The first meeting of the new year was packed with a number of agenda items to work through Tuesday night.
Tim Gagnon of Core Consultants told the trustees that CDOT had approved the town’s Downtown Improvement Study. Alternates eliminating one (eastbound) lane or one lane in each direction could be initiated to create a more walkable community, but would require planning and understanding to accommodate local traffic.
A downtown traffic study had been conducted last January by Bowman Consulting and determined that a traffic light (or roundabout) was warranted at the intersection of 6th Street and US 40, but another at 4th Street was not.
The town’s Master Plan, Highway Corridor Plan, Access Management Plan and Traffic Modeling Plan are necessary components of the planning process. While still a long way from making any decisions, the town thanked Gagnon for advising them on the results of the study. A more robust workshop will take place at a future meeting.
Colorado Headwaters Land Trust Executive Director Jeremy Krones returned to discuss the conservation easement of lands located just north of Sun River Run Ranch. Krones introduced Mike Strugar, of the Conservation Resource Center in Boulder. Strugar offered his expertise in the realm of available tax credits.
Strugar explained that while Colorado is one of only a few states that offers tax credits for donations such as what is being proposed, a municipality is not eligible to receive the credits (estimated at about $.50 to the $1) because they are not a taxpayer.
“It’s complicated,” said Strugar. “The thing that makes it intriguing is the developer is holding a restriction on the conservation portion of land.” Strugar suggested the town collaborate with the developer (Sun) in a public/private partnership, resulting in the developer getting tax credit for the conservation easement and utilizing the funds received to make available public amenities such as restrooms and parks. The trustees agreed to explore creative solutions to complete the conservation easement.
ROSH spending in question
During the unscheduled public comment, several citizens approached the podium to express their concerns with the Recreation Open Space and Housing (ROSH) Foundation.
Tim Hartmann, of Allegiant Management Co, asked that ROSH be placed on the next meeting agenda to address concerns raised by residents of Granby Ranch. Hartmann told the trustees that letters of petition had been sent to over 900 Granby Ranch homeowners and 140 had been returned indicating they would like the nonprofit to be dissolved.
Granby Ranch homeowner Robert Blay thanked the trustees for putting ROSH on the next meeting’s agenda. “I would like the board to ask ROSH to stop spending money,” said Blay, adding, “I think there’s potential for misuse of funds.”
Mayor Paul Chavoustie said the topic would be added to the February 11 meeting agenda, to allow for the next ROSH meeting to take place. Trustee Natascha O’Flaherty asked that the report filed to the town by ROSH also be included with the meeting packet.
Headwaters Trails Alliance Update
Maire Sullivan gave the trustees an update on 2019 HTA activities. “This was our uber-busiest field season,” said Sullivan. HTA set a record of over 4,400 volunteer hours last year. They worked with larger volunteer groups like Volunteers of America and several different youth corps, covering trails in the Fraser Valley and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Over 168 unique miles of trails including 645 drains were maintained. Over 4,000 trees and 3 avalanche paths were cleared for fire and public safety. HTA is about halfway through the first phase of the Trails Smart Sizing project. They finalized and approved the Grand County Master Trails Plan. Sullivan gave the trustees a copy of the countywide bike guide they created which covers all aspects of biking in the county. Mountain biking, road biking, fat tire biking, bike parks and gravel grinding.
“Gravel is the new black,” said Sullivan. Riders are migrating into rural areas to ride long distances on gravel roads. “This is something to be looking at in the next couple of years – we have great terrain for that type of event.”
For 2020, Sullivan told the trustees they had about $250K in trail maintenance and decommissioning projects planned.
Flying Heels Rodeo
Tish Linke-Krimpin asked the trustees if they had, once again, budgeted $1,000 for a trophy saddle. Finance Director Sharon Spurlin confirmed they had budgeted the amount, which is paid through the Granby Chamber due to the Flying Heels Rodeo no longer having nonprofit status.
Linke-Krimpin also asked for funding for the 4th of July fireworks. “For years, the Chamber organized it, but about 3-4 years ago, it was given to us,” said Linke-Krimpin. “We know the 4th of July Rodeo doesn’t pay for the fireworks. We can’t afford $8-10K.”
Trustee Becky Johnson said, “We need to fund the fireworks. America loves fireworks.”
Trustee O’Flaherty added, “Granby Ranch Conservancy budgeted a line item for fireworks, and Country Ace is also sending funds.” O’Flaherty asked Linke-Krimpin to send the town information on the shortfall for consideration of a supplemental budget item.
Linke-Krimpin told the trustees the Rodeo would be extended this summer from 5 to 9 rodeos, going through the end of July. “It’s a big step, because we didn’t go up with our sponsorship asks.”
Resolution 2020-01-14A establishes the public place for posting notices, an annual requirement.
Resolution 2020-01-14B amends the water rates for the North Service Area at a 5% increase in water rates and the facility fee.
Resolution 2020-01-14C establishes the 2020 amount of down payment assistance, a promissory note which is paid back, at $10,000. Another $5,000 is available through the county’s Housing Authority program.
Moffat Road Railroad Museum
Mayor Chavoustie told the trustees there was good news as pertains to the museum. He said a part-time Granby resident had committed funds to help the museum financially and had requested a plan. Museum Director Dave Naples told the trustees the benefactor is a train buff, and he wants to see the plans “go bigger”. This will require additional land, which is leased to the museum by the town. Naples said the request for additional land will be made at a future meeting.
In the first phase, Naples told the trustees the benefactor is committing $1.6 million, allowing Naples to take a “Walt Disney approach” to finishing current projects. Naples said a furnace would be installed this Friday and is meeting with an electrician the first week in February. Acord will be paving the parking area and ADT will be installing a security system.
The caboose should be finished this summer. Naples also plans to add a children’s railroad ride, “the highest elevation kid’s train ride in the US” as well. “We will have world-class museum status,” said Naples. “We have the vision, we have a plan, and we now have the resource.”
The additional land would house a 10,000 s.f. building which would house several train cars on the lower level and the largest model train railroad in the US upstairs.
The trustees approved Resolution 2020-01-14D, extending the Conditional Use permit for another three years. They discussed potentially amending the zoning to allow operation of the museum without requiring a Conditional Use Permit in the future. Once Naples has complete plans, he will return with a full package to make his request.
Town calls bonds for Granby Ranch roads
Town Attorney Nathan Krob told the trustees they had provided notice for a total of 4 bonds and sureties. Krob explained the funds, once received, would go toward improving the roads and infrastructure and that they cannot be mixed or matched. The bonds are specific to improvements under each Subdivision Improvement Agreement and respective filing. The bond issuers were going through due diligence to ensure work had not been completed. They had requested copies of meeting minutes and construction meeting notes. Krob said he’s given them copies of the SIAs and was hopeful a meeting on Thursday would clear up outstanding concerns.
On Friday, January 10, lender, Granby Prentice LLC filed a Verified Complaint against Granby Realty Holdings LLC. The filing stated, “Granby Prentice seeks to protect and enforce its rights under the loan documents by obtaining (i) the appointment of a receiver to protect its real and personal property collateral during the pendency of the foreclosure proceedings and (ii) a judgment for judicial foreclosure on its liens on certain real and personal property.”
Krob told the trustees the change from deed in lieu of foreclosure to judicial foreclosure could extend the timeline 12-18 months. The successor would have the same liability and responsibility and would be subject to the same restrictions on sales as GRH.
Tax Incentive Program extended for another year
Mayor Chavoustie observed, “This is a very positive, successful program. I ask the board to consider continuing the program.”
Finance Director Spurlin confirmed that $50K had been budgeted for 2020 for the Incentive program.
Trustee O’Flaherty asked the trustees to consider extending the program beyond the Central Business District. “I would like to see Thompson Road activated. It is the gateway to the town and there are businesses there that could make a better impression.”
The trustees agreed to extend the program to commercial businesses located along the US 40 corridor in the CB and HGB zoning districts and approved continuation of the program for another year. Trustee O’Flaherty abstained from the vote due to a conflict.
Town Manager Contract Approved
The trustees selected Ted Cherry as the next Town Manager and extended an offer to him in December 2019. Attorney Krob presented the contract for the trustee’s review.
Trustee O’Flaherty requested that outside business interests be added to the contract. “It has to be disclosed, so we are aware of using taxpayer dollars for outside interests,” said O’Flaherty, adding, “I’d like to see that amendment added.”
Krob replied, “This is the basic contract we have used for the last 4-5 town managers.”
The trustees approved the contract, with O’Flaherty casting the dissenting vote. “I am against the terms of the contract,” she said.
Cherry will begin work on Monday, January 20. Prior to his move to Granby, Cherry was City Administrator for North Sioux City, SD (pop. 1,750) since February 2016. Before moving to North Sioux City, he held the same position in Leoti, KS. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 2007 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Business Marketing and in 2014 with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He enjoys the outdoors, reading, and playing with Ruby, his Black Labrador.
The Granby Board of Trustees meet the second and fourth Tuesday of each month and the meetings are open to the public. To learn more, visit townofgranby.com.