To start the Cedaredge Board of Trustees regular meeting May 16, two public hearings were held -- using the old hire police officers' pension funds and amending the municipal code by allowing tiny homes.
With the pension funds, the town will first match three years' worth of Social Security for all employees and police officers. Town administrator Greg Brinck said anything in excess the town can use for the police department. These funds are available since the beneficiary passed away and they're essentially just lingering funds. This resolution passed later in the regular meeting.
The tiny homes hearing came as a result of the planning commission's recommendations. Back in September the town instructed planning commissioners to tackle that topic. Under current codes building a tiny home is difficult. New building codes allow for better safety, namely with lofts, ceiling height, ship ladders and more.
After research, looking at other municipalities, and even viewing tiny homes on display in Powderhorn, planning commission recommended allowing tiny homes, 5-1. Under their recommendations, the proposed ordinance would make tiny homes a permanent structure between 200 to 600 square feet for principle use under R2 and R3 zoning with MUDC2 conditional use. Thus, only specific lots would be available for development.
"I think we should thank the planning commission for their thorough investigation of this," said trustee Al Smith.
Citizen John Steiner suggested the board consider three items -- how the tiny home developments perform long term; that town resources are stressed as is and that tiny homes wouldn't pay "normal" property taxes and would not require less attention or services; and that the town is running out of water and tiny home residents won't be using less water. "We see these people moving in all happy to tiny homes on TV but how do these look in three years?" he said.
The trustees pointed out the water issue is void since the builders would still pay the tap requirements.
Citizen Norma Miller said she is not opposed to a tiny home park but wants it to be regulated and not look "distracting" from the beauty of the town "There's a lot of people who don't take care of their homes already so if people buy a tiny home for less money will they have enough to take care of the property?" she said.
During the regular meeting, Mayor Welch made the motion to not approve the ordinance. After some discussion that vote was tabled until the vote on the minimum square footage ordinance.
This ordinance would require square footage for new single family homes to be no less than 400 square feet. This could be a solution to not allowing residential tiny homes while still promoting affordable housing. After some discussion trustees decided to change the proposed ordinance to 600 square feet as a minimum for living space. That ordinance was approved, with two trustees voting no on the requirement.
Regarding the tiny home ordinance, Mayor Welch again motioned to not approve the ordinance. His motion passed, meaning the trustees did not approve the ordinance to amend municipal code to include tiny homes. As it stands, a tiny home park could be established conditionally but at this time Cedaredge will not modify the code to allow single tiny homes on a residential lot for principal use of R2 and R3 zones.
Also during the regular meeting, two proclamations were read, one recognizing May 6-10 as National Teacher Appreciation Week and May 13-17 as National Police Week. After the proclamation Chief Dan Sanders acknowledged each of his officers and administrators. "These folks are out there and even though we're shorthanded they never complain," he said. He recognized the willingness of the officers to serve, acting as sheepdogs to protect the citizens of Cedaredge.
Chief Sanders also shared the statistic of 163 officer deaths throughout the country last year. "When a police officer is killed it's not just the agency that's affected but the entire nation," he said. "This is a unique line of work."
Next trustees heard from different departments and organizations. The Cedaredge Chamber of Commerce has a high interest in board positions so they'll be creating an ambassador program to help them get to know more businesses. Applefest planning is underway with vendor applications already coming in. The chamber is also working on the banner to place near the highway and is looking into funding and grants.
Under treasurer's report, sales tax is up 15 percent for April versus the previous year. New sales tax reports are available for citizens to better understand total monthly collections versus budget.
Town administrator Greg Brinck reported that next month the trustees will discuss the audit at the work session. He reminded citizens of the coffee at Stacy's on Main with Brinck and Mayor Gene Welch, held the fourth Wednesday of each month.
Town clerk Kami Collins reported that at the Downtown Streets Workshop the consultation revealed there's a lack of adequate bike and walking trails/paths in town. The meeting's discussion focused specifically on the need for sidewalk to stretch from Cedaredge Elementary School to Dollar General as a priority need for the community.
Erik Hanson, operations director with the Cedaredge Golf Course spoke on revenue flows with the golf course. As of May 5 the course is down 1,700 rounds, but was open fewer days compared to 2018. Passholder goals have been met and the course is ahead of budget green fees revenues.
In his report Chief Dan Sanders reported he is still looking for another officer to hire, which is difficult due to competition and lower pay rates in the Cedaredge area.
Public works co-director Scott Lock said his department is in a busy season of installing new meters, patching potholes, street sweeping and trying to keep up with cleaning bar screens in ditches. They're also cleaning by the water tanks this summer.
Under business trustees approved two letter of supports. One was with the Delta Housing Authority Housing Rehabilitation Program and the other for the Grand Mesa Arts & Events Center as it pursues three grants.
Regarding the town engineer applications, the trustees accepted the recommendation for DOWL out of Montrose and authorized Brinck to finalize a contract. A resolution authorizing Collins as a financial signer was also approved.
At the work session trustees asked for an ordinance requiring developed property to connect to the town's domestic water. They passed this, as it is the safest and best option for citizens rather than hauling water in.