Virtual Town Board Work Session: October 19, 20208 min read
Hi neighbors! In Monday night’s Virtual Town Board Work Session, we discussed 2021 priorities, setting a town-wide standard for street lights, our intergovernmental agreement with Louisville Library, appropriate uses for Open Space funds, CARES Act funding, our RFP for trash / recycling, renewable energy goals, redeveloping the Superior Marketplace, grants for potentially acquiring the Zaharias property for Open Space, landing fees at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, and realignment of the PROSTAC and OSAC committees.
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 A – 2021 Priorities
We talked a bit about our 2021 priorities, but another Trustee and I pointed out that we will have at least one new Board member after the election (and potentially up to three new Board members, if Mayor Pro Tem Mark Lacis and Trustee Kevin Ryan do not win re-election). We decided to wait to set our 2021 priorities until after the election.
On the election front, a quick PSA to note that there are six candidates running for three open seats on our Town Board; I would encourage everyone to learn more about the candidates (Gladys Forshee, Chris Ochs, Mark Lacis, Tim Howard, Paige Henchen, and Kevin Ryan) prior to casting your ballot. In addition to visiting the candidate websites, some great resources are the League of Women Voters Candidate Forum and the Face the Chamber event. Regardless of how you choose to vote, I hope you do vote! Ballots should have already come to your mailbox, and must be turned in by 7pm on Election Day, Tuesday November 3.
Item B – Town-Wide Standard for Street Lights
We currently have a nine different types of street lamps in town, some of which are owned by the Town of Superior and some of which are owned by Xcel Energy. We would like to start replacing more of these with LEDs, and there was also appetite from many Board members to retire the teal-colored street lamps and create a more uniform look.
Item C – Louisville Library Agreement
Our intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Louisville for library services was signed in 2009, and amended in 2011. Some members of the Board had concerns that we are not getting our money’s worth and should renegotiate the agreement. Another Trustee and I suggested that our future community space in Downtown Superior could be a great place for library services, since a library can attract people to a downtown; I think providing digital services (e.g., eBooks and the ability to borrow eReaders) would be a great way to dip our toes into the water of having our own library, without a huge investment.
Item D – Use of Open Space Funds
We used Open Space funds to build the parking lot at Oerman-Roche trailhead – which brings up a question of whether this kind of investment should come from Open Space funds. We discussed pros and cons, but the general consensus seemed to be leaving this open to future boards to determine on a case by case basis.
Item E – CARES Act Funding Update
The Town of Superior is eligible for $585K in state and federal funding from the CARES Act through end of 2020; our planned budget is currently at $549K, which means we have an additional $36K to allocate. A Trustee pointed out that businesses without a brick-and-mortar presence don’t currently have a way to get help, and suggested that we think of ways to help them – however, we don’t want to spend a lot of time and money on administration. We directed Town Staff to leverage our partnerships with existing charity partners (like Coal Creek Meals on Wheels) to ensure that we use all the funds before the end of the year. A Trustee also suggested offering subsidized memberships to the Superior Chamber of Commerce for home-based businesses – which would help not only the businesses themselves but also the Chamber, as a win-win. I love this idea!
Item F – Trash / Recycling Bids Review
Waste Connections (who also services Rock Creek) came in at a great price – $9.95 per month for weekly trash and biweekly recycling, and $13.00 per month for weekly trash and weekly recycling. We had some discussion around whether to go with weekly or biweekly recycling, but as the $13 per month was still significantly cheaper than the competitive bid for biweekly recycling ($20.76 per month), we decided to give direction for weekly recycling, in line with our Town Board goals to support environmental sustainability.
Item G – Renewable Energy Goals
A member of the Board pointed out that while supporting environmental sustainability is a Board goal, we haven’t anchored ourselves to a concrete goal; he suggested setting a goal to have all of our town infrastructure (e.g., the water treatment plant) powered by renewable energy by the end of 2022. I love the idea of setting an aggressive goal like this, but I also wanted to ensure we have room to deviate – particularly with the uncertainty of COVID19 and changing priorities. “Shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you’ll still be among the stars”, right? With a new sustainability analyst being hired in Q1 2021, we gave direction to Town Staff to put this on the agenda for our first Board Retreat of 2021, and reach out to organizations like the Sierra Club to tap their expertise in the meantime so we can hit the ground running.
Item H – Affordable Housing
We talked about engaging with Brixmor and RTD to potentially partner on redeveloping the Superior Marketplace as mixed-use, meaning both residential and commercial. Our idea would be to include residential with an affordable housing component that would help us move toward Boulder County’s goal of 12% of housing in the county being affordable. It may require us to provide some economic incentives, and also potentially push hard to make this happen, but the Board generally agreed that we’d like to see this redevelopment happen.
Item I – OSAC Request About Zaharias as a Possible Open Space Purchase
OSAC asked the Board if they could contact The Conservation Fund about the Zaharias property as a possible Open Space purchase, before any new application is submitted. During the last application, there were quite a few residents who wanted this property to become Open Space, but the price could be quite prohibitive, so OSAC would like to work with Justin Spring from The Conservation Fund to see what grants might be available to help. Our Board did not express concerns, as long as the discussion between Mr. Spring and OSAC would take place at a regular, publicly-noticed OSAC meeting.
Item J – Landing Fees at RMMA
A member of the Board suggested that our Board send a letter to the Jefferson County Commissioners requesting them to consider adopting landing fees at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (RMMA), which might reduce the number of planes overhead. We discussed whether it made sense to send this proposal as a letter, which I thought it did not – we are finally launching an airport roundtable, which I think is a much better forum for open dialogue and collaboration than a letter. (Furthermore, I think it’s a bit presumptuous for us to suggest imposing landing fees.) However, after some discussion of what exactly the letter would include in both tone and content, I was supportive of sending a letter shortly after the election – alerting potentially new commissioners to the frequent complaints from our community about the noise, and letting them know that we’d like this to be on a near-term agenda for the airport roundtable. As a next step, two members of the Board will take a first pass at drafting this letter to potentially send.
Item K – PROSTAC / OSAC Realignment Options
There has long been confusion between the role of the Parks Recreation Open Space and Trails Advisory Committee (PROSTAC) and the Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC). We discussed whether it made sense to merge the two committees, but a Board member suggested a way to keep them separate but realign them, which I wholeheartedly supported. I think there is a place for both committees, and the volunteers who serve on these committees are often more passionate about either parks / rec or open space – I suggested that our Parks Recreation & Open Space Director Leslie Clark can serve as the ultimate arbiter of which issues go before which committees.
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.