City council talks street sweeping, hears updates

© 2017-Monte Vista Journal

MONTE VISTA— The Monte Vista City Council met in regular session on Thursday, April 6. These are some of the top issues and actions that were discussed or acted on.Citizen comments
Wayne Wittner spoke during the citizen comments section of the meeting regarding street sweeping. He stated that the street sweeper fills with water at the corner of Second Ave and Washington, “which is great and they do a good job, don’t get me wrong. But we have a sign that says ‘street sweeping’ and if those signs don’t mean anything, let’s take them down so there can’t be any complaints. On the north side of second between Adams and Washington, the cars are not there because postal workers are parked on the south side. That side is swept good and the sun shines and the snow melts there, but on the south side of Second between Washington and Adams, it doesn’t get swept… There’s only one spot on the south side of Second Ave. that gets swept and that’s the handicapped spot because no one parks there. If the post office isn’t going to move their vehicles when they’re [the city] is going to sweep, let’s take the signs down.”
Garcia thanked Wittner for his concern and asked Public Works Director/City Administrator Vance what the sign there says. Vance explained that the full sweeper operations won’t begin until May 1 as they want to ensure all of the storm drains are operational first. Vance stated that they have been doing some sweeping to clean up as needed currently but these aren’t the full and formal operations. Garcia asked if a set schedule would be posted on Facebook once that began, which Vance confirmed. “So we’ll try to do a better job of communicating to everybody about the sweeper schedule,” Garcia told Wittner. “A lot of times when they’re plowing, people from the church come in during the week, it’s not plowed because cars are parked there,” Wittner added, mentioning that he believes the problem is the post office employees’ cars block plow and sweeper operations and emphasized that the signs should be removed if they aren’t going to be required to move their cars or if sweeper operations don’t resume once they have moved. Vance ensured Wittner that he would evaluate the signs relevant to the area in question.

Approvals
The annual liquor license renewal for R.S. Restaurants DBA Quincy’s was approved unanimously as the restaurant has received no complaints or violations in the past year. City Ordinance 878, Revising the City Of Monte Vista’s Zoning Ordinance To Permit Micro-Home or Tiny House Structures, was approved on its second and final reading also unanimously. Ordinance No. 879, Repealing Certain Provisions of the Municipal Code Pertaining to Utilities, came before council passed its first reading unanimously. Ordinance 879 would remove 10-2-90, regarding utility billing adjustments: “The City Council has the power to and may adjust, upon recommendation of the City Manager and/or the Public Works Director, connections or service charges of any water user if and when, in the opinion of the City Council, the charges are inequitable or unreasonable or work a hardship on the water user. The adjusted charges are to be based upon the approximate amount of water used and the expense of the necessary facilities for carrying the water to the premises of the consumer.” The proposed ordinance stated “the City Council desires uniformity with respect to all utility services and charges thereon for all citizens within the City,” in order to explain the decision.

Block grant
Vance remained at the podium to give the city manager’s report, stating that the city did get the block grant that the city and the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) has been working on. Vance is “currently working with [URA consultant] Mark Garcia to find out what the city’s obligations are in fulfilling the grant.” Vance thanked the city staff “they have all picked up the slack,” thanking especially the public works supervisors for taking duties off of Vance’s shoulders so he could focus on the city’s administrative needs.

Kids Connection
Anika Velasquez gave the Kids Connection reporting, saying “March was a lot of fun. It was a crazy, busy month.” She stated that the Kids Connection staff met for a training with USDA grant through the Community Resource Center (CRC) to talk about having their own strategic plan separate from the city’s, which would make the Kids Connection eligible for more grants and programs.
Velasquez discussed another grant the program has applied for “the fifth day of leveraging grant” which focuses on rural communities that operate on a four-day school week. “They challenged us to get a group of kids together and community members to find out what we need on Fridays.” The Kids Connection needs to complete two milestones by the end of April, including conducting meetings and taking feedback from the community, asking what the Kids Connection could do to best serve the community’s Friday needs. Velasquez hopes for a quick turnaround of that information so they can make the final round of grant applications. She also discussed spring break and the positive field trips that the students took, including to Hooper, a water conservation camp in Del Norte and Fort Garland Museum. Jesse Varner has started a GoFundMe page for the Kids Connection, which has gained $500 in support so far, and they are exploring t-shirt sales as well. Velasquez also pointed out that the new building has brought a lot of attention to the Kids Connection, “which has been a blessing.”

Recreation department
Jaime Hurtado followed with a report on the recreation department. “This is the month where we get ready for summer; there are a lot of things coming up including adult programs youth program and rentals at Ski Hi.” The soccer season begins this week; a total of 50 children have registered. Hurtado explained that he has had some issues with people trying to register after the deadline and discussed that he waits for a week after registrations close to order the necessary uniforms and supplies; he is unable to allow late registrations because of the ordering limitations. Hurtado explained that he will try to publicize deadlines more prominently.
With the baseball season approaching Hurtado circulated pictures of the baseball fields, stating that they are in need of some work. Pilot Baseball Academy owner Geoff West, who is putting on some of the upcoming youth baseball clinics, has offered to complete the necessary work if he can use the city’s equipment for the repairs. Once dates are set for the repairs, Hurtado stated that he would inform council.
Hurtado also commented that he is preparing Ski Hi for an upcoming health fair and the Monte Vista Co-op Safety Days. The latter is requesting a discount on their rental fees. Garcia asked for council to review the contract as the event was pending later this month and council unanimously approved it with the discount. Hurtado reported that there has been some miscommunication on the Ski Hi rental process, stating that he has been getting registrations the week of some events, but the requirements for completed contracts are for 30 days prior and payments are due no later than 10 days before the events take place. “I’m trying to get ahead of whatever is coming next month to avoid further problems.” He will continue to work on ways to streamline the process.

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