Littleton City Council Minutes – March 3, 2009

Citizen Minutes


Regular Meeting of City Council

City of Littleton, Colorado

6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Littleton Center March 3, 2009

Council Reception for Metropolitan Mayors and Commissioners Youth Nominees


7:00 p.m.

1. Roll Call

2. Pledge of Allegiance – Boy Scout Frontier District – flag ceremony

3. Agenda

4. Minutes

a) Minutes of Council Workshop January 30, 2009

b) Minutes of Special Meeting February 10, 2009

5. Introduce New City Employees

6. Citizens Appearances

a) Guest Citizens –

i. Metropolitan Mayors and Commissioners Youth Awards

ii. Night Out in Littleton supporters


7. Consent Agenda Items

a) Ordinance on first reading regarding Amendment to Wastewater Utility Ordinance Regarding the Industrial Pretreatment Program – Passed 7/0

 b) Ordinance on first Reading Amending the 2009 Budget to Payoff Three Financial Lease Obligations in the Special Projects Fund –  Passed 7/08.

Second and Final Reading on Ordinances and Public Hearings

a) Ordinance enacting Section 6-4-37 of the City Code pertaining to the possession, manufacture, sale delivery or advertisement of drug paraphernalia – This passed with additional language making the conviction subject to a fine not to exceed $100 rather than $1000 and/or 1 year in jail which is the standard penalty unless stated otherwise.  Passed 6/1 with Brinkman dissenting.


b) Ordinance amending city code Section 6-4-2 pertaining to criminal mischief – Passed 7/0


c) Ordinance enacting Section 6-4-36 of the City Code pertaining to the dispensing or sale of alcoholic beverages to any person under twenty-one – Passed 7/0


d) Ordinance enacting Section 9-1-12 and amending Section 9-1-2 of the City Code pertaining to the decriminalization of traffic infractions – Passed 7/0


e) Ordinance enacting City Code Section 6-4-38 pertaining to the offense of menacing – Passed 7/0


9. General Business

a) Motion to approve changing name of Littleton Historical Museum to “Littleton Museum” – This name change will take effect on September 1, 2009 and will cost about $3,500 to change the sign.  Passed 6/1 with Jose dissenting.


b) Request from Downtown Littleton merchants for Artisans market on downtown sidewalks – The downtown merchants will be hosting an “Olde Town Market” on the second Saturday of July, August, September and October.  Passed 7/0


c) Motion to renew Reinke Brothers Parking Lease Agreement – The City renewed their lease with Reinke Brothers for 70 parking spaces at $30.00 each per month for 11 months.  The total lease $23,100 and the City will put $2,500 in an escrow fund for snow removal when the snow accumulation is 4 inches or more.  Passed 7/0


d) Discussion of MAI appraisal on 1101 West Mineral property – Rather than discuss the agenda item Jim Taylor opened the discussion by moving to eliminate the Mineral property from consideration.  Doug Clark seconded the motion.


Taylor said he wanted to keep the City family together and he only wanted to consider the Mineral building if they would move the entire City staff there.


Clark did not think the Mineral building would fit within their budget.


John Ostermiller said they had voted to spend $3 to $6 million of the Water Fund on space for the police and he did not see any way that the building could be purchased and converted within their budget.


Tom Mulvey said they needed to start looking at the future and the possibility of moving everyone over and selling the current site.


Jose said they did not have enough information to make a decision now.  He was not certain that the figures that they were using were correct.  He suggested they put it on the back burner for 6 months and put a committee together and have them report back in 6 months.  He thought the building was inviting.


Debbie Brinkman said it was premature to toss this out.  This is an option that is still on the table and in process.  The study session was just the beginning and we don’t know where we will end up with the seller.  A back and forth with the owner is to be expected.  We owe it to the Police and the citizens – we have 2 options and one we decided to move ahead and we need to get the information before it is discarded.


Peggy Cole agreed with Brinkman and asked if they were going to be discussing this now or in their study session.  She thought Taylor’s motion was out of order and the only motion that should be considered was whether or not to have the appraisal.


Clark said they were discussing the motion.


Cole asked if they would have the study session – she thought they agreed last Monday to have a study session to scope out the issues not just related to Mineral but the Police issues.  We need more discussion and information and I would like to put another option forward Cole said.


Clark said their $3.2 million offer for the building was turned down and even if Scott’s (consultant) estimate of $2 to $2.5 million to convert the building is wrong it is still a 67,000 square foot building for the Police.  The issue should be to discuss what is the most cost effective way to do that with the taxpayer’s money.  Going down that path would delay a solution.  Can we squeeze Mineral into $6 million?  There are 200 people in this building and you are talking about 96 employees in a 67,000 square foot building.  We need to look at how much space is needed.


Tom Mulvey said Scott’s estimate was a guesstimate and he would like to know what it would take to move.


John Ostermiller said, so, you are now talking about 200 people moving out of town – that would be devastating for downtown – do we want to go that direction.


Ostermiller was corrected that the Mineral building is still in town.


Taylor’s motion failed on a 3/4 vote with Brinkman, Cole, Jose and Mulvey dissenting.


13. Comments / Reports

a) City Manager – The Economic Summit with LPS, South Suburban, ACC and others will be held at the LPS Board Room on March 13 at 9 to noon.

b) City Attorney – none

c) Council Members

d) Council President




a)      Council direction 1101 West Mineral Avenue property

Jim Woods said their homework assignment from the Council Workshop was to try to get more clarity and a sense of scope on the due diligence on the Mineral property.  What depth of detail and what assumptions should be made about the movement of operations and what to do about the remaining portion of the building that would not be in use by the Police.  They need to know what to do next and the more specific the Council can be the better the cost estimate will be.


Cole said she would like to identify the needs that need to be addressed for whatever building and identify the questions.


Woods stated that the homework assignment for the Workshop was evidence storage, crime lab and investigation space.  Options 1-4 were brought forward at the Workshop and Brinkman’s Option 5.  Are you wanting us to take a broader look at the police needs from Coogan for the 50,000 square feet?


Brinkman said Option 5 was very different than the other options.  For instance we would not need the special evidence shelving.  This building is not new construction.  In order to get what we need we want input from Police and have the pros come back with a cost.  We need to know what it will cost to move the entire Police Department over there.


Cole mentioned training – the Mineral building has a large training room and the Council never said they supported that scope of training so we may not need that kind of space.  She was concerned about the life cycle of some of the building components.  How much longer does the roof have, what is the expense of HVAC and how much for lighting?  Can we afford this building in today’s economy?  I want us to have the dialog and adequate discussions.


Woods said a due diligence would include an inspection and assessment of all major components of the building and zoning issues.


Chris, architect consultant, said he did a similar exercise for Arapahoe County.  They hired a Civil Engineer, an electrician, a plumbing engineer, a roof consultant, an ADA consultant, an asbestos investigator and their reports would be compiled into a report for Council.


Cole wanted to know how much and how long.  Chris said it would take 2 weeks to track down the information on the building, 2 weeks to get the work and 1 week to complete the report for a cost of $15,000 to $20,000.


Woods said Chief Coogan was prepared to talk about the rough floor plans and functionality of each area.  Do you want the consultant to take the rough floor plan as the assumption for working on a cost estimate?


Mulvey said a starting point would be the cost of the building and the cost of moving.


Woods said they wouldn’t know unless they asked the consultants to cost out all of the modifications.


Brinkman suggested that they ask Coogan what needs to be done and then the pros can cost it out.  A lot of the work can be phased in.  The floor plan is not in stone.


Woods mentioned the locker room – Chief can say I need 70 lockers – then do we ask these guys to design to 70?


Brinkman said she did not know how to do this without cost estimates.  Woods said let’s talk about level of design.


Clark said to evaluate the building to move the entire Police Department – that is the goal – not in phases.


Brinkman said the phasing is in the improvements in the space not in the moving of Police.


Brinkman moved to vet out moving the entire Police Department to Mineral.  Mulvey seconded.


Taylor said he was adamantly opposed to the Mineral building but would support the motion for a thorough comparison.


Cole asked if everything moved including the holding cells and bay area.  The answer was yes.  Ostermiller asked if it included vehicle compound.


Chief Coogan said they would still use a portion of the Quonset hut – the Command Van would need to stay there.


Woods thought it was more like 90% of all police operations would move to Mineral.  Motion passed 7/0.


Clark asked about the phasing and Brinkman said they needed to ask the Chief about the practicality of that and also what time there should be in between phases.


Cole asked about the timing of the holding cells.  Coogan said they would continue to use the holding cells at the City Center but it was ultimately the Council’s decision.


Taylor did not think the phasing should be considered – he wanted a total cost whether it took 1 year or 10 years for the move.  Phasing is inappropriate.


Clark moved that the pricing be based on everything happening all at once.  Ostermiller seconded.  Motion passed 7/0.


Clark wanted to know how many people they were basing all this on – do we need 70 lockers or 115?


Coogan said they currently provide lockers for all sworn and non-sworn employees and suggested 105 to 110 lockers because of the female to male ration.


Cole asked how much square footage the Police and dispatch use at the City Center currently.  Woods said he did not know.


Taylor asked about concerns about the glass on the Mineral building.  Coogan said they would just close the shades at night.  There may be some security concerns that need to be addressed on doors and the lighting in the parking lot.


Brinkman said ½ of the glass is decorative – the windows are not floor to ceiling.  The landscape provides visual protection and the large brick fence also offers some protection.  The building was built by the DOD.


Clark wanted to know if they were using the McClaren Report and Brinkman said no.  She had talked to Chris Gibbons about the future growth of Littleton and settled on 10% would be a good number to use.


Clark wanted to know how long that would be good.


Coogan told the Council that not all of their 96 people work in the City Center building.


Clark asked, don’t we need to know how many people to know how to cost it out.


Woods said they assumed the needs of today with the exception of evidence storage when pricing their options 1-4.


Clark asked how they got from 14,000 to 50,000 square feet without knowing why they were making the change.  We know how much space we need for a crime lab.


Woods said they had not looked at Patrol Operations in their square foot analysis.


Brinkman said 10% is not that much – but it would be nice to have the actual space the police are using now.  She thought it was about 38,000 square feet.


Cole asked if they were still firm on the $6,000,000 figure.  She moved to base the costs on the current staffing levels.  Brinkman seconded.


Ostermiller said let’s assume we get the building for $3.2 million which leaves us $2.8 million to renovate and move.  That is $60 per square foot and we can’t do it for that.


Cole asked what they needed to look at before they would know it isn’t doable.


Woods said they would base their assumptions on the floor plan as presented and start with a schematic design and start the cost estimates.


Chris said to be accurate they would need to know the program needs and they always design for 3 to 5 years growth.


Cole asked Scott, another consultant, if he was sure they would exceed the $6 million limit.  Scott said this is very different than when he was asked at the Workshop.  They would need to know what would need to be done with the space freed up at the City Center.


Ostermiller moved to price out what is here over there.  Brinkman seconded.  They were told there was already a motion on the floor.  That motion passed 6/1 with Clark dissenting.


Brinkman moved to price out the move of Police and Dispatch to Mineral.  Jose seconded and motion passed 7/0.


Clark asked about the empty space – Brinkman said to price it out but keep it separate.


The consultants should take 90 to 120 days for their report.


Brinkman asked if things could be done simultaneously and Scott said there was a risk – some design money would be spent before knowing if the building passes inspection.


BRINKMAN MOVED TO CONDUCT THE DUE DILIGENCE AND SCHEMATIC DESIGN AND APPRAISAL SIMULTANEOUSLY NOT TO EXCEED 100 DAYS.  Taylor said he would not support the motion as he did not want to waste money if the cost estimate proves to be too high.  Mulvey agreed.  Motion failed 1/6 with Brinkman on her own.




COLE MOVED TO CONDUCT THE DUE DILIGENCE.  Brinkman seconded and motion passed 6/1 with Mulvey dissenting.


Cole said she heard of a property available close to the City Center that was appraised at an affordable rate and would like to see if a purchase is possible – the Sheriff IREA Building.


Brinkman said they had their marching orders on Mineral.


COLE MOVED TO FIND OUT IF THE SHERIFF’S BUILDING IS AVAILABLE AND THE COST.  It was seconded.  Brinkman said staff time to work on this is not necessary.  Ostermiller thought the staff could find the information quickly.  Clark said unless you are comparing the Mineral building to another alternative there is no way to determine the best way to spend taxpayer money.  Motion passed 4/3 with Taylor, Jose and Brinkman dissenting.



One Response

  1. We want to reinforce Downtown as the heart of Littleton, but Council is considering moving the entire police department from the City Center to South Bridge? and without any plan for the vacated (and already paid for) space? Seriously? Incredible.

    Why is it so hard for people to remember context and long-term goals when somebody whispers “it could save money”?

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