Mayor John Gates
What’s Great about Greeley
Greeley artist Armando Silva has received the Creative Leadership Award at the 2018 Colorado Creative Industries Summit
School District 6 Early College Academy high school has been recognized as one of the top high schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report Greeley’s Natural Areas Program has accepted an award for a $5,000 grant from the Bayer Feed a Bee Program
The Greeley Water Pollution Control Facility has been given the National Association of Clean Water Agencies’ Peak Performance Platinum 7 Award (the 7 denotes the number of consecutive years the facility has maintained platinum)
Greeley City Councilmember Dale Hall has been named the Colorado Municipal League’s Section Chairman for mayors and councilmembers
Vince Langcor was first to speak. He’d come to this night’s Greeley City Council meeting with his wife to express their concern about future road construction decisions that will directly affect their property. The land in question is at the 2800 block along the west side of 65th Avenue. The project that’s currently under review, Langcor said, will require running a new frontage road through their property. Langcor said, “we’re here today hoping that you’ll . . . be our voice when the time comes for vote.” It was suggested by Langcor that the $3 million to be spent on this project is a lot of money and resources to devote to one, short-term project when it might be better spent on infrastructure in other parts of the city. For a temporary fix, Langcor wondered aloud, why not put a stoplight at 71st Avenue to divert traffic from the congested 65th Avenue?
Mayor Gates responded as Langcor remained standing at the podium. The Mayor said City staff is currently putting together a presentation on expected activity for this road project. Gates informed Langcor that this presentation would be given to City Council during the August 14thGreeley City Council Worksession (5:00 p.m. at the School District 6 Administrative Building, 1025 9th Avenue, Board of Education Meeting Room). As worksessions are slightly less formal, there would be much more room, the Mayor reasoned, for discussion during that time.
Next speaker was Steve Keats. Keats’ claimed Greeley City Council has shown a tendency to ignore the need for a decent busing transit system. He asked two questions: Why is Council against having a good busing transit system? How important does Council believe busing transit is in Greeley?
Mayor Gates responded on behalf of the Council. “Transit is very vital to our community,” Gates said. “I certainly have nothing against transit.” The Mayor then referenced the process the Council goes through in decisions made about transit and touched on how consistently Council discusses transit.
Reports from Mayor and Councilmembers
Councilmember Dale Hall spoke of his attendance at the Highway 85 Coalition Bullseye Mayors Meeting in La Salle the week prior. Stating that neither Mayor Gates nor Pro-Tem Casseday were able to make it, Councilmember Hall said there were three takeaways from this meeting he wanted to share. At the meeting, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) informed those present that they are working on models for the south Highway 85 and Highway 34 bypasses. Concept plans for this project will be presented throughout the state starting in September. The presentations will be given during public meetings where citizen input will be encouraged. Councilman Hall also learned about CDOT’s introductory studies on the intersection at Highway 34 and 11th Avenue. Lastly, Hall spoke of CDOT’s idea to develop a Traffic Incident Management Plan for Highway 85 which would include electronic road signs with the capability of providing up-to-the-minute information for commuters, much like those along I-25.
Councilmember Stacy Suniga brought up her visit to a Human Relations Commission meeting earlier this month. Suniga said during the course of this meeting commission members discussed the City of Greeley’s Kindness Initiative. First thought of by a few local women leaders, the idea behind the initiative is to promote kindheartedness, random acts of kindness and the concept of paying-it-forward. According to Suniga, the initiative has “grown tremendously.”
Mayor John Gates said he attended a ceremony at the Greeley Police Department a couple of weeks prior to tonight’s meeting. The ceremony was celebrating a number of new promotions within the department. Gates said he also attended groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Allnutt Funeral Services along with Councilmember Michael Fitzsimmons.
Consent Agenda Items
Council agreed to allow the Greeley Historic Preservation Commission to act as a reviewing entity for the State Income Tax Credit Program for qualifying rehabilitation projects.
Council approved the appointment of Greeley Police Captain Adam Turk to the Weld County E-911 Authority Board for a two-year term.
A date was set for a public hearing and final reading on the decision whether or not to approve and adopt the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Greeley Police Officers’ Association and the City of Greeley. This agreement would go into effect January 1, 2019 and last until December 31, 2021. The public hearing and final reading was set for the next Greeley City Council meeting, August 7, 2018.
A date was set for a public hearing and final reading on the decision whether or not to approve and adopt the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Greeley Firefighters Union Local 888 and the City of Greeley. This agreement would go into effect January 1, 2019 and last until December 31, 2020. The public hearing and final reading was set for the next Greeley City Council meeting, August 7, 2018.
A date was set for a public hearing and final reading on a possible ordinance that would repeal parts of Greeley Municipal Code. The ordinance would see Section 18.46.210 entirely repealed, a new chapter being added (Chapter 18.60), an amending of portions of Sections 18.30.070(j), 18.40.030,8.46.050(b) and (c), and 18.46.190 and an amending of Appendix 18-b. The public hearing and final reading was set for the next Greeley City Council meeting, August 7, 2018.
A date was set for a public hearing and final reading was for an ordinance changing the City’s official zoning map from Planned Unit Development (PUD) to Commercial Low Intensity (C-L) for property located at 5401 9th Street. The public hearing and final reading was set for the next Greeley City Council meeting, August 7, 2018.
All of the above items on tonight’s consent agenda were approved by a 6-0 vote.
Public Hearing/Final Reading
The first public hearing and final reading of the night concerned the City’s budget for 2018. A presentation was given by the City of Greeley’s budget manager Robert Miller. The budget office was requesting funds that had already been received be put into the accounts they’re needed for and small amounts of money be moved from a couple of accounts to others to offset costs. Miller said the budget always needs to be adjusted throughout the year it is in effect for and that this was the second time in 2018 the budget office was coming forward with requests for changes. The budget is a “living document,” meaning it is constantly evolving and always subject to change. It was said that at least two more “appropriations” or changes to the budget will occur this year as the City receives new funds and the budget needs changing.
There were a number of requested changes. The first was a request to transfer $605,500 from the Sales and Use Tax Fund to the Food Tax Fund. Next, the budget manager asked that $4.2 million from the Public Improvement Fund be made available, $4 million of which would be used for planned improvements to East 8th Street (part of an Intergovernmental Agreement with CDOT). (If the $4.2 million is granted, the total costs for East 8th Street improvements would come out to $5.6 million.) The remaining $200,000 of the $4.2 million to be used for the East 8th Street improvements would come from the Great Outdoors Colorado School Yard Initiative Grant.
The third request from the budget manager involved the use of funds from a private donation. A total donation of $25,000 was put into Greeley’s Art Fund that the budget office wants to now make available for the purchase of a sculpture to be put in at Glenmere Park. The fourth appeal made by the budget manager was to make available $100,000 received from Weld County in an Intergovernmental Agreement for repairs along the Poudre River Trail. The fifth request would approve the use of $625,000 from the Food Tax Fund and from some of the revenue the fund has generated for the following projects: Island Grove and Centennial Village irrigation re-design ($160,000), school flashers replacement ($155,000), Bittersweet Park irrigation re-design ($100,000), Funplex repairs design ($70,000), A Street complex remodeled ($60,000), bus wash hardware and software replacement and dryer fan repairs ($55,000) and Funplex lower fitness area flooring ($25,000).
Miller said the City sold one of its reserve rigs for $10,000. The money was put into the Fire Acquisition Replacement Fund and that it was the office’s desire for the Council to allow this $10,000 to be used for the purchase of a new squad cot and to repaint a squad vehicle. The seventh request of the budget office was to use funds from the Quality of Life Fund to install lighting in the parking lot of the Weld County Social Services building. This project would be partly funded through an Intergovernmental Agreement already in place with Weld County. The eighth and final request of the budget office was for Council to allow money from the Information Technology Acquisition Fund to be used to upgrade camera software and hardware in the Greeley Police Department’s interview room.
Time was then turned back over to the Council for questions. Councilman Casseday asked if the $5.6 million increase would be paid for by “overages” from the prior year. The answer was “Yes.” Miller said additional revenue in the Food Tax Fund and other additional revenues will go towards this increase. These additional revenues were not originally accounted for, it was said, because the budget was adopted before certain revenues began coming in.
The hearing was then opened up to the public for input.
Steve Keats came up to the podium to speak. His question was in reference to the 8thStreet improvements mentioned. In particular, Keats wanted to know what, exactly, is to be improved along East 8th Street?
Miller answered that along the 8th Street corridor (where East 8th Street meets Highway 85) the City will be installing new overlay, turn lanes, gutters, curbs and sidewalks.
This concluded public input on the subject.
Councilwoman Suniga made a motion to adopt the ordinance. The ordinance was seconded and vote was taken. The requests were approved by a vote of 6-0.
The last public hearing and final reading of the night involved the Economic Development’s project manager Audrey Herbison. Herbison gave a presentation on the reasons why Council should add Speculative Development Incentives for industrial developers to the department’s Economic Development Incentives. Speculative development, as Herbison explained, is when developers construct a building that is then offered to industrial or commercial businesses once completed. Current Economic Development Incentives only provide incentives to businesses that buy completed buildings, not the developers who build them. According to Herbison, Greeley’s current industrial vacancy rate is 2.7%, well below the 5-6% vacancy rate that’s considered to be low in the industrial market. Herbison informed the Council that another 200,000 square feet of development would be needed just to reach 5%. Adding to this issue, “ninety-one percent of the [business] prospects that [Economic Development] respond[s] to are looking for existingbuildings,” Herbison explained.
The Speculative Development Incentives, Herbison said, would target the following industries: aerospace, conventional and renewable energy, distribution, manufacturing, processing, Research & Development and computer system & software product support.
The Speculative Development Incentives would include three possible incentives. The first would give an industrial developer who spends more than $500,000 constructing a building a rebate of up to 100% of their property tax for two years. After these two years are up, the owner would be allowed to apply for a two-year extension of this rebate which City staff would be in charge of deciding whether or not to grant. The second incentive would give a developer who spends more than $1 million on the construction of a building a sales tax rebate on building materials. The rebate would be “in line with [Economic Development’s] current incentive policy [(Municipal Code 4.52.110)],” Herbison said. The third incentive would be for a developer who invests more than $1.5 million in a building. The developer would receive a development impact fee deferment (find those impact fees here) that would last until a business moved in and the building became occupied.
The opportunity to speak was then turned back to the Council. Councilwoman Suniga asked if there were numbers on how many businesses had to be turned away by Economic Development due to lack of buildings. “I don’t know if we’re losing business necessarily,” Herbison responded. The project manager said it was more an issue of businesses not being able to expand.
Suniga followed her question with an inquiry about jobs. Suniga wanted to know if data existed on the number of jobs that might be created by Speculative Development Incentives. City Manager Roy Otto answered from his seat adjacent to the Council bench that the amount of jobs “varies significantly” by business. Otto said the City is losing jobs because there isn’t enough space to provide to businesses that submit applications to Economic Development.
Councilman Casseday was then allowed time to speak. Casseday began by saying, “I have to completely agree with Audrey [Herbison] on this.” The councilman went on to talk about the need for more industrial sites for new business and business expansion.
The hearing was then opened up to the public for input.
Steve Keats came back up to the speaking podium and asked why more property is needed when there are so many vacant buildings along 8th Avenue. Project manager Herbison informed Keats that the buildings along 8th Avenue are commercial properties, not industrial properties.
That concluded public input.
Vote was then taken, and the proposal passed 6-0.
Newest Board and Commission Members
The Council appointed new members to the following boards and commissions:
Commission on Disabilities—1 new member
Construction Trades Advisory & Appeals Board—4 new members
Downtown Development Authority—3 new members
Judicial Review Board—1 new member
Water & Sewer Board—2 reappointed members (Tony Miller, 5 years on Water & Sewer Board; Mick Todd, 20 years on Water & Sewer Board)