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Last Cortez council meeting of the year planned for Tuesday

Public hearing is set for tonight
Cortez City Hall is at 123 Roger Smith Ave.

The Cortez City Council will meet for the last time this year on Tuesday.

The council will meet for a workshop at 5:15 p.m., and start its regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers. The biggest item on the agenda is a public hearing for the approval of the 2018 city budget, but the council will also vote on several other issues, including appointments to the new public art advisory committee and the establishment of several fees for city services next year.

Alongside the 2018 budget decision, the council will also vote on whether to approve the revised 2017 budget. According to budget documents provided by finance director Kathi Moss, the city spent almost $900,000 less than expected in 2017, with total expenditures listed as just over $30 million. The draft budget for 2018 includes about $32.2 million in expenditures. The most expensive items are downtown street improvement projects, including the planned construction of medians on four blocks of Main Street as well as routine street maintenance. The city has budgeted about $2 million for the street improvement fund in 2018.

“This document represents countless hours of work by each City department, followed by meticulous attention to detail by Kathi Moss and her staff in the Finance department,” city manager Shane Hale wrote in his introduction to the budget. “I appreciate the work that everyone puts in to ensure that Council has a clear picture of the upcoming year, a look at 2019, and the 30,000 foot view of the overall financial condition of the City.”

In the workshop before the meeting, council members will interview candidates for the public art advisory committee, which was approved in October. The council will vote on the final appointees during the regular meeting. Starting next year, the committee will advise the council on how to display and maintain public artwork.

In addition to the budget, the council will vote on several other year-end expense issues, including resolutions to set the 2018 fees for public works services, refuse collection rates, water rate charges, the budget for the Cortez water enterprise and the budget for the Cortez hydro-electric power plant enterprise.

The council will also hear several presentations during Tuesday’s workshop and meeting. Laurie Knutson, executive director of the Bridge Emergency Shelter, will address council members during the workshop about the Philanthropy Days event, to be held in September of 2018. The regular meeting will begin with an anniversary awards ceremony for city employees who have worked there for five years or more.

Other action

Before the end of its busy agenda, the council will also:

Hold a public hearing on whether to approve a minor subdivision at 1794 E. Empire St. Vote on the first reading of an ordinance that would rezone Lots 1 through 5 of a subdivision on 1002 E. Empire St.Vote on a resolution to support a grant application from the Cortez historic preservation board to the Colorado Historical Society. Vote on whether to authorize the mayor to sign a water billing consumption information agreement between the city and the Cortez Sanitation District.Vote on whether to approve payment of outstanding invoices through Dec. 31. Consider awarding a fiber to the home feasibility study to Finley Engineering at a cost of $56,000.

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