Issues addressed at Central City Council Meeting
By Wes Isenhart
In the first Central City Council meeting of 2013, the council said goodbye to outgoing members Rita Lee and Bob Giancola and welcomed as new members Gloria Gaines and Kathy Heider. The first meeting of the year featured a number of yearly appointments as well as the first reading of two ordinances regarding the regulation of marijuana cultivation for personal use in personal residences and the purchase of a new truck for the Water Department. Council also approved an Intergovernmental Agreement with Douglas County Commissioners for access to a metro-wide sex offender registration system called SOTAR. Mayor Ron Engels presided over the meeting with all old and new council members present along with all department heads and legal counsel.
Council Member Recognition and Swearing-in
The meeting started with two ceremonies. The first ceremony was a recognition and appreciation for the service and contributions of the two outgoing council members Bob Giancola who served on the council for five years and Rita Lee who served for a year. Mayor Engels presented both with plaques of appreciation and both expressed in their final remarks an appreciation for the opportunity to serve as council members and highlighted some of the accomplishments that occurred during their terms. The second ceremony was the swearing in of the two new council members Kathy Heider and Gloria Gaines who took the oath for the office of Alderman that was administered by Municipal Judge David Goss and then took their seats on the council.
Annual appointments were the first item of business by the new council and were all approved unanimously. These annual appointments included Bob Spain as the Mayor Pro-tem, the Weekly Register-Call as the legal publication for 2013, Ron Engels as the DRCOG Representative and the appointment of city manager Alan Lanning to be the Gilpin Ambulance Authority Representative with Finance Director Shannon Flowers as the alternate.
Ordinance and Resolution 13-01
The first ordinance of 2013 (13-01) which was unanimously approved on first reading concerned the posting of notices for regular and special meetings in public places. Ordinance 13-01 amends the Municipal Code to establish posting procedures and the public places designated for posting of meetings. In conjunction with Ordinance 13-01 was Resolution 13-01 which designated the two posting locations to be the Post Office and the front door of City Hall so as to be visible 24 hours a day. Washington Hall was removed as a posting location. Resolution 13-01 was approved unanimously.
Ordinances 13-02 and 13-03 Marijuana Regulations
In response to the passage of Amendment 64 legalizing marijuana which passed in Gilpin County by a thirty percent margin (65%-35%), Council unanimously approved on first reading Ordinances 13-02 and 13-03 which will regulate the cultivation of marijuana for personal use in residential structures and set a public hearing and second reading for February 5th. The purpose of Ordinances 13-02 and 13-03 are to address the personal possession of marijuana by conforming existing Municipal Code provisions to Amendment 64. Ordinance 13-02 defines marijuana and marijuana accessories to be consistent with Amendment 64, legalizes the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana by adults 21 years or older, prohibits the purchase or possession of marijuana for consumption by any person under 21 years of age and prohibits possession or consumption of any amount of marijuana in a public place.
Ordinance 13-03 amends zoning regulations that the City Council previously adopted concerning residential cultivation of medical marijuana to expand the limitations on the number and location of plants in a residence. The new zoning ordinances prohibit marijuana from being grown outside in a garden, in separate structures like a garage and not displayed in visible areas like the front window of a house. Marijuana plants will be limited to six per individual with no more than twelve plants per residence if there are multiple adults in a residence. Councilwoman Gaines inquired about rentals and townhomes. Attorney Michow said that the renters would be subject to the terms of their rental agreement and attached properties would be regulated so that there would be no cultivation in the common areas of a multi-family or attached residential building. Due to the scheduled absence of legal counsel at the next meeting, the public hearings on Ordinances 13-02 and 13-03 will be opened at the February 5th meeting and then continued to the February 19th for a final vote. These two ordinances only regulate the cultivation and possession of marijuana for personal use. Council will have to determine before July 1st whether they will license retail pot shops in the business district or impose a moratorium on them like they did with the casinos.
Resolution 13-02 Sex Offender Registration
Chief of Police Terry Krelle presented Resolution 13-02 to council regarding the approval of an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Douglas County Commissioners for access to a sex offender registration system called SOTAR. Central City currently does not have a publicly searchable database to enter registered sex offenders. At any given time Central City has 1-8 registered sex offenders in residence in the city. Thirty two law enforcement agencies that contribute to the SOTAR database and DouglasCounty require an IGA from each agency that participates. Motion to approve Resolution 13-02 carried unanimously.
Resolution 13-03 Spending Authorization
Resolution 13-03 which establishes financial procedures for specific authorized check signatories and the use of credit or debit cards was presented by Finance Director Shannon Flowers. The authorization of check signatories and credit card users in an annual resolution and lists authorized city employees by name for bank purposes. Resolution 13-03 was approved unanimously.
New Water Department Pickup
Operations Director Kent Kisselman presented a motion to approve the purchase of a Ford F-150 truck for the Water Department in the amount of $34,668. Funding for this purchase will come out of the Water Funds Adopted 2013 Budget. The budgeted amount was $46,000. Director Kisselman said that the city received favorable discounts for the modified truck to get the below budget price. Motion to approve the purchase of the Ford F-150 truck for the Water Department carried unanimously.
Metered Water Bills Credit
During staff updates, Finance Directory Flowers told council that the first metered water bills went out in January. There was a billing mistake charging seniors and a two dollar credit will show up on their bills in February.
The two new council members took the opportunity during council comments to thank those who supported them in the election. Mayor Engels extended his welcome to the new members and said that he was looking forward to working with them. Councilwoman Voorhis reported that there had been a few complaints regarding how the roads had been plowed during the last snow storm.
The next meeting of the Central City Council will be on February 5th at 7 p.m.
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