Virtual Town Board Meeting: August 10, 202010 min read
Hi neighbors! In Monday night’s Virtual Town Board Meeting, we heard an economic development update; reviewed an energy baseline audit of Town facilities; reviewed a summary of the Town’s second quarter finances; appointed new committee members to CAPS, ACES, and the Superior Historical Commission; discussed the Boulder Creek Neighborhoods / Rogers Farm project; increased compensation for future Mayors / Trustees; adopted updated building codes; and discussed the scope of services for a new waste collection agreement for which an RFP will be issued later this year. Ready to find out more on what happened? As usual, you may read this post in written form, subscribe to the Laura for Superior podcast, or scroll to the bottom for a video recap.
Disclaimer: While I do my best to represent an honest and accurate portrayal of meetings and events, the following should be considered an editorial that represents one person’s interpretation of the meetings. At the request of my fellow Board members, I am keeping their points anonymous rather than trying to attribute my interpretation to them personally. For the most unbiased and complete information, I would encourage residents to watch the meeting video itself and draw their own conclusions – visit the town website at SuperiorColorado.gov for the official meeting video and meeting minutes. Finally, I’d also encourage you to check out EngagedCitizens.us, which is a fantastic free tool created by one of our own residents. Engaged Citizens includes a repository of agendas, documents, and meeting videos, and allows you to search within a video to jump to critical parts. I hope you find it as helpful as I do!
Item 2D – Board Reports
During Board reports, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Lacis and Trustee Kevin Ryan reported that they attended a meeting with the flight schools, and suggested that a good next step to address airport noise complaints might be meeting with the Jefferson County commissioners. In another popular topic, Town Manager Matt Magley reported that 88th Street is expected to reopen this Friday – with temporary striping measures in place for one more week until the permanent striping is completed.
Item 2E – Public Comment
During public comment, resident Brad Walker provided some feedback on landing fees at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, suggesting that it not be a path we spend time pursuing, as collection would be problematic.
Item 2F1 – Economic Development Update
Next, we heard a presentation from our economic development consultant, Adam Hughes of Better City. A few key callouts include that Brixmor, the owner of the Superior Marketplace, is focused on tenant retention and capital management due to COVID19 – not planning the redevelopment of the Superior Marketplace. As one member of the Board pointed out, similar marketplaces up and down US36 are being redeveloped into housing, and our Board has indicated that we do not want that to happen in Superior – we want a thriving downtown.
Item 2F2 – Energy Baseline Audit Presentation
The town retained consulting firm Rocky Mountain Energy Management (RMEM) to complete an energy baseline audit of Town facilities – including reviewing 79 Xcel Energy accounts that supply electricity to Town buildings, treatment plants, irrigation equipment, street lights, traffic lights, and field lights. Erik Fenger from RMEM shared the findings in our Board meeting Monday, which you can view here. Some key points include that the water treatment plant and wastewater treatment plants are two of our biggest energy users, jointly using 57% of the electricity for the Town. Today, onsite renewable energy only covers 15% of our usage, so this is clearly an opportunity area. I would really like to see us explore the addition of more solar energy generation in our town – with our strong Colorado sun, it’s a no-brainer for saving money while also giving back to the planet!
I was also happy that we discussed developing some energy goals for the town, now that we have a baseline of our current usage. As Mr. Fenger pointed out, what gets measured gets managed – and I think making it a point to measure our energy usage and track toward goals will help galvanize us toward action in increasing our use of renewable energy sources and decreasing our overall energy consumption.
Item 3 – Consent Agenda
Next, our Board unanimously passed the entire consent agenda – including meeting minutes, an intergovernmental agreement with Boulder County for administration of the 2020 general election, appointments of Jill Giordano to the CAPS committee and Erin Edwards to the Historical Commission, and a summary of the Town’s second quarter finances (linked here).
Item 4 – ACES Committee Appointments
The Advisory Committee for Environmental Sustainability (ACES) currently has two vacancies; at our last Board meeting, we interviewed three potential candidates to fill these spots. Prior to Monday night’s Board meeting, we emailed our Town Clerk our votes for two candidates each. Mike Foster received seven votes; Tatiana Dautkhanova received four votes; and David Pujdak received three votes. Therefore, we passed a resolution appointing Mike Foster and Tatiana Dautkhanova to ACES.
Item 5 – CAPS Committee Interview
Next, the Board conducted an interview with resident Denise Beaber to potentially fill an open position on the Cultural Arts and Public Spaces (CAPS) Committee. I was disappointed to learn that Ms. Bieber had not attended any CAPS meetings, even though they are now virtual and available online. As I stated at a previous meeting, this for me is a firm requirement to earn an appointment to a committee; if you haven’t watched a meeting, how can you know for sure that you want to join that committee? We will vote on this appointment at our next Board meeting.
Item 6 – Update on Boulder Creek Neighborhoods/Rogers Farm Project – Phase I
David Sinkey from Boulder Creek Neighborhoods (BCN) presented an update on the Rogers Farm development, on the west side of McCaslin across from Downtown Superior. Phase 1 of the development was a use-by-right application, so BCN did not need to come before the Board for approval. However, the use-by-right did not allow BCN to make a decision about how to use the Town right of way where Douglas Street could potentially be extended – see map below.
BCN has already begun building a pocket park on this right of way, though the Board will not consider whether this should be a road or park (or something else) until we continue the application for phase 2 of development at our August 24th meeting – you may see details of the proposed phase 2 here. Although BCN’s decision to move forward without Board approval was concerning, this was very difficult for us to discuss because of the pending application – since we cannot discuss pending applications outside of a noticed public hearing.
Item 7 – Compensation for Mayor and Board of Trustees
As identified in the Superior Municipal Code, the monthly compensation for the Mayor is $750 and each Trustee is $500. These have been the monthly compensation levels since 2017. However, upon comparing our Board salaries to those of neighboring towns, our Superior Town Board compensation is well below our peers, in spite of the fact that our Board meetings are typically longer than those of neighboring municipalities:
The original proposal from Town Staff was increasing mayoral pay to $1100 per month and Trustee pay to $900 per month. However, that would still put Superior below most of our peers, and since we wouldn’t be able to propose another increase for two years, I was concerned this will cause Superior to continue to lag. Trustee Ken Lish proposed increasing mayoral pay to $1500 per month and Trustee pay to $1200 per month, which I supported, but this did not pass. Instead, we passed the original proposal (increasing mayoral pay to $1100 per month and Trustee pay to $900 per month) by a vote of 6-1, with Trustee Lish as the dissenting vote.
It should be noted that we were not voting on our own raises; the Superior Municipal Code requires that compensation not be increased during a term of office; therefore, any pay increases would only go into effect for the three Trustees elected by you, the voters, in the November 3, 2020 election.
On that note, during our discussion of a potential salary increase, Trustee Sandie Hammerly made a speech to announce that she will not be seeking reelection in November and detailed some of her reasons why. This year, Trustees Hammerly, Kevin Ryan, and Mark Lacis are up for re-election, but only Mayor Pro Tem Lacis has declared his candidacy so far. With Trustee Hammerly deciding not to run for re-election, this means there will need to be at least one brand new Board member following the election. If you’re interested in serving, you will need to pick up a candidate petition from Town Clerk Phyllis Hardin and return it by August 24th to be included on the ballot. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions on the election process!
Item 8 – Adoption of Updated Building Codes
Since 1989, the Town has adopted the International Building Code (I-Codes) series, which establishes minimum requirements to protect public health and safety of building occupants. These codes govern all aspects of construction, including structural requirements, fire protection, mechanical, plumbing, energy conservation and accessibility. These codes are updated every three years, and the 2018 I-Codes series is well-established across the country as the current standard – builders generally expect to be required to meet this standard for construction projects. Additionally, the National Electrical Code was updated this year. As such, we considered an ordinance to adopt the 2018 International Building Code series and 2020 National Electrical Code. This quickly passed unanimously.
Item 9 – Waste Collection Services Agreement Scope of Service
Finally, we considered scope options for a new waste collection services agreement, which will go out as an RFP later this year. The Town currently provides residential trash and recycling collection services to homes in Original Town, Sagamore, The Ridge and Calmante neighborhoods, at a cost of $9.65 per home per month, which is passed through to the homeowner. (The Rock Creek waste collection contract is managed by the Rock Creek HOA, and has different services.) The Town’s current agreement includes weekly trash pick-up and every other week recycling pick-up, with 96-gallon containers provided for each. After a community survey by ACES, there was interest in potentially moving to recycling pick up every week, potentially adding an option for compost pickup, and potentially offering different bin sizes.
ACES put together five different scope options to consider, and we sought to bring that down to two or three for the RFP. I suggested a “good, better, best” approach – option 1 would be our current contract; option 2 would be adding weekly recycling; and option 3 would be adding weekly recycling and compost. We also talked about potentially adding volume-based discounts, and decided to add that as an ancillary question in the RFP (“would you consider offering smaller bin sizes as an option”) rather than trying to make it a full additional scenario in the RFP, which might discourage vendor response. However, our newly-appointed ACES Committee member Mike Foster spoke up in public comment that he’s had experience in this area, and that waste management companies are adept at dealing with multiple options. I was very grateful that Mr. Foster had this expertise and was proactive in speaking up!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read / listen to this recap – I hope it is helpful! Our Board is always open to hearing your comments, questions, and concerns – you may always email your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to me specifically at email@example.com. As a reminder, any messages sent to a government email are part of the public record and will have your name attached; if you feel the need to write in anonymously, you may always comment at the bottom of my blog post recaps.