MV City Council discusses draft mural

MONTE VISTA — The Monte Vista City Council held a meeting on Thursday, July 7. The following is a recap of the meeting in the order that each item appeared on the agenda.

City of Monte Vista Director of Public Works Rob Vance was present at the meeting and presented a Safety Champion Award to David Sisneros.

“A few years ago, we moved Dave from being an equipment operator to being a Shop Coordinator, for the City of Monte Vista," Vance said. "At that time, I told Dave I wanted him to take the shop and make it his, and to make it as safe as he possibly could for the users.”

Vance said Sisneros made the shop safe, by making sure that everyone involved in the fleet was following the same safety guidelines, and by making sure that the shop was organized and maintained.

Vance also said that he had entered Sisneros into a contest for a safety award through CIRSA before COVID hit and that Sisneros won. Vance explained Sisneros had accepted the award in Breckenridge before the council meeting, with CIRSA, but Vance also wanted to recognize Sisneros at the council meeting.

“I would like to call Dave up here and first give him my thanks for doing an outstanding job," Vance said. "Every task I give him he just continues to shine. We would like to present this award to him tonight in front of the council. This Safety Champion award is presented to David Sisneros from the City of Monte Vista, for outstanding management of a Safety Program.”

Monte Vista City Clerk Unita Vance announced that before the council was a motion to reappoint Ruthann Segar and Barb Sears to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Vance said that Planning and Zoning commissioners can be reappointed every two years. Vance stated that Segar and Sears had submitted their letters of interest and were both asking to be reappointed at the meeting. The motion was unanimously passed to reappoint both to the commission.

Resident Larry Gardner gave a presentation at the council meeting regarding his plans to bring Dirt Drags back to Monte Vista.

“For those of you who don’t know me, I have been doing fundraising stuff and automotive-based events, motorcycle rodeos, swap meets, and car shows and stuff like that for 35 years," Gardner said. "We started with the Mountain Magic Motorcycle Club in 1987. The whole purpose of that motorcycle club was to raise money for families with seriously ill and terminal children. When I moved back here, we started a group called Fast Friends. The same thing, we raise money to help sick children. We also raised money to help with the skate park and Kids Connection. Monte Vista is my hometown and I try to do what I can to help. I am a pretty good promoter. A lot of people talk about doing stuff, I don’t talk about it, I do it. I had people bugging me to get something going out at the Movie Manor after the hotrod Dirt Drags left in 2019. I went out and talked to the new management at the Movie Manor and they are a lot more receptive than the people who were out there before. They asked what we wanted out of the deal because we are doing this for charity. I said we want the gate. We want the money for people coming in with their cars and we want the money for people coming in and putting their vehicles in car shows, everything else is yours.”

Gardner said that he told the establishment that they could sell vendor spots, RV spots, hotel rooms, whatever they wanted to do, but all he wanted was the entrance money from the people, and after his expenses, his group would donate all the money to nonprofit charities for children or a community project for children. Gardner said that the Movie Manor management agreed.

Gardner also spoke about talking to Pat Sullivan at the Road and Bridge and Sullivan had agreed to do the track prep for free, due to the races being a non-profit event. Gardner said he has the event planned for June of 2023, and he did not attend the meeting that night to ask the council for money, he only wanted to let the city know what he had planned. He also stated that people from all over the United States were already booking rooms to be at the event next June. Council members thanked Gardner.  

Mayor Dale Becker proclaimed that July 21-24 was Ski-Hi Stampede's 100th anniversary weekend.

“We welcome visitors, cowboys, cowgirls, clowns, and vendors who have come to the city for a safe and fun celebration of history, camaraderie, after all, it’s the bulls and blood, the dust and mud, and the roar of the weekend crowd,” Becker said. 

The draft ordinance regulating the placement of murals was presented to the council by the chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, Sears.

“Properly placed and designed murals in commercially zoned areas of the city, shall contribute and conform to the city’s character, aesthetics, culture, vision, and traditional events," Sears said. "Mural means a hand produced or machine graphic applied or affixed to the exterior of a building wall through the application of paint, canvas, tile, metal panels, applied sheet graphics, or another median generally so that the wall becomes the background surface or platform for the graphic. Generally, for the purpose of decoration or artist expression, which has the effect of enhancement of the city’s natural environment, culture, vision, and primary event celebrations including but not limited to painting. Murals shall be allowed in all commercial districts of the city.”

Sears explained how murals should not interfere with any direction or signs that are already in place and how the murals should be maintained over the years.

Sears said that it would be the job of the City Manager to approve murals before they are painted. Sears also said that offensive murals would be prohibited and explained the type of murals that would not be acceptable.

Sears described the preparation and maintenance procedure of the murals, and how a mural permit would need to be purchased for a mural to be put up.

Sears explained the removal of a mural, and how a 30-day timeframe would be incorporated into the removal of the mural if the mural was ordered to be removed. Sears said that to purchase a permit for the mural, a draft of the mural would need to be submitted, and the owner of any building where the mural would be placed would need to fill out a consent form for the mural.  

City Councilwoman Martha Lock asked why the City Manager, Gigi Dennis, was the person designated to approve murals, as unforeseen circumstances could arise, and it would be necessary to have a designee.

Sears explained that the board discussed this with Dennis, and she agreed with it.

Lock said she would be more comfortable if there was a designee by the City Manager. Lock also asked if murals would also be permitted in residential areas and Sears explained that the rules applied to murals in commercial areas only.  

Dennis was not present at the meeting but was available via phone. Dennis said she was fine with either a designee or herself deciding on the mural.

Councilman Jason Lorenz said there needed to be someone in charge of the mural, not just a designee and because City Manager Dennis answers to the council he thought that Dennis should oversee the murals and approve them contingent on the council's approval also. Lock agreed. 

Councilman Larry Foster also brought up adding fading to the maintenance and adding fading to the scheduled maintenance was agreed upon.

Bernadette Hagendorf, the sponsor of the first mural, spoke about how something called mural shield, which is a topical application, could help protect the murals for years and help with the overall maintenance of the murals. Council members agreed that this was something they could investigate.

It was agreed upon that the mural ordinance would need to be further looked at and rewritten before council members could agree and implement the ordinance.  

Monte Vista Police Department Chief George Dingfelder asked council members to approve City Manager Dennis to be the representative for the Opioid Intergovernmental agreement that was entered into at a previous council meeting. The motion was unanimously approved.    

Public Works Director Vance also spoke about when CDOT might be done with the roads in town that were being paved. Vance said that Monday through Wednesday, July 11-13, vehicles would still have to stop in some areas for the road construction, but he believed by the end of the week the roads would be smoothed out for everyone.  

Due to Ski-Hi Stampede, the next City Council meeting will be held on Aug. 4.

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