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Busy City Council Session Includes Salida Crossings Hearing, Budget Amendment, Water Fee Schedule and 323 West First St  Parking Lease

The Salida City Council will meet in regular session at 6:00 p.m. on Tues. Dec. 20 in Council Chambers at 448 East First Street, “C” Street Entrance, Suite 190. The agenda and complete meeting packet are here.

Image courtesy of the City of Salida.

Following a brief consent agenda and public comment period, the Salida City Council will take up three items, first heard on Dec. 6. Final reading and public hearings are scheduled.

Ordinance 2022-25 Salida Crossing Development Plan

On Dec. 6, council members heard of the developer’s major modifications to this project, located at 1520 East U.S. 50 (the former car dealership site just west of Hwy 291/Oak Street).

Unlike most planned developments that grow in size, number of units or height as they progress, this project is now planned for significantly less units, in fewer buildings, and does not exceed height limits.

That notwithstanding, this project has been through many changes over multiple years that invoked citizen pushback, resulting in a failed ballot initiative to overturn the then-council approval. It may yet face new opposition from parties who appear to be seeking to derail current efforts to change the land use code to allow for increased density and affordability for workforce housing.

If, after a public hearing, the plan is approved, a companion Resolution 2022-62  will consider approving the subdivision plat with at least 20 conditions and four additional recommendations as suggested by the Planning Commission during their public hearing and unanimous approval, which concluded on Dec. 13, 2022.

Ordinance 2022-24 Short-Term Rental Licenses, Occupational Lodging Taxes

This measure faces a final reading and public hearing. It would set in motion the new license fee and nightly short-term rental taxes approved by the voters on November 8, so they can be implemented on Jan. 1, 2023.

New Business

Resolution 2022-57 Citizen Appointment to the Planning Commission

Following an interview in the work session on Dec. 19, an appointment may be made for an alternate member to the Planning Commission along with moving a current alternate to fill a newly vacant regular seat.

Resolution 2022-58 Budget Amendment: Higher Expenses Covered By Higher Actual Revenues

Budget word cloud courtesy of West Haven City.

Salida Finance Director, Aimee Tihonovich will present a budget amendment requesting funds to deal with a $289,000 cost overrun in the Wastewater Fund.

The council packet notes that council members knew in March 2022 that the 2022 Sewer Reconstruction project would run over budget due to ongoing significant price increases as well as an additional segment of sewer replacement being included beyond what was originally anticipated.

Beyond that, an additional $50,000 is sought to pay for contract costs related to planning for future projects —  mainly the Poncha Trunk Line project.

With amended actual revenues exceeding budget projections in an amount more than adequate to cover these higher expenses, staff is recommending approval of the budget amendment with no net effect to the fund balance.

Resolution 2022-59 Conveys Salida Community Center to Salida Senior Citizens, Inc.

This resolution is a formality following voter approval on Nov. 8, 2022 conveying ownership to the current operator.

Resolution 2022-60 2023 Fee Schedules Affects Water/Waste Water and Recreation 

Members of the Salida City Council about to start their meeting. (Left to right) are Jane Templeton, Harald Kasper, Dominique Naccarato, Mayor Dan Shore, Mayor Pro Tem Justin Critelli, and Alisa Pappenfort. Not shown: Mike Pollock, who attends virtually. AVV staff photo

If approved, this resolution will put into effect the 2023 fee schedule for each department. Of note, water and wastewater charges are increased. In the past, changes to water and wastewater rates have been contentious in Salida, but meeting modern standards of water monitoring.

Per the work packet: “Monthly water rates and charges for service section increased 2.6 percent over 2022 and the monthly wastewater rates and charges for service increased 8.9 percent over 2022.

These rates are on a five-year pattern of increasing by this same percentage each year and follow the 2020 rate study performed by Ehlers, Inc. [Staff has also] updated the price for water meters, which is driven by supplier prices.”

The Parks and Recreation Department also requests multiple changes for fees based on the costs to provide those services. All fees are detailed in Exhibit A in this section of the city packet.

In Other Business

Resolution 2022-61 Commercial Lease with Salida Bottling Company LLC for Land at 323 West First Street

With future plans uncertain for the voter-defeated Salida Bottling Plant housing development at 323 West First Street, the City of Salida  has proposed a one-year lease to continue to use the site for public parking, but at an increased cost.

Annual rent is set to increase from $26,400 to $48,000 which can be accommodated in the 2023 Annual Budget. Some 56 parking spaces are available on the site, which equates to $857 per space per year ($71 per space per month).

The lease notes that while the intended use is for public parking, the City may use the lot “for parking for its employees, vehicle or other storage, storage of removed snow or other materials, staging of equipment for public events, vehicle impoundment or any other reasonable purpose it desires to manage its operations.”

Ordinance 2022-26 Amends Municipal Code Section 13-3-10 for ADU System Development Fees

While not a fee increase, the ordinance removes a current exemption from fees. This will result in charging water and wastewater system development fees on all Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) with water and/or wastewater connections, whether available for rental or not.

Scheduled Agenda Concludes with Elected Official Reports

To register to listen and participate in the Regular City Council Meeting click on the Go To Meeting link. You will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. To watch the meeting with enhanced audio and video, “LIVE”, click on the City’s broadcast channel.

As a reminder, City Council Regular Meetings are generally held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 6:00 p.m. Council Meetings are open to the public and participants may choose to attend in person or virtually.

Featured image: Members of the Salida City Council about to start their meeting. (Left to right) are Jane Templeton, Harald Kasper, Dominique Naccarato, Mayor Dan Shore, Mayor Pro Tem Justin Critelli, and Alisa Pappenfort. Not shown: Mike Pollock, who attends virtually. AVV staff photo