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C Street entrance to Touber Building in Salida for access to City Council Chambers, Salida Police, Municipal Court and Public Health. Photo by Merrell Bergin

On Dec. 21, starting at 6:00 p.m. the Salida City Council will hold its final meeting of 2021.  Sitting as the Liquor Licensing Authority, Council will review a new Hotel and Restaurant Liquor license application for the Sherpa Café at 1110 East Hwy 50. Then, two ordinances move to Second Reading with a Public Hearing:

Ordinance 2021-19 originally heard on Dec. 7, considers final approval of an exchange of a .9 acre parcel of city-owned land within the Vandaveer Planned Development for an equal sized parcel of privately-owned land.

Ordinance 2021-20  finalizes “Reappointing and Setting Compensation for Cheryl Hardy-Moore as Municipal Court Judge for a Two Year Term Commencing January 1, 2022 and Running Through December 31, 2023”. The fiscal impact of this ordinance is $20,400 annually which has previously been set aside in the 2022 Annual Budget for the City of Salida.

Judge Cheryl Hardy-Moore was appointed to the position of Municipal Court Judge in January of 2016 for an initial term of two years and was reappointed to the position in January of 2018 and January 2020.

Three new business items will also be considered:

  • The Boys and Girls Club of Chaffee County requests capital funding in the amount of $31,902 to finish off their “Building Great Futures Campaign” for facilities that serve youth in Salida and Chaffee County.  With $1.6 million raised to date, the Boys and Girls Clubs are at 98 percent of their goal.

A video tour of the new club facilities shows local kids enjoying the space which has provided critical services throughout the pandemic.

  • In other matters with financial impact, Resolution 2021-43 proposes the new municipal fee schedule for 2022.  The proposed schedule is included in pages 125-153 of the full Council Packet. Presented by City Clerk Erin Kelly, the fee schedule reflects previous Council input as well as department head feedback on cost recovery and justification.  Of primary interest to all Salida Utility customers and developers is the adoption of water and wastewater rates.

    Fees photo image courtesy NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Monthly water rates are proposed to increase 2.6 percent over 2021 and the monthly wastewater rates are increased 8.9 percent over 2021. This aligns with the rate study recommendations made by city financial management consultant Ehlers, Inc. in their 2020 report.

Previously, Council indicated support for the multi-year rate increase plan and the new rates were discussed at public meetings during the 2022 budget adoption process.

As previously reported, the combined water and sewer impact for average users is just under $3 per month for residential customers and just over $5 per month for commercial accounts.

Parks and Recreation notes that daily pass prices at the Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center are being increased by 30 percent and membership fees are being increased by 10 percent as recommended  by the Parks, Recreation, Open Space, Trails (PROST) board.

  • Resolution 2021-44 will consider a citizen appointment for a two-year term to the Chaffee Housing Authority (CHA), representing the interests of Salida citizens.  The opening is created by the desire of Council Person Jane Templeton to step down at the end of her term in January. Two other seats representing Salida are currently held by Eileen Rogers and City Administrator Drew Nelson (alternate).

The Treasurer’s report will present Sales Tax figures from October as remitted to the city this month, together with year-to-date budget vs. actual data for the 10 months ending October 31, 2021.

City Council meetings continue to allow in-person attendance, primarily for purposes of conducting public hearings. The city still requests that those wishing to testify should plan to do so via the GoToWebinar platform or by email or letter.

Anyone who is unvaccinated and who wants to provide testimony must wear a face mask and remain at least six feet away from others both inside and outside of the Council Chambers.’

To live stream the meeting click here or click here to locate the City Council YouTube channel, select and  and watch these meetings virtually.

Featured image: Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash