Following a public hearing and second reading during the regular meeting of the Town of Lyons, an ordinance that will require businesses to be tested and monitored for use of the town’s wastewater services was passed 6-0. Mayor Connie Sullivan recused herself from the vote, citing family business conflicts of interests.
The ordinance will focus on businesses that are deemed “high” category businesses that create high-strength waste, as well as on businesses that the town administrator determines might be a concern. These businesses will be required to install a waste sampling port.
Aaron Caplan, interim utility coordinator for the Town of Lyons, said the town has been grappling with how to manage the high-strength waste, specifically high levels of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS). Caplan added that more recently, high levels of copper have been a concern.
“We’ve tried to take it slow, one step at a time,” he said. “We’ve tried to reduce any unneeded burdens, and really look to exactly what our options are to move forward. Last year we came up with the idea of putting out the classification that goes with some of the various industries that may have different levels of high-strength waste, in particular the biochemical oxygen demand.”
He told the board that the next step in the process would be to have the ability to test or monitor the waste water.
Trustee Jocelyn Farrell asked if the town had covered all their bases before taking this step and requiring the installation of monitoring ports.
Caplan said it was the only way to test without singling out specific businesses. He outlined the proposal process for installing the ports as well as the potential costs, which he estimated could range anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000, depending of the size of the project.
The deadline to be in compliance is June 30 of this year. Farrell took issue with the deadline and attempted to amend the date to October 1, but the amendment to the ordinance failed.
Caplan emphasized that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is requiring the town regulate its BOD and TSS levels in order to allow eastern corridor developments to connect to the wastewater treatment plant.
“The latest letter that came through says that we need to show specifically how we are going to monitor and stop the copper,” Caplan said.
The town also is facing fines upwards of $10,000 for each infraction should the copper levels not be contained.
Craig Engelhorn, owner and head distiller for Spirit Hound Distillers, spoke during public comment, asking the board if there has been a dialogue with area businesses about the creation of the ordinance. He wanted to know the cost to install ports and the cost for each test. He also wanted to know about specifications of the tests and what the town’s wastewater local limits are. He had several other questions including how high the cost could go for testing.
“I don’t feel like we should be tossed under the bus for the whole problem,” he said. He urged the board to discuss the ordinance further with local business.
Spirit Hound co-owner Matt Rooney also spoke, proposing alternative solutions to requiring ports.
Nick Angelo, who is running for mayor of the Town of Lyons, spoke in support of the ordinance, but added that he hoped there could be means to assist businesses with the financial burdens of complying.
Town of Lyons Attorney Brandon Dittman emphasized that if the town doesn’t come up with a monitoring plan, the Environmental Protection Agency will do so.
Town of Lyons Administrator Victora Simonsen added, “If we don’t implement this, the EPA will, and it’s going to be significant. It’s not going to be giving us a pass. They’re going to shut down businesses.”
In other Board of Trustees news:
A motion was passed to table votes on two resolutions relating to a Highway 66 access control plan. Resolution 2020-28 would provide for an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between the Town of Lyons, the City of Longmont, Towns of Mead and Firestone, Boulder and Weld counties, and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to implement an access control plan for Highway 66.
Resolution 2020-29 would approve a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between CDOT and the Town of Lyons that would allow the town to meet its transportation and access goals for the eastern corridor while at the same time remaining within the access control plan IGA with the communities listed in Resolution 2020-28.
Director of Community Development and Town of Lyons Planner Paul Glasgow recommended the board of trustees hold off on the vote pending further review of the memorandum of understanding by CDOT attorneys.
“Right now, the MOU has not been fully vetted with CDOT’s legal staff,” he said.
He also recommended delaying a vote on an IGA without an adopted MOU. Glasgow noted that CDOT wants to know from the board whether it supported an agreement that included all entities in a single voting block, or two voting blocks that would put the Town Of Lyons, Boulder County, and Longmont in one voting block, and the remaining communities in another, with CDOT included in each.
Sullivan pointed out that it was CDOT’s initial recommendation that there be two voting blocks.
Brian Varrella, CDOT Region IV residential engineer, agreed that the earlier recommendation was for two voting blocks. But recently, the communities on Highway 66 met and discussed further a single voting block. He said that CDOT was not endorsing a preference, but that CDOT wanted to make sure all parties were making an informed decision.
Farrell attended that meeting and said it was made clear that a single voting block was desired, but that it would be up to the board of trustees to decide.
Sullivan inquired which entity specifically objected to two voting blocks. Varrella said it was Weld County, specifically, and, according to him, their concern was that their commission had already signed the IGA as it stood.
Ultimately, Sullivan said that the voting block decision wasn’t the primary concern. Sullivan said she is more concerned about making sure the MOU states clearly the Town of Lyons’ goals.
“Ultimately, it’s the MOU that’s going to give us the certainty we’re looking for–that CDOT is going to support where we want to go with this access control plan,” she said.
An ordinance amending a municipal code to regulate trees and shrubs failed, and will be sent to first reading again with amendments.
Sargent Bill Crist of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Department gave a brief discussion of the Old Man Winter Race, which will be held this Sunday. He told board members that he, as event supervisor, will lead racers out from LaVern M. Johnson Park down Broadway to Foothills Highway. He will do this for the short 50K race and the longer 100K race. He wanted to update the board, as it is a slightly different start than in previous years.
Crist also gave the board an update on discussions with the Lyons Den about noise from the outdoor music venue. Crist said the Lyons Den is working to find solutions to mitigate the noise. Solutions include scheduling primarily acoustic acts in the outdoor venue and limiting outdoor concerts to between 6p.m. and 9 p.m.
A motion was passed to award a limited liquor license to the Lyons Arts and Humanities Commission for their quarterly art openings. The board asked that signs be posted at the library during the events noting that alcohol is being served.
A discussion was held about the possibility of using $70,000 from the Lyons Properties settlement to purchase what could amount to as many as nine Lake McIntosh water shares at a cost of $7,500 each. Sullivan said it might be worth looking at, and other board members agreed.