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The Salida City Council will meet in regular session at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday May 17, 2022 and the complete packet is here with highlights noted below.

Four agenda items are of primary interest to Salida citizens, including an update on the Temporary Safe Outdoor Spaces workforce seasonal housing program and other housing/land use updates.

City of Salida 2021 ‘Annual Comprehensive Financial Report’ (ACFR)

McMahan & Associates will discuss the draft of the 2021 financial audit (ACFR). The draft has been reviewed by the City Treasurer and the Finance Committee and is being presented for acceptance by the Council.

Beyond providing a “clean” opinion, the auditors and finance staff are submitting the report to the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for consideration of a Certification of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award. Receiving this award ensures that the city is following best practices recommended for clear and accurate reporting and for financial transparency.

Resolution 2022-19 Budget Amendment

Budget word cloud courtesy of West Haven City.

City of Salida Finance Director Aimee Tihonovich will present an amendment to the 2022 Budget, outlining items in each of three categories.  These include: changes driven by 1) transfers between funds or from one line item to another within the same fund, 2) items approved in the 2021 budget but not yet spent (or already in the long term financial plan), and 3) items previously approved by Council but not in the 2022 budget.

Amending a budget is a typical process for all entities, reflecting emergent priorities as well as timing factors such as when projects are either accelerated or lapse over into a new year.

Award the Design and Build Contract for the Salida Fire Station

The city plans to award a Design/Build contract for the new Salida Fire Station at 611 Oak Street and authorize the City Administrator to enter into a Services Agreement between the City and Neenan Archistruction in the amount of $762,945.

The proposed agreement is the result of a process that began in mid-February.  Five bids were received and evaluated by a panel consisting of the Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, the VP of the South Arkansas Fire Protection District, the City Administrator, City Treasurer, and a Council Member.   After scoring the proposals, three firms were chosen for in-person interviews by the panel.  Following that, the firms were scored again, including answers to follow-up questions.

The panel unanimously chose Neenan Archistruction, contingent upon satisfactory reference checking and review of the contract by the City Attorney, both of which have been completed.

Resolution 2022-22 Approving Agreement With BETCH for a Temporary Safe Outdoor Space (TSOS)

Following council’s direction to provide a (TSOS) /overnight parking permit program at Centennial Park for local workers who are without housing, staff has prepared a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  The MOU with the group Bringing Everyone Through The Crisis Of Housing (BETCH) covers the period June 1-October 31, 2022. It outlines the responsibilities for BETCH (as site host), its permitted vehicle campers and what services, site preparation, and use of facilities the city will provide.

The program is designed for those vetted individuals who have proof of local employment and who agree to abide by the site rules of conduct.

City staff have been working with BETCH on an operating budget for any cash outlays over and above the expected nominal setup costs. The budget is planned for review today, May 16 by the Finance Committee.

For its part, BETCH has provided a job description for the Space Director and Space Site Host roles. The Chaffee Housing Authority (CHA) has agreed to contribute approximately $25,000 to BETCH towards the administrative and supervisory overhead for the program, out of Housing and Health Grant funds.

Other Unfinished/New Business

In other business items, the council will consider Resolution 2022-21 amending the 2022 City Fee Schedules.  This will align the most recent Inclusionary Housing policies (Ordinance 2022-05) with fee-in-lieu rates.  The change in fees is also driven by new income and rent limit numbers for 2022 which have been released by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) and the year-to-date median sales price for all residential units in Chaffee County.  While the impact to fees is relatively minor, the updated calculation is felt to more accurately reflect the current policy and market conditions.

Ordinance 2022-08 is a final reading and a public hearing on the proposed Green Heart LLC Major Impact Review at 535 West Seventh Street.  The proposal to subdivide the above 1.23 acre property into four residential lots was first heard by the council on May 3, 2022 and favorably received at that time.

Salida Crossings housing development at 1520 E. Highway 50, now owned by BV Investments. LLC.  Merrell Bergin photo, April 7, 2022

Finally, a timeline extension request will be considered for the Salida Crossings Planned Development on the site of a former Chevrolet car dealership at 1520 East Hwy 50.  The project concept dates back as far as 2018 with initial approval by a previous administration and council members. Changes in ownership and housing type concept, plus reported issues caused by the pandemic and supply chain problems have stretched out the timeline.

The project was highly contentious in 2018, requiring a special election ballot, resulting in a close decision that provided affirmation on Sept. 25, 2018. With the crisis of affordable housing worsening significantly in four years, changes in zoning and density, and focused thinking on the part of current staff and council, the topic merits an updating of the facts and its viability in light of today’s needs and economic conditions.

Developers were last granted an extension by the Planning Commission on Sept. 27, 2021 and they were required to pull a building permit by April 15, 2022.  Passing that deadline may trigger a comprehensive review; discussion of which is planned for the May 17 council agenda.

The regular council session will conclude after hearing reports from the council members, the mayor, treasurer, attorney and staff.

To register to listen and participate in the Regular City Council Meeting click on Go To Meeting

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. To simply watch the meeting “LIVE”, click on the City’s broadcast channel.

Featured image: 120-year old administrative offices and engine bays at Salida Fire Department, 124 E Street. Crew quarters on second floor. Merrell Bergin photo