The Mancos Town Board wrapped up 2019 with a handful of standard housekeeping items and approved measures that will be enforced in the new year.
Trustees set the budget, increased utility rates to keep pace with inflation and enacted a noise ordinance and more at their Dec. 11 board meeting.
The board approved the 2020 budget and set a mill levy for next year.
Budgets for the general, water and sewer funds were are all balanced, according to Town Administrator Heather Alvarez.
However, several projects are coming or are in the works, so the town will spend some reserves for capital expenditures and projects for 2020, including $30,000 for the International Building Code update, $40,000 for the Parks Master Plan, $43,000 for Eforce software, $65,000 for a fifth deputy vehicle and $30,000 for a capital equipment startup fund.
The Main Street Bridge Project will cost $1.35 million, although that will be funded mainly by the Colorado Department of Transportation and Department of Local Affairs – $1.07 million from CDOT and $125,500 from DOLA.
Trustees approved a property tax of 9.443 mills. The property tax revenue needed to balance the budget for general operating purposes is $97,491, according to staff.
The board approved a noise ordinance that sets the town’s noise level at 80 decibels, not to exceed five minutes in length.
The new code enforcement officer, Mancos Deputy Jared Farnsworth, took noise level readings around town over the course of two weeks and found that the greatest noise was traffic on U.S. Highway 160, Main Street, Grand Avenue and Colorado Highway 184.
The levels did not exceed 70 decibels. Readings taken outside the Columbine Bar and at the Fenceline Cidery did not show a noticeable change in the ambient noise level, Mancos Marshal Justen Goodall said in a staff report.
“I believe every citizen has the right of peace without noise pollution,” he said.
The town approved a contract with civil engineering company SGM for the final design, construction management and funding assistance for the water tank and fiberoptic project.
The contract was for an amount not to exceed $177,747, although Alvarez said that if Mancos secures state funds for the project, the town will be reimbursed that amount.
The project involves a variety of upgrades to the water tank, including replacing the old tank with a new concrete one, installing a UV disinfection system, upgrading the control system and installing a fiber optic backbone and wireless towers.
The town adopted new monthly utility rates for water and sewer, based on the 1.7% projected Consumer Price Index.
In-town residential water rates increased from $40.20 to $40.87, and sewer rates rose from $37.20 to $37.83. In-town commercial water rates rose from $41.75 to $42.47, and sewer rates increased from $37.20 to $37.83.
And for in-town churches, schools, and government facilities, water rates increased from $40.75 to $41.75. Sewer rates went from $37.20 to $37.83.
All out-of-town users will continue to be charged double the in-town rates.
No decision was made about the prospective Grand Avenue subdivision, at the former site of the Enchanted Mesa Motel. The subdivision garnered some debate primarily because of its unusual configuration – Lots 1, 3, 4, and 5 are all situated vertically north-south and front Grand Avenue, while Lot 2 would be at the northwest corner of the parcel and would front Monte Street.
Officials posed concerns that the subdivision wouldn’t conform to the surrounding neighborhood, and that Lot 2 could present some issues for emergency services, since it would be the only address on Monte Street.
The Planning Commission approved the preliminary plat in September, with the conditions that the north side of Lot 2 along Bauer Avenue would have a 25-foot setback to be consistent with neighboring homes and it meet all final plat requirements.
No decision was made Dec. 11 because applicants were still awaiting a final access permit from CDOT, Alvarez said. The public hearing was continued to Jan. 8.
Marshall Goodall and Sgt. Brad Ray held a Town Hall on Dec. 19 as a way to connect and chat with community members.
This one was much less attended than the previous one in July, which saw heavy attendance because of community concerns about the relationship of the Marshal’s Office with federal immigration officials after a few Mancos residents were detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
December’s meeting had only four attendees. Looking ahead, Goodall gave notice of an upswing in code enforcements, now that there’s a code enforcement officer in town.