Tuesday’s Town Council meeting included a lengthy agenda for the Council to address.

Special Event Permits Approved

Town Clerk, Danielle Jardee presented a number of Special Event Permits to the Council for approval: the Winter Park Pub’s Summer Concert Series, the Alpine Art Affair (July 14-15), and, the Epic Singletrack Series were all approved. 6 upcoming Chamber events were also approved: Mavic Haute Route Rockies Cycling Tour (arrives in Winter Park from Boulder June 24); Mountain Bike Capital Weekend (June 22-24); Tequila & Tacos with Chili Cookoff (July 7): Rendezvous Run for Independence (June 30); Lance Gutersohn’s 4th of July Celebration (July 4); and Winter Park Jazz Fest (July 21-22).

Transit IGA with Fraser approved

The council next reviewed Resolution 1624, the signed Transit Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Fraser, which had been approved by the Fraser Board of Trustees the previous week at their June 13 meeting. Councilman Art Ferrari asked why the agreement did not include participation in the new transit center expense, which the town is considering. Mayor Jimmy Lahrman explained that Winter Park owns and operates the transit system and service, and the Town of Fraser is considered a customer. He noted that the IGA does allow Fraser a seat on the Transit Advisory Committee (TAC), to represent the Town’s interests. Fraser Mayor Philip Vandernail currently participates on the TAC.

The IGA creates 100% cost sharing of transit costs applicable to Fraser routes, and, it also includes a 10% Management Fee, which contributes to administration and maintenance costs of the service. The 10% amount was questioned by a resident and it was admitted that, if a true cost allocation analysis were conducted, that amount would probably need to be adjusted upward. The document will also work as a good template for agreement with other towns that opt to participate in the transit system at some point in the future.

Town Council approved the IGA unanimously.

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Dollars approved

Resolution 1626, an Incentive request by Cooper Creek Square, was next reviewed by Council. Town Housing Manager, John Crone, described the current climate of housing challenges to the Council, saying he receives an average of 3 housing inquiries a day.

The request is for financial incentive funds to be used to convert unleased office space into 2 residential housing units: a 5 bedroom and 3 bedroom unit. The attainable housing units would be deed-restricted and available to members of the Winter Park workforce. Crone said the ADU incentive funds typically awarded $10,000 per one bedroom unit, so in adding a total of 8 new bedrooms to the market, “this is a great deal” at $30,000, he said. Crone and the Town’s Attorney, Kendra Carberry, will work through document language to finalize the applicable conditions and terms of the request and award. Council approved the request, with that condition.

Winter Park moves forward with Transit Center

WC Johnson Principal, Charles Johnson, presented an updated plan for the Cooper Creek Square Parking Structure Redevelopment. The Project area includes 950 square feet of common area, 1,050 square feet for the proposed Transit Center, and approximately 4,350 square feet of commercial space and patio area on the east side of the existing parking structure. Johnson offered two payment options for the redevelopment to the Town for consideration and the Town ultimately approved the second.

The first option proposed payment, in the amount of $650,000 over fifteen years, by utilizing the Town’s Enhanced Sales Tax Incentive Program (ESTIP) to recapture the amount through a percentage of tax collection from tenant businesses.

The second option requests direct payment, in the amount of $500,000 from the Town, at the time the Transit Center is completed. The Town would also pay $6-7,000 annually for maintenance of the facility and would need to supply water and sewer taps for the development.

Council asked Johnson why there was a $150,000 difference between the two options and Johnson explained that the developer assumes a level of risk during the fifteen year period. He said the Town would realize immediate savings by paying the full amount outright.

Recognizing that the location is prime and that every bus comes through on their routes, the Council was mostly in support of the project, but questioned how to best fund the project. It was determined that, if the Town opted for the ESTIP option, they would not be likely to obtain any grant monies to help pay for the project. With that in mind, they discussed the second option and whether the funds should come out of the Town’s general fund, or from the Transit funds. Town Finance Director, Bill Wengert, told the Council that he would prefer the funds come out of the Transit account, confirming there were adequate funds available. Transit Manager, Michael Koch, confirmed this expense would be allowable for deduction from Transit funds.

Several members of council expressed their concern with the project and how far the project had come since it was initially proposed and were uncomfortable with the cost. Stating that the program is still in its infancy, there are still too many unknowns as far as costs that will come up. The Town still needs to build a Maintenance Facility, and did not feel the Transit Center was something they should be prioritizing right now, since the location is essentially functioning as a transit center anyway.

There is also the matter of the Town taking ownership of the space, since provisions state the developer can take back the space if they cease to operate the Transit Center. Johnson told the Council that he was fine with the Town taking ownership, saying that he was “not putting any value on taking back the space”.

Koch told the Council that grant applications will come out in late summer and early fall, with results announced late 2018 or early 2019. At this point, it is not known how much could be available to fund the project.

In the end, the Council approved the payment of $500,000 for the Transit Center, allocated 4 taps, added the condition the Town will have ownership of the facility, and, set a goal of applying for and receiving grant monies to offset costs, with a split vote of 4-3. Councilmen Lahrman, Periolat and Seemann voted against the project as proposed.

To learn more, visit the Town’s website: wpgov.com