state (which would of course trickle down to municipalities), and the elimination of a telecommunication tax which could impact monies for such things as street maintenance to the tune of another 45 million dollars. Amendment 60 would alter the collection of property taxes, and would reduce or eliminate mill levy increases, which could mean as much as a 300 million dollar loss of funding to school districts across the state. Amendment 61 would alter the way a town like Lyons could incur debt for such bonded projects as water treatment plant upgrades, etc. The amendment would require that bonds be refinanced at ten years instead of thirty, which could lead to rate increases on the order of perhaps 300 percent! Troubling indeed.
Trustee LaVern Johnson was very worried with the present day climate, that voters would see “tax cut” and not look at the larger picture and all the consequences that those cuts would lead to. She cited the failed sales tax increase that the Lyons voters turned down recently. Mayor Julie Van Domelen felt that apart from the decrease in revenue from an already troubled budget, these proposals would “take away tools from us, which allow us to govern.” She also said she felt “we have an obligation to fund the education system.” In the end, the Board instructed Simonsen to begin running the numbers of what these ballot questions could mean to the Town of Lyons, and prepare a 2011 budget that anticipated “a worst case scenario.”
The Trustees then discussed with Marty Hine, Vice Chair of the Planning and Community Development Commission (PCDC), their ongoing desire to amend the Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) with Boulder County. The general consensus between the BOT, Staff, and PCDC seems to be that Town of Lyons would like to amend the IGA to expand the Lyons Planning Area (LPA) to include three properties along Rte. 66 in what is being called the eastern corridor. These three properties, the decommissioned water plant on the north side of the highway, Gwynne’s Nursery, and the Hawkins’ property bi-sected by Nolan Road, would potentially be annexed into the Town and zoned commercial, thus adding to the Town’s sales tax revenues. Apparently the talks and meetings have been going on for months, and then earlier this month Boulder County threw a monkey wrench into the works by suggesting that if Lyons was willing to allow the County to purchase the Ramey property (on the hillside above the caboose just west of the Rte. 66/36 intersection) as Open Space, they would be willing to consider the amendment of the IGA. This proposal had never been part of the discussion, and came as quite a surprise to the Lyons officials. Boulder County would also like some assurances that if they agreed to amend the IGA, and allow for the expansion of the LPA, that Lyons would extend the duration of the IGA, which is scheduled to expire in 2012. They are also inquiring about Lyons’ interest in continuing to be part of a “Super IGA” with several other municipalities in Boulder County. Mayor Julie Van Domelen is anxious to keep the process moving, and made it clear that she feels the expansion of the LPA and the future of the Ramey property are two separate issues, and should be negotiated separately, so that one doesn’t slow down the other.
The Board then approved the consent agenda consisting of the July 6, and June 21 BOT meeting minutes, and after some lengthy discussion of the June 2010 clerk & treasurer’s report, they approved that too. Then it was on to the public hearing to extend the medical marijuana moratorium. At this point, there was absolutely only one person remaining in the room, and he had to be there so he could write this story. Trustee Ed Bruder again recused himself from the discussion and vote, which was approved in a 5 – 0 vote (Trustee Kirk Udovich was out of town). A motion was made to go into executive session to discuss a settlement proposal for the Vaughn vs. Chilson/Kavnar vs. the Town garage case (you remember that one). It was briefly discussed with Town Attorney Tim Cox as to whether Bruder and Trustee Sandy Banta could or should participate in the discussion since they were on the Board of Appeals that heard and ruled on the case. It was decided they could, and they did. At the end of the executive session, Staff was directed to provide a little more information before the Trustees vote whether or not to accept the proposal. Meeting adjourned.