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The Salida City Council (SCC) is holding a regular monthly meeting tonight, June 6 at Council Chambers in the Touber Building, 448 E. First Street. A complete agenda and packet, including instructions for remote access, can be found here.

On the agenda are Proclamations recognizing June as Pride month and June 21 as “the longest day” to commemorate the Alzheimer’s Association; a second reading for Ordinance 2023-08, amending Chapter Eight of the Salida City Code to limit vehicle idling within the city limits; a public hearing for a new liquor license for Howard General LLC; and Resolution 2023-27, to allow overnight camping in Marvin Park September 15-16 for the Crank Crest event.

Image courtesy of the City of Salida.

The lion’s share of the attention for the evening, however, is likely to rest with the final item under Unfinished Business: billed as “Emergency Ordinance, Final Reading and Public Hearing” for Ordinance 2023-09.

This ordinance, if passed, would impose a temporary moratorium on the “acceptance, processing and approval of applications for connection to the wastewater treatment system for those properties benefiting from the Poncha Interceptor and affected by its capacity limitations, and declaring an emergency.”

In other words, the City of Salida tried and failed in a multi-year effort to bring Poncha Springs to the table in 2019 to renegotiate their existing Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on sewer services. It appears ready to pull the trigger on their move to impose the moratorium until such time as the existing IGA is either amended or superseded by a new one.

The council packets notes that “municipalities have the authority to enact moratoria in order to preserve the status quo, protect public health and safety, and promote orderly development, and where there are significant utility capacity limitations.” Further, “the moratorium will not apply to properties which have already been approved for connection through the execution of a sewer line extension or connection agreement, or to lots platted within the Town of Poncha Springs as of April 6, 2019, when the IGA for Transfer of Sewer System was executed between Salida and Poncha.”

This action can be seen in the light of a response to the court action brought against the City of Salida last month by the Town of Poncha Springs, as well as two major housing developers, greenlighted by Poncha Springs, in an attempt to force Salida to continue to honor the terms of the existing IGA. They claim, it does not allow Salida to either deny sewer permits for Poncha Springs developments or charge more for them than for developments located in Salida.

An Emergency Ordinance consideration proceeds under slightly different rules than a regular ordinance consideration. Rather than have two readings, with space between the first reading, a public hearing, and the second reading preceding a vote, there is only one reading, with public hearing and a vote happening at the same meeting. If approved by a 75 percent supermajority of the council, the emergency ordinance becomes effective immediately.

Featured image: Poncha Springs Development Map. Image courtesy of City of Salida.

Those wishing to attend virtually may register here.  Viewers may request to speak during the Citizen Comments agenda item or during any public hearings. The proceedings are also available to view LIVE on Salida TV.