Dillon moves ahead on marina upgrades
summit daily news
DILLON – Dillon Town Council members weathered the snow storm Tuesday to tackle a flurry of agenda items.
Council approved $2.2 million of financing for phase one of the Marina Master Plan, banned medical marijuana businesses within town limits and authorized construction of a temporary wall to reopen Little Beaver Trail to one lane of traffic this winter.
Council unanimously approved an ordinance to finance the first phase of the Dillon Marina Master Plan to improve one of the town’s main assets. The first phase will expand the shoreline to allow for more dry storage and better flow of traffic. The improvements are expected to boost revenue to help the marina pay for the project.
The town will issue certificates of participation to raise $2.2 million on behalf of the marina. Town Hall will be used like collateral on the deal, similar to an individual taking out a line of equity on a home. The certificates will be purchased by Alpine Bank via UMB Bank, the trustee. The town will then pay back the debt over 20 years at a 4.65 percent interest rate with annual payments of $170,153.
The practice is common in Colorado, as it’s the only way a town can incur debt without voter approval, said Dillon Town Manager Devin Granbery. Frisco used a similar financing vehicle to help fund its marina and the Frisco Adventure Park project, according to its town manager, Michael Penny.
An emergency ordinance was used to speed up the process so the town could lock in a good interest rate; also a common practice with this type of financing, Dillon finance director Carri McDonnell said. Emergency ordinances require a super majority five votes to pass, but do not require a second reading or the standard 30-day waiting period for financing ordinances.
Town staff estimated the first phase of the Marina Master Plan would cost $2 million, but the only bid for the project came in for $2.6 million. Granbery said staff considered re-bidding the project, but in the meantime the town would work with the contractor to lower the cost. The overall scope of the project will remain the same, but certain aspects could be delayed and financed in cash from the marina budget.
“All council is considering is what the marina can afford,” Granbery said prior to the vote.
Council unanimously approved a resolution for the marina to pay cash from its budget to cover $26,000 in fees for legal services associated with the financing. Council also approved a resolution for Smithgroup JJR, Inc. to begin work on slope stabilization and installation of a storm water detention system at the marina in the amount of $49,666.
Council approved the second reading of an ordinance to ban medical marijuana businesses within town limits by a margin of 5-2. No one testified at the public hearing, and the ordinance will now become law.
The town has no medical marijuana businesses within town limits and has a moratorium on the issuance of business licenses to medical marijuana businesses. The prohibition can be overturned at a later date should council elect to pass an ordinance to regulate the industry within town limits.
Under the direction of town attorney Mark Shapiro, council opted to remain on the “trailing edge” of the medical marijuana debate. Only Mayor Ron Holland and Councilwoman Lucinda Burns voted against the ordinance, as they hoped to regulate the industry rather than prohibit it.
On the same day Dillon reopened Little Beaver Trail to the public for an emergency, council unanimously approved a resolution to authorize construction of a temporary wall to open the road to one lane of traffic through the winter.
Residents of Dillon Valley eagerly await the reopening of Little Beaver Trail, as it represents one of only two entrances to the neighborhood. The road has been closed since May as a result of a retaining wall failure that led to a landslide of debris onto the road.
The temporary wall project was awarded to the lowest of three bidders, Silverthorne-based Columbine Hills Concrete, in the amount of $34,870. The construction firm will install six 20-foot long shipping containers at the toe of the mudslide with a gravel drainage layer underneath for storm water detention.
Once the wall has been constructed, the town will set up traffic signals on either side of the affected area to allow traffic to alternate through the single lane. The town hoped to open public traffic to two lanes, but engineers determined such a setup was not feasible.
Columbine Hills Concrete cannot begin the project until Denver construction firm Hayward Baker completes work on a lock and rock anchor system to secure the Walgreens building above the slope. That project is expected to be completed later this week, and Columbine Hills Concrete will work through the weekend to install the temporary wall.
Construction on a permanent fix will begin next spring, and Little Beaver Trail will close to all public traffic for an additional three to four months.
Council also unanimously approved a resolution to waive the winter construction prohibition in the town’s municipal code for excavation, grading and utility construction on the Walgreens site to allow for the installation of a storm drain and a fire hydrant. Without these utilities, Walgreens would be forced to close for the winter.
Council voted 6-1 on the second reading of an ordinance to update its fees for 2011. Councilman Geoff Schmidt voted against the measure because he believes the town’s water fee structure does not accurately reflect water usage.
A resolution to allow the Old Dillon Reservoir Authority to join the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency was unanimously passed, and council consented to attorney fees for 2011 at a standard rate of $170 per hour.
SDN reporter Drew Andersen can be contacted at (970) 668-4633 or email@example.com.
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