Lyons can look forward to two major stormwater mitigation projects this spring, thanks to funds from the Boulder County Collaborative.
In her report to the Town of Lyons Board of Trustees at the regular meeting held Tuesday, Jan. 21, town administrator Victoria Simonsen outlined how Lyons is set to receive $200,000 for work that will begin in spring.
According to Simonsen, the Boulder County Collaborative, which includes Boulder County; the cities of Boulder, Longmont, Louisville, and Lafayette; and the towns of Jamestown, Lyons, and Nederland, has until June 30 of this year to use a $609,000 Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Of the communities who are part of the collaborative, only Lyons and Longmont put in for use of the funds. Lyons received an advance of $200,000 previously for a project. Longmont was allocated $209,000 for its Resilient St. Vrain project, which will rebuild St. Vrain Creek through the City of Longmont. Lyons is set to receive the final $200,000 for additional stormwater projects.
“The key to getting the money was the guarantee we could spend it by the timeframe,” said Simonsen.
She added that Lyons has plenty of stormwater construction needs. Chief among them are Second Avenue renovations. However, that project will not be ready in time for the June 30 deadline.
The projects next in line include improvements to High Street and Red Gulch.
“High Street between Fourth Avenue and Fifth Avenue has been a problem for the community and for those businesses for a long time,” Simonsen said, “and we now have a design in place as part of the budgeting that we did with the internal Lyons funds in hopes that we would get this money.”
She estimates the stormwater improvements will be made this spring, adding a curb and a gutter on High Street. An easement is also being sought for 446 Main Street (the empty lot east of the Fork restaurant) that would divert water that flows over the lot to flow under the lot instead, and into Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Main Street drainage system.
“We are pretty excited about this. Now that the funding has been approved verbally, we’ll get the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) amendments in place and we should see that [construction work] happen this spring and summer, so that’s going to be a big improvement for High Street,” she said.
Red Gulch is also slated for work within the timeline. Simonsen clarified that Red Gulch is the stormwater run-off that comes from Lyons Valley Estates and the South St. Vrain across Bohn Park and into the backyards of some residents on Welch Drive. According to Simonsen, the project was prioritized because plans were already in place and the run-off impacts residents.
“So that’s where we are at with stormwater. I think it’s really exciting to see those improvements occurring, especially when we get those two-year events that we tend to get about twice a summer when we get those heavy rainfalls with hail and areas seem to inundate, so we should see some improvements there,” she said.
In her report, Simonsen also pointed to additional stormwater improvement projects not related to the Boulder County Collaborative funds.
Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds will allow for a paving project south of Main Street on roads that were secondarily affected by the flood. Simonsen said these are roads that experienced higher-than-normal use by heavy equipment and diverted automobile traffic after the flood.
A neighborhood meeting was held to inform residents between Second and Fourth Avenues from Railroad Avenue to Park Street that there will be reconstruction on most of the streets between April and June.
“We tried to reach out to people to let them know this is going to be a significant impact,” said Simonsen. “Some of those streets are going to be getting curb and gutter, which will change people’s habits tremendously. It will also slow down traffic when we have on-street parking because we will have an expectation that people will park on the street once this is done.”
Two other sections between Fourth Avenue and Broadway will see complete reconstruction, and the section of Third Avenue east of Bank of the West will also be getting resurfaced.
Simonsen estimated contracts will be put before the board soon. Bids for the projects are going out this week.
Simonsen also briefed the board on the eastern corridor development, noting that the closing date for the sale of the development is set for the Thursday, February 13, at 8 a.m. in Boulder. She also gave an update on the Summit Housing project. Amy Reinholds has reported further on Simonsen’s Summit Housing findings in her What’s the Future of Affordable Housing in Lyons column.
In other board of trustees news:
The trustees approved a settlement between the Town of Lyons and Lyons Properties LLC, the owners of the River Bend property (home of the event venue and WeeCasa tiny homes hotel). This settlement ends a lawsuit that was filed in May 2019 concerning Lyons Properties’ failure to provide a Colorado-Big Thompson water share, as required by the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the town and Lyons Properties when the Board of Trustees approved River Bend rezoning to a PUD in 2016. More details about Resolution 2020-16 are in the article linked here.
Sergeant Bill Crist of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office gave a report regarding revisions being made to the code for illegal dumping. The revisions will address changes to language that will include a fine structure.
In addition to addressing the code, Crist noted that the department is examining the layout of cameras at the Lyons Recycling Center. “The positioning could be better,” he said. He added that cameras can be positioned to allow for 100 percent of identification of those who illegally dump trash items at site.
Other items Crist addressed included updating the board on ongoing discussions addressing noise levels from outdoor music at the Lyons Den. Crist said a meeting has been scheduled with interested parties, including representatives from the Lyons Den and residents affected.
The board of trustees heard from Finance Director Jill Johnson regarding financial updates for 2019. She noted that the financials for December were not complete, and that there will still be adjustments coming to the current figures as late as February. She told the board that for this reason she eliminated the December year-to-year comparison. Johnson told board members the final financial picture for 2019 could be expected in May after the annual audit is completed.
According to her figures, December revenues showed $475,133, with most of that going to the electric fund and general fund. Expenditures were $716,771, with a large percentage of that coming from the general fund and the sanitation fund. Johnson said that for December, expenditures exceeded revenues in all funds with the exception of the electric fund.
In looking at the year, Johnson compared revenues to what was budgeted, and said more figures were being assessed. Her findings showed the general fund and parks and recreation fund have both exceeded budgeted revenues and expenses. Enterprise funds, which include water, electric, wastewater, and stormwater funds, are all under budget with the exception of the stormwater fund.
The board heard from Robert Jones of Lyons Communications, a local cable and Internet provider. Lyons Communications is to be acquired by USA Communications, a Nebraska-based company familiar with small communities.
Two second readings and public hearings were held. The first hearing addressed an ordinance that amends section water rights dedication requirements for annexation of Lake McIntosh shares. The second addressed an ordinance that amends sections of Chapter 18 Article 13 of the Lyons Municipal Code that focuses on flood damage prevention. Both measures were passed with full support of the trustees.
First readings were held for three ordinances. Those were an ordinance that amends the Lyons Municipal Code to authorize the town to require testing and monitoring of facilities for uses of the town’s wastewater services; an ordinance that amends sections of the Lyons Municipal Code to incorporate utility code modifications; and an ordinance to amend sections of the Lyons Municipal Code regarding trees.
The board passed a list of resolutions, including a resolution that names Western Disposal as the hauler of choice for the Pay as You Throw (PAYT) Program, should the program be implemented. The issue of whether or not to implement the PAYT program will be put to a public vote in the April 7 election. A resolution referring a ballot question concerning whether the Town of Lyons should adopt an ordinance that requires a town vote for approval of a single hauler company for residential trash pickup also passed, as did a resolution referring a ballot question concerning whether the town should contract with Western Disposal for residential trash services, and whether the town should implement fees to pay for residential trash services.