The November 19 Town Council meeting brought a full agenda, including approval of the 2020 Budget and Employee Benefit plans, and ended with two separate Executive Sessions. Absent from the council were Councilmen Art Ferrari and Jim Myers.
2020 Employee Benefits
Town Finance and Human Resources Director Lizbeth Lemley presented recommendations for the 2020 plan year. Lemley told council the town had been faced with a 25% increase in rates for the upcoming year. Working with the brokers at Shirazi Benefits of Fort Collins, they were able to make changes that brought the increase down to a more manageable 9.5%.
The recommendation was to convert the town’s self-funded dental plan to a fully-insured plan and bundle Group Term Life Insurance and Long-term Disability with the town’s medical insurance company, CIGNA. New for 2020, employees will have an option to buy additional life insurance and vision coverage.
Mayor Jimmy Lahrman asked, “Now that we are all in with CIGNA, will this go up again next year?”
Director Lemley replied, “We can go out for bid every year. Bundling helped us keep the costs lower.”
Council approved Resolution 1727, the 2020 Employee Insurance Benefits, as recommended, unanimously.
The 2020 Budget was presented to Council on October 27 and a Public Hearing was held on November 4. For 2020, the budget assumes $21.7 million in generated revenues and expenditures of $34.7 million, including capital projects and equipment. Funds issued via a $10 million Certificate of Participation (COP) for the new Public Works facility were received in 2019 to be paid in 2020.
Council approved the adoption of the 2020 budget as outlined in Resolution 1728 unanimously.
Public Works Facility
The first reading of Ordinance 526 for the Town’s plans to proceed in constructing a new Public Works facility outlined specifics related to financing and construction. Incremental actions had been taken in the last year to enable the new facility to be constructed in 2020. The actions included selection of Saunders Construction as the Construction Manager/General Contractor, engaging a Municipal Advisor and Bond Counsel, approving a site lease for the temporary Public Works facilities and other key actions.
Ordinance 526 authorizes financing for the new facility and the execution of documents to facilitate the financing of the facility.
Council unanimously approved the first reading. The second reading and public hearing of the ordinance will occur on December 3, at which time the Council will also approve Saunders Construction’s guaranteed maximum price.
Grooming service contract
Resolution 1729 authorizes the town contract with Mountain States Snowcats to provide winter snow grooming services for the Hideaway Park sledding hill, Fraser River Trail and Leland Creek Trail, a loop trail from the Leland Creek Trail, the Alpine Trail and a snow bridge for the winter trail extension of the Fraser River Trail.
Public Works Director Gerry Vernon told council the estimated cost for the 2019/2020 winter season would be $25,000, depending on seasonal snowfall and the length of the season. Council approved the contract unanimously.
Highway Holiday Lighting
Alpine Landscape Service had submitted a bid to the Town to install, remove and store holiday lighting for the three medians located along Hwy 40 in town. Director Vernon told council the owner, Matt Bailey, had installed lighting on one of the traffic islands last winter and recommended the town approve the contract for all three, at a cost of $29,600. Council approved Resolution 1730 unanimously.
Roam Development Plan
The Fraser River Development Company (FRDC) has requested to amend the Roam final development plan to adjust the setback requirement for garages adjacent to private right-of-way. The proposed amendment would allow garages on private property to be located within five feet of the property line. Any garages facing a public right-of-way would have to be at least 20 feet from the right-of-way/property line. Council approved Ordinance 527 on first reading. A public hearing and second reading of the ordinance will take place on Tuesday, December 3 at 5:30 pm.
Commercial Enhancement Grant revised
Earlier in the year, Council had approved a $12,500 Commercial Enhancement Grant for Fireside Market to make improvements to the store’s patio and add a mural to the southwest side. However, with winter weather constraints, the mural will not be completed this year and the Market requested the grant and project scope be reduced to $8,400. Community Development Director James Shockey told council Fireside Market may reapply for another grant for the mural in the future. Council approved Resolution 1731, amending the amount of the grant unanimously.
Special Use Permit at Hideaway Station
The Perk Taproom applied for a special use permit to redevelop the landscaped area of “Building H” within Hideaway Station and allow for outdoor vending. The proposition included space for 3 food trucks to operate and potentially increase foot traffic to the area. However, the Planning Commission reviewed the application and felt it should be denied because the development did not seem appropriate for the location and the application lacked details on how it could affect the health, safety and welfare of residents. With that recommendation, Council passed a resolution to deny the permit application.
Federal Transit Authority Grant
Each year the Town applies for Federal Transit Authority funds to reimburse the Town for a portion of the transit system operational costs. For 2020, Winter Park will receive $186,950 in funding and the Town will need to match this grant amount. Council approved the grant agreement and the Town’s matching amount.
Winter Park Town Council meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 5:30 pm. To learn more, visit wpgov.com.