At their meeting on June 5th, the trustees discussed adding another EV charging station in town. The town had installed their first Level 2 EV Charging Station last summer in the parking lot of The Foundry. The installation was partially funded by a grant from the state.
Assistant town manager, Michael Brack, told the trustees that a grant funding window with the state’s Charge Ahead Colorado program had opened, and, the amounts available had increased. Funding for a Level 2 charging station had been increased from $6,260 to $9,000; and, a Level 3, fast charging station was eligible for $30,000. Applications for grant funding are due by June 24th.
Brack suggested the town-owned property where the Headwaters Trails Alliance (HTA) is located had good potential for the new station. Offering close proximity to the downtown business district as well as the Safeway and Fraser Valley Shopping Centers, the location promotes walkability to all. The HTA location could accommodate a Level 2 charging station, with close access to electrical power, and could be installed fairly easily. A Level 3 fast-charging station would require a 480 volt transformer to be installed, or, a 200’ line could be run to the closest 3-phase power outlet located at the laundry facility. Brack told the trustees he had spoken with Mountain Parks Electric (MPE) about the Level 3 option, and they had projected the total cost could approach $125K, much more than the initially estimated amount of $55K.
Mayor pro-tem, Eileen Waldow, who owns an Electric Vehicle (EV), told the trustees a Level 2 EV station takes anywhere from 7-12 hours to fully charge an EV. “We don’t have to give this up for free”, she said.
Trustee Katie Soles asked, “How do we set up a charging station at the charging station?”
Waldow explained that a credit card can be used with an app on the user’s phone.
Waldow asked about current usage, “How full are the ones at The Foundry?”
Brack replied that the station is used “about 45 times by unique users per month, and total usage is about 70”, adding, “the electric bill averages $75/month”.
“Do we need two Level 2 charging stations?”, asked Waldow. “Level 3 is what we really need.”
Brack explained that, for a Level 3, it would cost about $40/foot to run three-phase line, and the cost doesn’t include surface work. He said he could get a more detailed estimate from MPE and electrician, Power to the People. He also told the trustees that Tesla is working with the Kum and Go chain to install 6 fast charging stations across the state of Colorado, including one at the Kremmling location.
Mayor Philip Vandernail said, “We should table this and get more information. To me, it was a no brainer when I saw the initial cost (for the Level 3 option). Maybe we can find someplace to put a Level 3, as opposed to putting one at HTA because we can.”
Town manager, Jeff Durbin suggested, “What about submitting a grant application to the Grand Foundation?” He told the trustees he had met with newly elected MPE board member, Kristen Taddonio, who told him the Level 3 would have higher demand and would result in higher costs from MPE. “We need more information.”
Brack clarified there were two grant funding windows this year and they could apply for grants from both sources. He pointed out that digging a line would have time restrictions in this region. “It’s a pretty short window.”
Durbin suggested, “Let’s go after what we need. We can ratchet the numbers down and look for a site with three-phase power.”
Trustee Ryan Barwick stated, “I support the project, I just want to see it budgeted.” He added that he preferred the town charge users for the Level 3 station to help pay for it.
Keep Fraser Beautiful
Assistant manager Brack next presented the trustees with two initiatives designed to help clean up the town.
The first effort would be a volunteer clean-up of Cozens Ranch Open Space. “There’s a large amount of dog droppings, trash caught in trees and on the road.” Historically, the town has worked with Grand County Sheriff’s Office’s work release program for clean-up. “They did a great job.” However, the program is no longer available due to a lack of staffing. The effort would cost about $250 for materials and lunch for the volunteers, including the cost of a water station to eliminate the use of bottled water.
The second effort is a town clean-up day, which would entail the town bringing in two ‘roll off’ dumpsters to The Drop along with separate pallets to recycle tires, paint, and things not taken ordinarily. The effort would allow Fraser residents to dispose of large items they can’t afford to dispose of or have the means to transport. “It will help with nuisance code enforcement and enhance the way our community looks,” said Brack. “It’s been successful in the past and works really well. Once the roll offs are full, it’s over.” He estimated the cost of the effort to be about $1,500-2,500. Brack explained that an option for larger items (couches, junk) could be provision of vouchers for the Granby Transfer station. The town could set a limit on how much to spend additionally for larger items to be sent over to Granby for drop-off.
Town manager Durbin told the trustees, “This was not budgeted, but our hope was that bag fee revenues would enhance services at The Drop. We talked about ways we can help people with avoiding nuisance violations.” He explained that, when the town previously hosted clean-up days, it was located at the shop next door. At that time, the county waived the tipping fees. People cleaned out their yards and the community supported it. However, when a charge was imposed for the cost of the dumpsters, all while City Market was opening in Granby causing a loss in tax revenue, it led to the demise of the program. “This is well perceived and not a lot of cost,” said Durbin. “It fits our sustainability objectives.”
Trustee Andy Miller motioned to approve both initiatives. The motion passed 5-2, with Trustees Ryan Barwick and Parnell Quinn voting in opposition.
Fraser Center for the Creative Arts
Marketing & Economic Development manager, Sarah Wieck, told the trustees town staff and members of the Economic Development Advisory and Public Arts Committees had met with DAO architects on the center’s design to get the project started. They had also met with consultants from ArtSpace who recommended they hire an attorney to set-up a nonprofit 501(c)3, ‘Fraser Creative Industries’, develop a board of directors and hire a campaign manager to raise funds for the Center.
Wieck and Durbin requested a $130K loan from the Town to cover expenses related to consulting fees, attorney fees to create the 501(c)3 and the campaign manager’s salary. $30K had been budgeted for consulting expenses in 2019, and the remainder of the requested amount would be repaid when the first $100K has been raised. “Our goal is to create this entity to start raising dollars and get something going,” said Wieck.
Trustee Barwick asked about the duration of the campaign manager’s compensation (estimated between $70-90K) and whether it would be tied to performance.
Durbin said, “Ideally, we get someone to come on board with a lot of spark and energy. You need someone that is focused on this.” When the project is completed, the campaign manager could be transitioned to the Director role.
Trustee Soles said, “A 501(c)3 is definitely the first step. This is something we need to budget for next year.”
The trustees did not move forward with a motion, agreeing that more due diligence is required.
Lions Pond projects approved
Town manager Durbin updated the trustees on the Fraser River Corridor Master Plan. He told them that Town Planner, Catherine Trotter was spearheading the work on costing and grants for the utility install, restroom and playground options. He added that by using the $250,000 the town had allocated to the Cozens Ranch Open Space (CROS) project as leverage, it could garner up to $1 million in matching funds for use in 2020. The total project cost was estimated at about $6.5 million when it launched last year, and the Town hopes to fund a good portion of it through grants.
As for the coming summer, Durbin told the trustees the town will continue to make incremental progress on the project. Town gardener Cathleen Brown had received a number of trees which will be planted in the area surrounding the Lions Ponds and the public works department is also working on the grassy knoll at the planned entry point from US 40..
Skinny Traffic LLC, who had completed work on last summer’s pilot project, had submitted a proposal for rebuilding and improving the water outflow area between the north and south ponds. The proposal includes incorporating boulders and rock features to create a series of small waterfall features, moving the Dwight D Eisenhower statue and plaque from its current location to a spot in the new outflow area, building two new bench platforms near the outflow area and adding further organic seating on natural boulders that will be incorporated into the landscape. The bid estimates a cost of between $28-33K and a two week construction timeline.
Durbin estimated the total cost for the summer’s projects to be around $40-45K, which would come from the CROS funds. The town had seeded the fund with $250K in 2019 and Durbin suggested between $250-450K be added in 2020.
Mayor pro-tem Waldow asked, “If Ike is moved, what happens to the sponsor plaques?”
Durbin suggested using them as part of the outdoor classroom to be constructed next summer. He told the trustees he had not had an opportunity to speak with the Fraser Valley Lions Club, but they were supportive of the project. Also, since the statue is welded into the concrete base, they would need to speak with the artist, Howard Neville, “to make sure we do it right”.
“The document says $28-33K, then I have heard $40-45-50K – what is the actual number?”, asked Trustee Barwick.
Durbin replied, “In my mind, $50K is real, to leave room for unknowns. $40-45K is what I would recommend.”
Trustee Andy Miller asked about running a sewer line through and Durbin said Public Works director, Russell Pennington and his department will bore it. “If we package this in with a broader project, we can leverage the funding.”
Trustee Miller said he liked the prospect of having a feature for photos and building momentum on the project. “Let’s have some progress over there. It has a lot of photographic appeal. I am all for it.”
Mayor pro-tem Waldow added, “I think it needs to be confirmed with the Lions Club, Howard Neville (the artist) and we work closely with Winter Park Ranch.”
Trustee Soles motioned to approve Resolution 2019-06-01, with the reminder the town needs to be in close contact with the Lions Club, Howard Neville and Winter Park Ranch water, and, not to exceed an amount of $50K. Trustee Herb Meyring seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
Public Works Conceptual Facility Design
Resolution 2019-06-02, awarding a consultant contract for a Public Works Facility Conceptual Design to GSG Architecture in the amount of $55,620. Originally placed in the Consent Agenda for approval, the trustees requested it be removed for discussion.
Manager Durbin told the trustees, “The 2019 budget includes up to $75K for consultant work for facility programming, site location and design”. He told them the facility is old, the buildings are outsized, and a lot of equipment is stored outside. “This is the first, continuing step to making that a reality.”
Director Pennington agreed, saying, “Yes, what he said.” Part of the work is site selection, concept design, equipment and accessories inside the building. “At the outcome, we’ll know how big and have a cost assessment with a larger number we will have to plan for.” Part of the discussion would include options such as satellite locations on town-owned land.
Mayor Vandernail asked, “What is the cost of the conceptual design versus the needs assessment? Could we pay ‘a la carte’?”
Pennington told him he was not sure. “They bid on the scope of work. If I remember right, I don’t think they gave a line item breakout.”
“We have already paid for a conceptual design a few years ago. Is this putting the cart before the horse?”, said Mayor Vandernail.
“We need to look at the current needs and projected growth. It leads into site selection from there,” said Pennington.
“I would prefer it be broken into line items,” said Mayor Vandernail, adding, “I would prefer to do the needs assessment right now.”
Trustee Miller said, “The budget and site will dictate whether satellite locations will work best. A needs assessment is really critical. It helps us realize how much land we are going to need and what works for the budget.”
“I have ideas on what our needs are,” said Pennington.
Manager Durbin cautioned, “We are going to have to ask ‘is that a need or a want?’ There are different perspectives on building. Having an understanding of what we need, want and can afford”. There’s only so much land, what we can fit on what property and what we can afford – it’s all in finding a balance.
Further information will be requested from the consultant and will be brought back to the trustees at a future meeting.
To listen to the meetings and learn more, visit frasercolorado.com.