MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MONDAY, MAY 25, 2020
LAND USE HEARING
The Board of County Commissioners did not meet for a Land Use Hearing due to the Memorial Day Holiday.
TUESDAY, MAY 26, 2020
ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS MEETING
The Board of County Commissioners met at 9:00 a.m. with Linda Hoffmann, County Manager. Chair Johnson presided. Commissioner Donnelly and Commissioner Kefalas were present. Also present were Brenda Gimeson, Commissioners’ Office, and Deirdre O’Neill, Deputy Clerk.
1. PUBLIC COMMENT : No members of the public sent comments via email.
2. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 18, 2020:
M O T I O N
Commissioner Kefalas moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the minutes for the week of May 18, 2020.
Motion carried 3-0
3. REVIEW OF THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 1, 2020: Ms. Gimeson reviewed the upcoming schedule with the Board.
4. CONSENT AGENDA:
ABATEMENTS: As recommended by the County Assessor, the following petitions for abatement have been denied: Donna J. and Dale L. Geyer R1645184 2019 Tax Year; Gloria Jayne Zmijewski R0542431 2019 Tax Year.
1. Second Amendment to Larimer County, Colorado Professional Services Agreement (P18-12) between Larimer County and Berry Dunn McNeil & Parker, LLC.
1. Establishing Compensation for Second Assistant District Attorney-Effective May 21, 2020, D. Downs has been promoted to a Chief Deputy District Attorney position left vacant due to a promotion. The bi-weekly salary for this position is $ 4,423.08. The fiscal year dollar amount for this resolution is $66,346.16 and will be expended from the District Attorney’s 2020 budget.
2. Establishing Compensation for Chief Deputy District Attorney. District Attorney Cliff Riedel would like to recognize the exceptional work being done by Chief Deputy District Attorney Greg Biggers and seeks to increase his salary to $130,000. Greg has met the challenges of leading and guiding our newest attorneys and County Court Division Staff with poised experience. The bi-weekly salary for this position is $ 5,000. The fiscal year dollar amount for this resolution is $75,000 and will be drawn from vacancy savings in the District Attorney’s Office 2020 budget.
MISCELLANEOUS: Recommended Mid-Term Appointment to the Storm Mountain PID #55- appoint Joe Leo to the Storm Mountain Public Improvement District #55 to fill an unexpired, 4-year term beginning on May 26, 2020 and ending on November 30, 2023; Refund Road Closure for Special Event-Loveland Lake to Lake holds a special event annually. This event includes the $100 nonrefundable fee for the administrative review of their event. They also pay a $500 road closure fee to allow for a road to be closed during the event. Due to COVID-19 they will not be holding their annual event. They are asking for the $500 road closure fee to be refunded since they will no longer need the road closed; Stipulation as to Tax Year 2019 Value-Larimer County and Amcap Harmony LLC c/o Home Depot USA, Inc.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the consent agenda for May 26, 2020.
Motion carried 3-0
5. COMMISSIONERS GUESTS: The Commissioners did not have any guests.
6. PHASED REOPENING OF ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK: Darla Sidles, Superintendent for Rocky Mountain National Park, John Hannon, Transportation Planning Manager and Kyle Patterson, Public Information Officer, joined via teleconference to give an overview to the Board on the different phases of the re-opening of Rocky Mountain National Park. The goal is to increase park access while providing the public a reasonable opportunity to comply with health guidelines. The re-opening in phases will hopefully avoid scenarios where a re-opening visitation surge results in stakeholders inside and outside the park demanding the park to re-close.
The re-opening date of RMNP is May 27, 2020. It will be a phased plan that addresses how best to manage visitation. Phase I, which consists of recreational access and initial services on May 27, 2020, will consist of: metered park access, primary road access, public restrooms, day use hiking, shuttle services, weddings, tours etc.
Phase II :expanding visitor services to begin on June 4, 2020, will include: timed-entry permit system (waiting for approval), consider access to Wild Basin, limited camping, limited retail, limited food service, access to Trail Ridge Road corridor-weather and conditions permitting.
Phase III: limited Visitor Centers and Wilderness office and consider Old Fall River Road access.
Phase IV: reduced capacity operating season (TBD), additional visitor facilities and services, increased campground density/availability.
Ms. Sidles explained that in 2019, 4.6 million people visited RMNP and July 2019, which is the most visited month, experienced 976,042 visitors.
There was some discussion about the timed-entry permit system. It will enable park visitation levels, pacing, and flow to occur commensurate with the park’s safe operational capacity. It will provide an improved visitor experience, collect fees in advance and be able to communicate anticipated visitation levels with community and business partners for their own planning purposes. It will also help to prevent crowding and possible resurgence of virus, causing potential need to close again. Permits will be managed by recreation.gov, with the initial opening phase allocating 60% of the parks maximum parking capacity (13,500 visitors per day, or 4,800 vehicles.) The park will monitor our ability to operate with present health guidelines and adapt the system accordingly.
John Hannon went into detail on the timed-entry permit system, explaining the visitors per hour scenarios and that this provides for advanced daily reservations for private vehicles and includes advance payment of entrance fees. This applies to all areas of the parks and discourages visitors from coming to the area without reservations.
The Commissioners thanked staff for their time and wished them the best of luck on the re-opening of RMNP.
7. 2019 TRAFFIC SAFETY REPORT : Mark Peterson, County Engineer and Brian Franken, Senior Civil Engineer, presented the Board with a PowerPoint overview of the 2019 Traffic Safety Report. The report covers the unincorporated roadways in Larimer County which the county has responsibility to maintain. Unincorporated Larimer County has nearly 890 miles of roadways -105 miles in subdivision, 82 in urban areas surrounding communities and 703 in rural portions of the county.
Crashes are categorized into three classes by severity: Property Damage Only (PDO), Injury, and Fatal. Property damage only crashes were down by over 7% from 2018. Injury crashes were down slightly in 2019 compared to 2018. Larimer County saw five fatal crashes in 2019, an increase of two over 2018. DUI crashes were up nearly 40% over 2018 and was a factor in three of the five fatal crashes.
In 2019, there were 476 crashes on unincorporated roads in Larimer County which is a decrease of 7% from 2018 at 512 crashes and equals the five-year average form 2015-2019 at 475.2 crashes.
There were five fatal crashes in 2019 which is a rise form 2018 of three deaths but below the five-year average of 6.4 deaths per year.
Distracted drivers accounted for 63 crashes in 2019; 11 of the 63 were injury related crashes with zero fatalities. The number of cell-phone-user-caused crashes were down from 2018 but exceeded the five-year average by 3%.
A serious crash is defined as a crash resulting in evident injury of death. There were 97 serious crashes on the Unincorporated Larimer County Road System in 2019 resulting in 111 injuries and five fatalities.
Safety improvements completed on the County Road system during 2019 : CR 50E- Country Club Road-rapid rectangular flashing beacon- The county received several requests from County Club Road residents for a safer crossing to allow pedestrians to access the recreation area at Long Pond. The intersection of CR28 and CR11C was reconstructed from a T-intersection to a roundabout during 2019. The new roundabout should increase traffic capacity at the intersection.
Mr. Franken went over the planned 2020 low cost safety work as well as the 2020 capital projects.
Chair Johnson mentioned the number of injuries due to lack of seatbelts and Commissioner Kefalas spoke about motorcycle helmets as well as questions on paved roads compared to gravel roads.
The Commissioners thanked Mr. Peterson and Mr. Franken for their hard work on statistical analysis.
8. COVID-19 UPDATES AND DECISIONS: Tom Gonzales, Public Health Director, gave an update via teleconference. Director Gonzales mentioned that we did receive the variance approval this past Saturday (05/23/2020). The variance request allows our businesses to re-open, slowly and carefully, ahead of the next phase of the statewide safer-at-home plan. Larimer County will need to remain diligent in following social distancing, handwashing, and face-covering protocols to keep our community safe as we continue to re-open.
Taprooms, breweries, wineries, tasting rooms, and distilleries can now open if they serve food on-site per the governor’s new guidance. They must follow the restaurant checklist and restrictions to re-open. Bars remain closed at this time. The Child Care, Outdoor Group Recreation and Long-Term Care sections of the Larimer County variance request were not approved. Day camps will need to submit plans in order to re-open. Residential camps will be closed through June. Director Gonzales does understand the strain the child-care denial puts on parents returning to work. The variance information can be found at Larimer.org/variance. We are expecting another round of guidance/changes just before June 1, 2020.
Chair Johnson expressed his gratitude to Director Gonzales and his team and spoke about capacity and guidelines between the county and state.
There was discussion on indoor and outdoor seating. In each confined indoor space, in order to achieve 6-feet social distancing, the limit is 50% of the posted occupancy code limit ensuring a minimum 28-square feet per person not to exceed more than 50 people at any given time. The completed checklist must be posted either at the main entrance or inside the establishment.
Commissioner Donnelly asked if Director Gonzales had any insight on when we might see some of the denials gaining approval.
Director Gonzales is hopeful that we will hear this week on guidance for child-care facilities. Long- term-care is also a concern for these individuals who have not been able to see loved ones.
Chair Johnson asked about the gatherings of 50 people or less. Director Gonzales explained that this was approved if a plan is submitted that meets all the requirements on the checklist.
Lori Hodges, Director of Emergency Management, attended via teleconference to notify the Board of the updated grants for the county,
The Commissioners thanked everyone for their hard work and thanked them for the updates.
9. COUNTY MANAGER UPDATE: Manager Hoffmann let the Board know that the Administrative Matters meetings that are held every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. will take place in the Hearing Room starting next week to accommodate the public. Manager Hoffmann said that we are hopeful that we can begin a soft, limited opening on June 1, 2020, but nothing has been finalized yet. Manager Hoffmann also spoke about the new agenda management system, Municode, and wanted to thank everyone involved for their tremendous work.
Commissioner Kefalas wanted to thank the Clerk and Recorders office for managing the lobby area to get people to their appointments and provide information to those who need an appointment.
10. COMMISSIONER ACTIVITY REPORTS: The Board detailed their attendance at events during the previous week.
11. EXECUTIVE SESSION: Pursuant to C.R.S. 24-6-402(4)(e) Fleet Campus Property Purchase.
12. LEGAL MATTERS: Pursuant to C.R.S. 24-6-402(4)(b) Opioid Litigation; Pursuant to C.R.S. 24-6-402(4)(b) Case Law changes relating to sign code and regulation of commercial signage in the County; Pursuant to C.R.S. 24-6-402(4)(b) Discussion regarding pending litigation and potential resolution of judgement.
Commissioner Kefalas moved that the Board enter into Executive Session to discuss the Fleet Campus property purchase, pursuant to C.R.S 24-6-402(4)(e), determining positions relative to matters that may be subject to negotiations; developing strategy for negotiations; and instructing negotiations and further move that the Board enter into Executive Session with no decisions expected to discuss Opioid litigation, Case Law changes related to sign code and regulation of commercial signage in the county, pursuant to C.R.S 24-6-402(4)(b) Conferences with an attorney for the purpose of receiving legal advise on specific legal questions.
Motion carried 3-0
County Attorney Frank Haug removed the Opioid litigation from the agenda.
With there being no further business, the Board adjourn at 11:45a.m.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
CLERK AND RECORDER
Deirdre O'Neill, Deputy Clerk