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City Council Meeting, December 2, 2013

by on December 4, 2013

All members were present except Mayor Marc Williams.
The Arvada Housing Authority began their meeting at 6 p.m.  Speaking on behalf of the AHA was Executive Director Ed Talbot, who opened with a description of the 2013 License to Dream Thanksgiving Dinner giveaway. Seventy-one low-income Arvada families received dinners through this event, which is a joint partnership between Arvada residents Joe and Barb Eberle and over one hundred volunteers and donors.
Talbot went on to discuss the AHA budget for 2014. The amount anticipated for Section 8 assistance will be $3.4 million. Administration will cost an additional $493,000, for a total of approximately $3.9 million, providing assistance for almost five hundred Arvada households. Most of that money is expected to be paid by HUD; however, there are serious problems stemming from the sequestration and subsequent Federal government budget issues.
One casualty of the current budget cuts, Talbot said, is the Stride self-sufficiency program. Formed in 1991, Stride focuses on individually tailored programs to help families reduce reliance on public assistance. The amount HUD would pay for Arvada families to participate in Stride is $25,000. That money is unavailable for 2014 from HUD; therefore, Arvada will not be supporting the program in 2014 unless other funding is found.
At this point, Councilmembers Bob Fifer, Bob Dyer, and Rachel Zenzinger expressed concern about leaving this program unfunded. Fifer shared his belief that many people have not recovered from the recession, and that $25,000 contributes “a big impact for a little money.” Dyer agreed and said that the council should explore other alternatives to HUD. Zenzinger asked if Arvada has any other resources for homeless people. The answer is that the Jeffco Action Center and other county programs are available, including “211” phone listings of help for low income needs; there is nothing else directly from Arvada.
Director of Community Development Mike Elms interjected that his department has had a number of “operational issues” with Stride, which they have tried repeatedly to have corrected. Elms said he does not believe it is in the best interest of the Housing Authority or of the City to continue a relationship with Stride. He offered to send Council a memo giving a more in-depth description of the issues he mentioned.
After that input from Elms, city council members’ general consensus was to continue looking for other options which could be more acceptable.  Zenzinger asked Talbot if AHA has communicated with Congress about the impact of the budget cuts. Talbot affirmed that there has been extensive communication on both the state and national levels.

The Arvada Housing Authority meeting concluded, and the City Council meeting began.

The minutes of the November 18 meeting were unanimously approved.

Public Comment: Judith Denham of the Arvada Festivals Commission introduced Jessica Johnson and Mark Atwater, co-chairs of the Scarecrow Festival and the Wines for the Holiday Wine Tasting. They said that the Scarecrow Festival was very successful, perhaps largely because of the excellent weather; estimated attendance was 2,000 to 2,500. Pumpkin sales raised $430 for the Arvada Community Food Bank.

The wine tasting was enjoyed by about 425 people at Standley Lake Library. Featured was an auction of 156 items donated by 125 businesses and individuals, and music by two bands and a DJ. Six wineries and seven caterers donated food and wine, and forty-two volunteers donated about 350 hours of time. The event raised a whopping $14,686.

Denham presented a check to Rachel Capra, business manager of Carin’ Clinic, for $4,686, and a check to Brad Rupert, board chair of the Arvada Community Food Bank, for $10,000. Capra said that Carin’ Clinic has so far this year provided over 1,400 uninsured Arvada children with medical, dental, and mental health services, and was thankful for the unexpected donation from the Festivals Commission. Rupert echoed those thanks and said that the Arvada festivals raise the quality of life for Arvadans, and reminded citizens to remember Colorado Gives Day, December 10.

New Business consisted of a consent agenda, R13-161 through R13-170:

R13-161 authorizes the purchase of water treatment chemicals in an amount not to exceed $723,967 annually.

R13-162 and R13-163 are for easements for the Goodwill Store to be built at 6340 McIntyre Street.

R13-164 adopts the 2014 pay plan.

R13-165, -166, -167, and -168 renew the employment agreements for the following relief municipal judges: George M. Graber, Michael S. Matassa, Ralph C. Turano, and George W. Boyle, II. A brief check on the website AVVO found that all four of these attorneys have a “good” rating and no professional misconduct on their records; they have between 28 and 42 years of practice.

R13-169 authorizes the purchase of police uniforms and equipment, for up to $175,000 per year.

R13-170 approves a 2014 operating plan for the Indiana Marketplace Business Improvement District.

All resolutions passed, 6-0.

R13-171 refers to an agreement between the city and BKD, LLP, for auditing, accounting, and financial management services. These services are provided to a variety of city departments and entities, including city government, AURA, the Arvada Center, Ralston House, and Arvada Economic Development.

Councilmember John Marriott asked if the amount being paid is in line with past fees to other accounting firms; Lisa Yagi confirmed that it is.

R13-172 authorizes an agreement between the city and the Seniors’ Resource Center. Speaking on behalf of the SRC was Karen Brady, board member and 23-year resident of Arvada.

SRC, in its thirty-sixth year of operation, serves  a 1,200 square mile area ranging from the foothills to Tower Road, and from 160th Avenue south to C-470. SRC provided transportation services worth over $400,000 to more than 21,800 people in the last year. Also, in Arvada alone, SRC provided 21 residents with day care and respite aid, 65 residents with in-home care; 120 residents received care management assistance, and 18 took part in SRC’s volunteer match program, which links seniors to volunteers for such things as home repairs and tax help.

Arvada will be providing money, fuel and maintenance services amounting to approximately $146,867. This works out to about $1.50 per mile driven.

Councilmember Marriott asked how this stacks up next to the cost paid by comparable programs. The answer given was that costs to the SRC are about $20 per ride, and the lowest in the Denver metro area; RTD and other programs pay significantly more per ride.

R13-173 refers to an agreement between the city and the State of Colorado pertaining to Ridge Road bike/pedestrian improvements. This intergovernmental agreement was approved in the March 4, 2013 city council meeting, project no. 13-TR-20. It will result in a widened sidewalk, modified bridge, and bike lanes.

All resolutions were approved, 6-0.

Seven ordinances were set for public hearings to be held on December 16 at 6:30 p.m:

CB13-043 would authorize an agreement between Arvada, Lakewood, and the City and County of Denver to share a radio communications network.

CB13-044 would allow additional appropriations for fiscal year 2013.

CB13-045 would allow acquisition of property near the Arvada Cemetary for Van Bibber Trail extension.

CB13-046 would amend section 1-5 of Chapter 1 of the Arvada City Code.

CB13-047 would vacate access easements at the Leyden Rock site.

CB13-048 and -049 would extend the franchises of Comcast and Baja Cable Services.

All ordinances were approved, 6-0, to be set for public hearing, December 16.

Councilmember Dyer announced appointments to the Arvada Economic Development Association. Terms are for two years, and the city council appoints a total of four members, including two this year. Arvada is re-appointing Steve Camins, who has served on the AEDA since 1997, and Paul Duncan, a new member. Councilmember Fifer asked if there are term limits for AEDA members; Director Hazel Hartbarger responded that there are not. Some other members of the AEDA are Shawn Olson of Sundyne Corp., Janet Steinkamp, Associate Vice President of Red Rocks Arvada Campus; Fred Baker of United Properties; Maro Dimmer of Rheinlander Bakery; Dave Doherty of Piper Electric, and Mike Litzau of the Sooper Credit Union.

There was no public to speak of, at this point, therefore no public comment.

Reports from City Council:

Councilmember Zenzinger pointed out a sticker she was wearing, which is for the Bone Marrow Donor Registry. She said that it is painless to register, requiring only a cheek swab, and is a great opportunity to help. Registering does not create any future commitment to donate.

Zenzinger also said that DRCOG and Metrovision are working to simplify criteria for TIF, and that DRCOG considers Arvada Director of Public Works Bob Manwaring a “good, expert resource.”

Councilmember Fifer said that he has been appointed as a representative to the Colorado governance board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet,) which will have its first meeting next week at City Hall.

Councilmember Marriott said that, as the owner of a small local business, he is happy to report that business has been great lately. Black Friday and Small Business Saturday were both very good. Marriott encouraged the support of local businesses, saying, “If you can find it here, buy it here!”

Councilmember Fifer followed by describing shopping Thanksgiving evening at Kohl’s on 64th Ave. He said that, one hour into the evening, the line to check out stretched the length of the store, and it took two hours to get to the cashiers.

Councilmember Dyer said that he and his wife spent part of Small Business Saturday in Olde Town, and were amazed at how packed the downtown was. He also reminded citizens that tomorrow is the tree lighting in Olde Town, as well as the kickoff to Lagniappe, beginning at 5:30.

City Manager Mark Deven said that next Monday’s meeting will include a report from Arvada’s Sister Cities program, as well as a request to consider a Golf Advisory Committee.

A motion was made to cancel the December 23 meeting. This passed 5-1, with Councilmember Don Allard dissenting. There will be no City Council meeting or workshop on December 23.

There was no report from the City Attorney, and the meeting was adjourned.

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