By Joseph Lekarczyk
At a pre-meeting workshop Monday night, the Board of Trustees (BOT) listened to a couple of very informative updates. The first was from Sustainable Futures Commission Chair Toby Russell, concerning the options his group has been exploring in order to decrease the amount of material that ends up in the landfill by perhaps providing residents with curbside recycling and composting (see Randy Moorman's Eco-Cycle article in this edition). And the second was a presentation
from Greg Oetting, Chair of the Planning & Community Development Commission, which has been tasked with providing the Trustees with information concerning the use of tiny homes as Auxiliary Dwelling Units with the goal of easing the affordable housing shortage (see Amy Reinholds' column in this edition). Both presentations were succinct, and packed with interesting ideas.
Lyons Substation Supervisor Sgt. Bill Crist of the Boulder County Sheriff's Office reported that the intergovernmental agreement between his office and the Town of Lyons for services provided was being reformatted and would be ready for the Board's perusal shortly.
He also informed the Trustees that he and his people will be on site “for safety concerns” at the high school next week (Wednesday, March 14) for the students' planned walk-out to protest gun violence, and the need for meaningful change in our nation's gun laws.
During staff reports Flood Recovery Manager Richard Markovich informed the Board that there would be an architectural design meeting at Town Hall for the new public works facility on Friday, March 9, at 9 a.m. He also let the Trustees know that Lyons would be getting a visit from the Department of Homeland Security on May 8 and 9, for a grant requirement compliance audit. When pressed for details after the meeting Markovich assured this reporter that the Homeland Security visit had nothing to do with Trump's Wall being routed through Lyons. Phew! And if you've noticed work being done in the river around Black Bear Hole, Markovich reported that, “the placement and grouting of the stone for the first hole has been completed.”
Joe Kubala, of the Town's engineering staff, gave the Trustees the old “good news, bad news” report. The good news is the new wastewater treatment plant “is working well.” The bad news, “at a cost of four to five thousand dollars per month” more than projected. The problem? The BODs, or Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (a fancy way of saying the gunk in the wastewater going to the plant).
The wastewater treatment plant was designed to ideally handle a “flow rate” of between 650 to 850 milligrams per liter. Currently the rate is up around 1150. Kubala has been spending most of his time over the last few weeks in the manholes all over Lyons recording the readings that are flowing through particular areas of town.
The only manhole that came out smelling like a rose (descriptive pun intended) was the Confluence area; they registered a paltry 450 mgs/liter. Next up, East Main Street (Smokin' Dave's to La Mariposa) at 957, a little over the high end of the spectrum. On the podium with the bronze medal was the Broadway/Fifth Avenue manhole, which came in at 1150, or about 300 too high. The Stone Canyon number was a whopping 1800, but that was only good for second place on the sinners' list. The winner (using the term very loosely) was the manhole that services the Winter Plaza (the empty medical clinic, the Bank of the West, the Lumber Liquor Store, and Oskar Blues), which tipped the scales at 2550 mgs/liter. When questioned by Mayor Connie Sullivan as to why these latest numbers were so much larger than the pre-flood numbers that were compiled by Alberts Water/Wastewater, when the plans for the wastewater treatment plant upgrade were being made, Kubala merely shrugged his shoulders and indicated he had “no idea.” Going forward, the Town staff will most likely be redoubling their efforts to educate the public about what you “should” and more importantly “should not” be putting down your drains, and also stepping up their code enforcement of businesses.
Before moving on to ordinances and public hearings, Sullivan took a moment to appoint Apple Valley resident Mark Mayo to the Economic Development Commission. The public hearing on the night's agenda concerned the raising of the dollar amount on contracts the Town Administrator is authorized to award/terminate. Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen, Town Attorney Kathie Guckenberger, and Markovich all felt that the current levels were woefully low and led to staff inefficiency. They tentatively suggested “doubling” the number (currently between $2500 to $5000, depending on circumstance). After much discussion and prodding by the Trustees and Mayor the staff finally admitted that doubling would only be a band-aid, and doubling the number again would probably be a more realistic number to ensure maximum efficiency. The Board unanimously approved the suggestion, with the caveat that it might be revisited, if need be, after the flood recovery efforts/projects come to a close.
The consent agenda, consisting of two resolutions; the first to de-obligate the Town's Community Disaster Assistance Loan, and the second to approve an amendment to the contract with the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment; the March accounts payable; the February 5 and February 20 BOT meeting minutes. A third resolution, to approve revisions to the Town of Lyons purchasing procedures, grant purchases, and grant contract management (see the previous paragraph) was pulled and then approved separately.
Town Planner Paul Glasgow gave a Power Point presentation about a planning and environment linkage study (basically what Rte. 66 will look like if and when the proposed development of the area around the decommissioned water treatment plant east of town is completed). Somehow his presentation kept “timing out” when he failed to move his cursor in a timely manner, and the “live streaming feed” of the meeting kept popping up on the screen, much to the enjoyment/amusement of those still in attendance. Everybody wants to be a reality T.V. star.
The Trustees gave their reports, and the meeting was adjourned.