by Joseph Lekarczyk
In the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that the author of this article is married to the Mayor.The Board of Trustees (BOT) listened to a presentation by Cameron Stone, of Colorado Springs, explaining why he thought they should waive, or at least reduce, a $2500 deposit and do away with the requirement that he should be required to provide an independent CPA audit of the books for his company, CAMS Cable, in order to transfer the Town’s cable television franchise to him. Stone, a former employee of current provider Champion Cable, says that he purchased four of the Champion’s rural franchises (two in Wyoming, one in Limon, Colorado, and the one here in Lyons) from the previous owner, Dave Haverkate in June of 2010. Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen told the Board that she has not been able to confirm this since Haverkate has yet to reply to any attempts to contact him, and she added that officials from Limon say they don’t have a contract with Stone.
Stone says he has to upgrade all the equipment throughout Lyons since “Champion has been running it into the ground for the last several years.” He has already installed a camera in the BOT chambers with the intent of someday broadcasting their meetings, and he has installed free Wi-Fi in Walt Self Senior Center for use by the Golden Gang and others. Also on the drawing board is free Wi-Fi for the entire downtown area (High Street to Broadway, and 3rd Avenue to 5th). Stone would also like to open a local office here in Lyons, but says that having to put down the deposit and pay for the audit would strap him financially.
Apparently the previous franchise agreement with Champion has been a little sketchy from jump street, since neither Simonsen nor Finance Director Jodie McClurkin were able to find any indication that Haverkate had paid a deposit, nor were there any records that any audits had been requested or performed in the past. The Trustees seemed a little leery of all the red flags that were popping up, but they didn’t want to hold CAMS Cable responsible for the failures of Champion. In the end, they moved to “continue” the discussion and pending approval until the October 18 meeting, thus allowing Town Staff to continue to try and track down Haverkate, Stone to get all of his ducks in a row, and for he and Simonsen to continue negotiations.
The next discussion was with Honeywell Building Solutions. This is the company which was invited to see if they could find ways to make the Town more energy efficient. The Board has decided to hire Honeywell to conduct a Technical Energy Audit, limiting the scope to three areas: installing new water meters with upgraded radio reading capabilities; upgrading the solids de-watering system at the waste water treatment plant; and also installing a variable speed aeration blower at the plant. If Honeywell’s audit can’t show that these upgrades will save the Town enough money to pay for themselves over a 15-year period, the Town will not be obligated to go through with the project. If the Town does go through with the upgrades, and the savings are not realized, Honeywell guarantees the difference. Sounds like a win/win situation. And as Gary Berngard, Manager of Business Development for Honeywell, pointed out to the Trustees, “Since we are a publicly traded company, we have to provide annual audits of our financial records!”
The BOT then approved two resolutions: the first to direct staff to submit the Denver Regional Council Of Governments (DRCOG) 2012-1017 Transportation Improvements Project (TIP) grant application for improvements on the “streetscape” of Route 36 between McConnell Bridge and 3rd Avenue. This would include a pathway on the north side of the highway, improved bicycle and car parking, sidewalks, crosswalks, landscaping, and lighting. This would be a 2.2 million dollar project, and Mayor Julie Van Domelen indicated that the proposed installation of a traffic light at McConnell and Stone Canyon might constitute the required 20% match needed for the grant. The second resolution was for a TIP grant for extended bus service to Lyons. The possible choices are: a route to and from Longmont; a mid-day bus to and from Boulder; or weekend service to and from Boulder. Van Domelen said the survey conducted by Boulder County was pretty much evenly split between those options. She also told her fellow Board members that there could be approximately $133,000 of unused CEMEX fine money available to Lyons to use for the 20% match for this grant. Interesting proposals, lets hope DRCOG sees it the same way.
The Staff and Trustees gave their reports. Simonsen announced that the Town had received a $3,600 grant to replace some streetlights in the “old town” section of Lyons, and she said work would begin shortly on installing parking stalls in Bohn Park similar to the ones in Meadow Park. The consent agenda, consisting of the September 7 and 13 BOT meeting minutes, was approved, while the August financials and clerk & treasurers report was tabled until the October 4 meeting. A public hearing was held (no one spoke) and the second reading of an ordinance to adopt the 2010 edition of the “Model Traffic Code” was approved. The fines for traffic violations in Lyons will now be $30 per point, rather than $20. This means if you are found guilty of a “four point” traffic violation, the fine would be $120 instead of $80. So don’t speed in Lyons!