CHANGES TO CONSENT AGENDA: remove 10/24/18 minutes from Action Items; add Planning Commission appointment to Action Items
CONSENT AGENDA: voucher approval; acceptance of pipeline report and variance reports; approval of finance policy and procedures
ELECTED OFFICIALS/DEPARTMENT HEADS/STAFF REPORTS:
-Sam Albrecht, County Manager, announced the resignation of Justin Klassen, Director of Administration
-“Elbert County Connection” will now be a quarterly insert in the Prairie Times (through the mail) as a means of communicating with citizens; paid for by taxpayers
OPEN PUBLIC COMMENT:
-Lance Bakemeyer, commercial realtor, shared info about real estate listings, price averages, etc. in EC; we currently have a 3.2 month supply of housing. Stated that we need more commercial development to provide services to these homes.
-Marlene Groves asked about the cost of the “Elbert County Connection,” and about the criteria for selection of the Prairie Times for distribution.
-Patricia Sizemore asked about the 2011 resolution banning second residences on any property less than 20 acres; what has prompted the BOCC to “loosen up” that resolution; wants the commissioners to look at what’s best for the majority of homeowners, not just a few, as it affects everyone’s property values. Commissioner Thayer responded that the commissioners are “looking at draft language” for second residences.
-Carla Hagood commented about the subdivision process; suggested that the cash-in-lieu-of concept be revisited.
-Liz Alvarez asked how citizens can get answers to questions posed during BOCC meetings as many questions go unanswered; Commissioners Thayer and Richardson stated that this is public comment, but that Town Halls are where citizens can get questions answered. They suggested that she listen to YouTubes of BOCC meetings; Ms. Alvarez stated that YouTubes are very difficult to understand/hear and that responses by commissioners are inaudible.
-Miguel Alvarez asked about policy regarding BOCC meetings which states that documents will be available the week before the meeting; how can citizens be informed when documents actually only appear a few hours before BOCC meetings? Also asked about perception commissioners have that citizens are anti-growth - he prefers that the county promote “strategic growth.” When Mr. Alvarez asked a specific question about roads along section lines, he was cut off by the county attorney and commissioners; they told him that he was “represented by an attorney” and to handle this “through the right channels.”
-annual update from Veterans’ Service Officer, Ric Morgan: passed out handout on veterans’ services available in EC; 2299 veterans in county.
-proposed county ordinance: marijuana (updated for recent trends and changes in the law), hemp (cultivation and associated activity), disorderly house (additional tools for law enforcement): Bart Greer, County Attorney, stated that there are changes to these ordinances. Staff was requested to post ordinance in the newspaper.
-update on adoption of IBC (international building code) 2018: Rory Hale, Public Works Director, has a meeting planned with fire districts to explain administrative changes.
-update on 2018 General Election: Dallas Schroeder, Elbert County Clerk, shared that 14,482 ballots were returned as well as numerous other statistics; less folks showing up at VSPC centers to vote in person. Thanked election judges and Board of Canvass. Also had a mobile voting unit this year (borrowed sheriff’s mobile command unit).
-National Weather Service Recognition of EC as a Storm Ready Community: Alex Jakubowski, OEM Director achieved goal of certification of county as “storm ready” (weather monitoring, notification of public through various means, etc.). Received certificate and plaque from National Weather Service.
-October 24, 2018 minutes (removed from agenda)
-consideration of appointments to EC Building Authority: county manager, CDS director and finance officer were appointed.
-consideration of resolution requiring fire service/fire district inclusion fee: Greer spoke about areas of land with no fire district coverage. This resolution will 1) require fees for new construction in those areas to cover fire services or 2) have new construction apply to fire districts for inclusion and join fire districts by paying proper mill levy already in place. TJ Steck, representing fire chiefs in EC, encouraged support of this resolution. Passed.
-consideration of adoption of Strategic Plan: Albrecht presented at a previous workshop; passed. Carla Hagood expressed concerns that complete Strategic Plan was not on county website until yesterday, and she could not open document. She’s concerned that citizens’ values and priorities are not being addressed; focus of Strategic Plan is on economics. Citizens have concerns about quality of life issues which should be reflected in Strategic Plan, so adoption of this plan should therefore be delayed. Commissioner Thayer stated that these issues are addressed in the Comprehensive Plan.
-Planning Commission member added: Justin Klassen appointed until 12/31/18, effective 11/22/18.
-2019 budget presentation: Albrecht presented draft budget for 2019 with formal approval recommended for 12/19; spoke about budget process, goals, and department/elected official reports. Total revenue for 2019 expected to be about $29 million; expenditures $28,700,000.
Treasurer, Coroner, Surveyor, Assessor - no significant budget changes or increased FTE
Commissioners - increase of expenditures $4,000 (pay and benefits)
Sheriff - no increase in FTE, increase of expenditures $600,000 (increased expenses in jail, pay and benefits)
Clerk and Recorder - increase of 1 FTE, increase of expenditures $108,000
County Manager - admin increase expenditures $10,000, decrease of expenditures in finance of $4,000
CDS - increase of 2 FTE, increased expenditures $200,000
IT - increase expenditures of $250,000
Extension - no increase in FTE, increased expenditures $1,000
Human Resources - increase of 1 FTE, increased expenditures $50,000
OEM - no change to FTE, decreased expenditures $10,000
County attorney - no change to FTE, increased expenditures $34,000
Facilities and fairground - no change to FTE, increased expenditures $30,000
Public Works - Road and Bridge (increase 3 FTE and expenditures $200,000); Building (increase of 1 FTE, decrease in expenditures $90,000); Asset and Fleet Management (no change to FTE, increase in expenditures $1,000)
HHS - no change in FTE
Expenditures by Department as a percentage of the budget:
General government 19.82%
Public Safety 20.49%
Public Health 1.49%
Human Services 14.21%
Culture and Recreation 1.12%
Public Works 20.36%
Debt Service 3.7%
Capital Outlay 11.19%
Bond Payment 1.64%
Transfers Out 3.45%
A 37 page draft budget is available to view on the county website.
Conclusion: balanced budget, reserves secured, strategic plan implementation, depth and capacity supports future county needs, and teamwork. Goals for individual departments were also posted (available on county website).
County Clerk Schroeder stated that there will be a new program for citizens to access documents on the county website starting in December; will be a link on the front page of the website for public to utilize.
-Agenda items for next meeting (12/5/18): minutes approval; final budget update; finance policy; fee schedule; library board appointments; mill levy approval for Meadow Station, Foxwoods Estates, and Sun Country; workshops/study sessions, pending hearings
LAND USE HEARING: (approximately 20 citizens showed up for hearing)
*continual technical problems with Power Point presentation caused information on screen to regularly disappear/reappear
-consideration of EDZ Overlay (language and maps): EDZ was approved 3/29/18, PC recommended conditional approval 7/24/18, BOCC sent maps and some text back to staff on 8/8/18, on 10/30/18 PC approved proposed revisions with conditions
-changes made in uses by right vs. uses by special review (some uses by right moved to uses by special review - no new uses added)
-zoning map for EDZ - revisions made in consideration of Town of Elizabeth’s concerns
-Arapahoe County expressed concerns; requested that the EDZ not be allowed along county road adjacent to them; EC declined to follow that recommendation
-PC recommended that certified mail to adjacent landowners and public hearings be required
-Jim Marshall, developer, asked that lands west of Elizabeth not be included in EDZ
Albrecht’s comments on EDZ: county has been working on this for over a year with adequate opportunities for citizens to gather information; Town of Elizabeth is OK with EDZ - no response from Kiowa or Simla. County has received about 40 responses from citizens. EDZ does not change where a citizen can put a business. Public notice requirements have been strengthened. This does not set up competition between county and towns. Old process took time and money to rezone. Makes sense to put businesses along major corridors.
Public comment on EDZ:
-Rick Brown proposed additional amendment dealing with procedure because “substantially similar business” wording is a problem. Approval allowed/not allowed decision is made behind closed doors by County Manager. Nearby property owners will have no way of knowing about change unless they monitor all BOCC happenings/events. Suggested more transparency: notices to surrounding landowners and public hearings.
-Carla Hagood stated that questions from citizens are not being addressed. Just because our county is outside the state norms for commercial vs. residential taxation, it is not unusual; commercial development depends on location of county within the state. Commissioners had stated at Town Hall that Lincoln County is used as a model for EDZ - actually a very different model than the proposed EDZ. Recommended that the EDZ be phased in slowly with public input every 6 months.
-Chris Hatton stated that Arapahoe County’s referral identified safety issue; asked how EC will address Arapahoe County’s concerns. Same goes for other counties affected by this EDZ.
-Roy Leak expressed concerns about changes already made to his property (hwy 86 and gas line have already taken some of his property); he liked first EDZ draft better with more uses by right allowed.
-Tom Maroney stated that the county needs to figure out how to streamline special use review; has had 2 deals crash because of current proposal
-Susan Shick complained about the “nonsense” of the technology given all the money that the county spends on IT (couldn’t read all of the screens presented). Asked for preservation of lifestyle that folks who moved out here desire.
-Bill Bartolac, who grows alfalfa for cattle near Matheson, would like approval of the EDZ for more employment opportunities.
Public hearings for use by special review would make the process at least twice as long as opposed to just using administrative process.
Commissioner Thayer responded to citizens’ concerns, as did Commissioner Richardson. Thayer surmised that much of the development will be like Summit Business Park. Commissioner Richardson claims that this concept was introduced 23 years ago in Comprehensive Plan.
How to speed up SUR process: complete applications and higher standards for submitted materials. Currently no written requirements for site development plan, so applicant doesn’t know what is expected. Valuable discussion among commissioners followed about pros and cons of EDZ, how to streamline process, notification process, etc.
One idea commissioners considered involved moving all uses from use by right to special use review (SUR), but eliminating public hearing and consideration by Planning Commission; in other words, recommendation by CDS would go directly to BOCC (bypassing the PC). Thus, SURs within the EDZ would have a streamlined process, saving both time and money for the applicant while still preserving public input.
BOCC decided to continue EDZ Overlay consideration until December 5, 2018@1PM to allow CDS and staff to provide alternatives to speed up SUR process currently in place in EC.