City Council Study Session – 23 January 2018 – LIFT, Biogas, Mineral Station

City Council Study Session.     23 January 2018        Citizen Minutes

 

Joint Study session with the Planning Commission to Review the Draft Mineral Station Framework

Jocelyn Mills, Community Development Director, gave a background of how we got here. The first question came from Jerry Valdes asking about whether or not the bridge over Santa Fe would need to be moved. Mills said it could. Mark Relph, city manager, said it is likely that it will have to be moved but the intent of the evening was to share the outline and see if there’s consensus to move forward and come back for adoption. There will be an open house on Feb 15th to get the public’s input.

Karina Elrod wanted to know if it would be adopted as part of the Complan? Mills said she would need to ask the attorney if they are connected or not. Steve Kemp, city attorney, said it would be up to the council whether the elements of the framework would become part of the Complan. Relph said the outcomes would feed into the elements of the Master Plan for transportation.

Mark Rudniki, Planning Commissioner, said there’s not enough detail for this to be a master plan but he thought it would help with the discussion with CDOT. (A reference to the much-needed improvements to the Santa Fe Mineral intersection.) Relph said it was important to know how CDOT will deal with the reconfiguration of Santa Fe before development comes in. This is a start to getting the guidelines and standards in place. The PEL (part of the CDOT process) will take a couple of years.

Elrod said there’s a higher level of vocabulary about land use and she didn’t know if the citizen input would be valuable. She was concerned about what gets done first – the PEL or the vision and Complan process.

Carol Fey said there’s an inherent conflict with TOD. (Transit oriented development – think all the apartments you see along Santa Fe Drive next to light rail stations – high density.) Citizens are concerned with the river and protecting nature and the river. Can we make TOD match Littleton’s small town charm? She thought it might help citizens to digest this if some of the ideas about what TOD Littleton style might be were brought out.

 

Robin Swartzbacker mentioned the desire to protect the river and noting that she does not know what the vision is for the river.

Elrod said if we come to the conclusion that this is a transportation hub then the conversation changes. She is concerned – is the document really ready to take to the citizens and what do they expect to get back that they can use. Pat Driscoll said he thought it was ready to go but expressed his concerns about the expectations of the public meeting. Relph said it was something for the community to react to. Relph said the citizens and ULI (Urban Land Institute) are far apart.

Council members were asked to get their specific comments back to staff within the week.

BIOGAS

Mark Relph said this was an item that was approved by both Englewood and Littleton city councils in their budgets. They are now at a decision point. The head of operations of the Englewood Sewage Treatment plant (John ??) reported that they are not just in the treatment business but also in the water business. They would like to rebrand themselves to reflect that. They renew water; provide for cleaner air and soil enrichment and it all costs money. He was there not to ask for approval for Littleton’s share of the $4,000,000 to pursue biogas revenue but how they would pay for it. There were three options – cash, bonds/municipal lease, or a public/private partnership. The cash option was recommended. Littleton has not yet appropriated the $4,000,000 and Englewood’s council needs reassurance that it is forthcoming.

In spite of having $25,000,000 in reserves our rates will increase over the next four years from 1% in 2019 to 1.5% in the following three years.

Fey was concerned about the complicated nature and the expense involved in getting all the pollutants out. Based on her professional experience it may require added personnel costs. John did not think they would have any problems. Fey said council had asked about a report from the private providers – has it been submitted? She did not think using taxpayer’s money for investment purposes was right and particularly in the big unknown of the RIN market.  John thought the RNG market would be good for both cities and because it will take a legislative act by congress to remove the market he believes the market is viable enough to pay off the asset. Kyle Schlacher said this was a no brainer – we take risks everyday – it is not that much money. Schlachter, Driscoll, Cole, Valdes and Elrod voted to go that direction. Fey said she was uncomfortable voting in a study session.

Rebranding – John told council they had no say in this matter and he was just sharing their decision.

LIFT Appointments – their appointments will be approved at the next regular meeting.

Jack Rychecky

Cindy Christensen

Joseph Orrino

Nicholas Millar

Kevin Seiler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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