Coffee With Council – April 2023

Read along below:

Speaker 1 0:00
The Council Representatives today are councilmember Tim waters and Councilmember Suzie Hidalgo fairy. And we’re ready to get started, Susie is going to start off with going over the parameters for debt for today. Can you all do? Can you all hear if I do this? Okay, so we will repeat the questions to council members will repeat the questions. And then if you all need me, I can jump in whenever you want. This is scheduled for an hour. And Susie,

Speaker 2 0:36
good morning, I am Cal Cybercity. They’ll go farine. I represent ward three, the Northwest little corner of our community. So I just wanted to, you know, we do have a packed house. So really, we really want to be able to hear people’s comments, concerns, questions. So for this, because of the size, we’re gonna limit to one first, we want to hear all the topics, and then we can circle back to an item that is the same topic. And after everyone who’s who has been able to talk about their subject matter. Can I can address that. Does that make sense? Okay, very good. And I weren’t thinking, three minutes, three minute timeframes, as far as you’re getting your comment out, and being able to respond, so we can hear as many people as possible. And there is a sign up sheet up front. So if you had not had a chance to sign in, please do. So. If there’s anything I forgot, go ahead,

Unknown Speaker 1:37
you covered ready to go.

Tim Waters 1:41
Who wants to start? Shaquille.

Speaker 3 1:44
So I think one of the things that drives attendance at these meetings, and also, a lot of civic activity and civic engagement in the city, is the fact that everyone knows that change is coming along, our population is going to grow, more people are going to want to live here, the cost of housing is going up, our transportation infrastructure really doesn’t meet the needs of the city for the future. And in order to adapt to those kinds of changes, we’re asking for a lot from our city government. And that’s not just elected officials, it’s also the city staff. And what that means is that we need the ability to plan things, we need the ability to respond to requests from people for variances, so that, you know, for example, we can facilitate the kinds of development that we want to see in the city, which might be high density, it might be lots of different kinds of creative development. And one of my concerns is that I’m not sure that the city has the resources that it needs to do that job. I learned recently, we have something like one and a half full time, traffic engineers in the city. If the city is going to achieve Vision Zero as a council is asking me to do that’s really not enough traffic engineers. I’m sure that there’s similar shortages in the planning department. I’m sure there’s similar shortages in a lot of the staff departments in the city. And I’d be curious to know what the Council plans to do in order to address these resource shortages. And make sure that our government can respond to our needs in the way that we needed to

Tim Waters 3:08
do any recommendation. You’re going to hear the question,

Unknown Speaker 3:12
raise my taxes, please. I’m not kidding, please raise my taxes.

Tim Waters 3:18
So that the number of concerns can restated kind of our growth trajectory and all that’s associated with it. And are we adequately staffed throughout the city to address those challenges? Is that a fair summary? And then the comment was, if it means raising my taxes, then raise my taxes was the other comment. I’ll make a comment. No, I don’t think the issue really is Shaquille in terms of maybe its taxes and revenues. But we allocated $414 million of your body in this year’s budget. There’ll be carryover. So by the time we get into this year, based on on how our budgets are structured, we’ll probably have a $700 million budget, ultimately, in 2023. I don’t think our problem is we don’t have enough money. The question is what are our priorities and how best to spend that money? If we had all the money in the world? Do we is the talent pool deep enough and available for us to staff? So if I would have pointed out for just from Tim’s perspective, the places in the city where we are short staffed for whatever reasons, I think the planning department would would be one of those. I can guarantee you our parks department would be another one of those in terms of, you know what’s backlogged and in the staff, we need to get stuff moving. But that’s that’s really less about maybe parks is about finance in terms of staffing, but so much of it is just about the workforce right now in who’s available and who’s willing to work for municipal governments and, you know, one of the options right so I think Whereas I think the word of the workforce hasn’t settled down since the pandemic. And I don’t, you know, I don’t I don’t have it, there’s no easy answer here. There is no doubt where this city and every city is going to continue to confront all the issues around land use, and infrastructure and, you know, see health and safety, not just in terms of transportation, public safety, and you know, all that goes with it. So, I acknowledge, these are real challenges. I wish the solutions were easy. But you’re, you’re identifying kind of what the what the edge is for, so we’re going to continue to confront it every Tuesday after Tuesday. The one kind of maybe personal commentary would add, we get a lot of, as you can imagine, the incoming emails, I can just give you an example after example, where everybody, not everybody, many people have opinions, strong ones, about what we ought to be doing as a city. And at the end of the day, decisions are going to be made because we have sessions like this input from the community, we have a competent staff, and then you have seven amateurs elected to serve the city as city council members. You know, here’s Marshall, Martin, Marcia has strong background she brings from her professional experience. So you know, I’m gonna defer abortion on a whole bunch of issues, Susie and a bunch of issues. But the truth of the matter is, I’m not going to defer to either one of them, at the end of the day, on what’s the right direction, terms of big policy, I’m gonna do the best I can to take what we learned from staff, what we hear from the community, but what we’re going to do on our own, and try to put that together to make a responsible decision. But the last thing you want are seven amateurs making decisions that were unqualified to make, we’re going to have to take that input Well, listen carefully. But we’re going to rely on staff as well. I mean, we’re in this, I just, I could go a long list of examples of topics where it’s like, you don’t want us making that decision on our own, we have to do it in concert with the folks who are giving us advice.

Speaker 3 7:05
That’s why I’m worried about whether or not we have enough staff provide counsel with with the information that it needs to make decisions, I certainly would prefer that as many city staff as possible live in the city boundaries, because that’s good. That’s good for the city environment. But if part of the problem is a talent pool, and there’s a traffic engineer in North Dakota wants to draw a strict plan, I think we should let them and we should consider remote workers as well,

Tim Waters 7:29
when we are we’re doing more and more of that.

Speaker 2 7:31
Yeah, well, and you you said, you mentioned a lot of the points that I was talking about that I was going to mention, especially around conferring with staff, they are the experts long after we’re gone, they’re going to be here. So you know, we depend on that piece. But the driving factor of our conversation is what we’re hearing from community. So it’s a matter I mean, just even my short time on council, so far, there’s been a lot of pivots, if we have this idea, or we’re gonna go this direction, then we hear from community or some of the consequences of some of our decisions is conferring with staff, backtracking, and reevaluating, where we’re at making reflections and make adjustments accordingly. So that means looking at our budget, as well as you know, finding the right talent pool that’s out there. I mean, there could be applicants who are not qualified or we don’t want in our, you know, we don’t want running this particular department, we have to be able to say, No, we’re gonna try again. And so it did, it takes a little longer. It’s been a struggle to find people. So we could put all the positions out there, that if there aren’t the people to fill these roles and do it adequately, then, you know, we’re kind of in a bind. So we’re kind of readjusting and re collaborating, calibrating

Unknown Speaker 8:46
as we move forward.

Tim Waters 8:50
So yes, sir. Right there to happen.

Speaker 5 8:54
John Tilman 1303 screws pushing for you. I know we’re Boulder County. Well, instead, Colorado is looking at a historic increase in property value assessments, right? In the in the boulder counties. 35%. So that’s a lot of money. Right? I think the state of Colorado collects over a trillion dollars a year in real estate taxes. Can you educate us on how much of that historic increase that we’re all going to bear in real estate taxes? How much of that trickles down to the city of Longmont? Because that could sell some of our problems? Right. If we I don’t know what it is, like in 10 million 15 million, because it’s, it’s coming and we’re all curious as to how that’s going to be? Well, we’re

Tim Waters 9:39
all curious if this was the the repeal of the Gallagher amendment, which which provoked this because I don’t know that it’s gonna generate more money. Actually, it’s a shift in the burden. Is that recalled, commercial property has been 29% versus 7%. In terms of Oh, you know, the rates at which we’re we’re taxed on a real property. Famille levies against real property or on real property. That’s it’s the shift that’s occurring to real it took to residential real estate. And I don’t have all the details we’re learning as we go on. And I’m reading the newspaper, we knew what was going to come as a result of the repeal of the Gallagher amendment. Now it’s here. It’s my understanding, there’s still a potential legislative fix that occur. I don’t know what it is. The legislature has a few more days. I was down there yesterday. Just observing and they have a couple of days left. I think that eight is the last day of the legislative session. I think there’s still a chance, but I honestly, I cannot I’m not the expertise expert enough. I don’t know if Jim golden was here. Our chief financial officer wasn’t Jim. Harold, do you have any insights on

Speaker 1 10:53
early if you actually can y’all hear me. So we do know it’s gonna have a fair bit of revenue. to Councilmember waters play, what we’re concerned about a few things in this one, you know, there was a legislative adjustments gonna be, so we are waiting on that. It could be potentially around $5 million of additional revenue. The challenge that we have with this is, we also know that property tax can be a bit fickle in the way that it’s done here, in terms of the ratios and how they adjust them. And so we have had recent years where we’ve had reductions in property guys, as they move through. So Jim, and I’ve already actually started talking about this, it could be an option to tell some of the holes on a staffing perspective. But we also have to be careful that you don’t get too aggressive on that. So that you look, two cycles down the road. And all of a sudden, it’s reducing in, and then now you have a different budget issue that you have to deal with. So we’re going to be working the numbers and understanding what the risk profile is, as we talk to counsel on the budget. And some of it, we may want to treat as one time funding. That way we can help manage our risk. And so we started that conversations when we got the numbers because we literally got the number from the appraisal districts at the same time that it was in the newspaper. So it could be part of the solution. But we have to be careful because we do know we’ve had reductions in property tax, I think we had one last year. And so in the value that came in, so we’re going to work that and you’ll hear more about it because I just process but hopefully it is a pressure relief valve and what we can do from a staffing perspective, because of the point that we said to them in the council goal setting session. We’re just now getting caught up to three great recession staffing standards, because of some of the challenges we have to deal with.

Tim Waters 13:05
See you here. They’re pure.

Speaker 6 13:08
This is directed to you a few years ago, I heard you speaking and one of the things you said is instead of having the developers just need code, we should have them envision better codes and better ways. Can you give me one example of something that might fall in that category?

Tim Waters 13:27
Yeah. I was heard to have said she overheard me say what? The term back I hate doing this sitting down and you can’t see people? Is that okay? Yeah. The term I think is exceptional benefit is exposed to extraordinary benefit was determined in the ordinance. There was a there was a time in the in the long run ordinance for ordinances regarding annexation, where we had we had the proposer, a developer and applicant was obligated to describe what the exceptional benefits would be to the city. If we were to annex property. The applicant, the value of property goes up exponentially overnight, we annex it’s way more valuable. So it’s a reasonable expectation that if we’re going to do that there should be some exceptional benefit to the city. Some were in the past, and that language came out of the ordinance. So it’s no longer a requirement. But it’s not doesn’t mean it’s not a question we can ask. So when an annexation comes along, one of my questions is, why would we do that? What’s the exceptional benefit to the rest of the city if we’re going to get into that property in your interest, right? So I could give you a couple of examples. A developer comes along and says we’ll build you a community that’s net zero in terms of carbon emissions, right? Where this is going to be a totally sustainable in terms of power generation community. We’ll build you we’re gonna build you community with childcare center right? And get an HOA or whoever is going to manage this property to contract, but we’re going to give you the space. I wish. I wish every development that had been approved alignment for 50 years would require childcare space, my bias, but it would it would create capacity that doesn’t exist today. Those are two examples. There are others regarding environmental concerns, best and highest use of land in terms of live workspace to reduce transportation requirements. It’s those kinds of things. There’s no it’s not a formula. It’s not one thing. It’s a reasonable question to ask. And I think it’s a reasonable expectation to hold. If somebody is applying to have their property, increase in value, that there’s a reciprocal that we ought to be expecting in terms of benefit to the community.

Unknown Speaker 15:50
That was 14 Right, so

Speaker 7 15:55
my name is Dawn Weibel. I’ve been residents of lung month for over 50 years. There’s three of us here we’re looking to seek an ordinance change or interviews to allow safe haven baby boss implemented in the fire station. I would like to introduce Rick Sadler, who is familiar with it. And also with us on back here who was also so I’m gonna take my three minutes.

Speaker 8 16:22
On You may wonder what if any box in this box is a safety device that liquid reds mother in crisis to safely securely and anonymously surrender they’re unable to care for their newborn baby boxes installed in the exterior wall. Power Station or hospital is next to your door that automatically blocks the block placement of the new board inside the baby box and an interior door which allows for the medical staff member to secure and surrender newborns from inside the designated building. There are currently 134 Baby boxes in nine different states. 2523 of these events have been acknowledged anonymously, and safely delivered depressional the other boxes since 2017. I like to render the rest of my time to the president of

Speaker 9 17:25
Colorado’s the safe haven was a national law in Colorado’s interpretation husband in Colorado for 23 years. In those 23 years we’ve had 72 safe surrenders, the the state came along and we’re just here simply to ask for the next step of this law, which is the tangible box. And an important item to discuss is that when a parent comes to surrender the baby out of the box there’s a number they’ll call that number we’ll still encourage them to do a handoff transfer to an employee on either the fire station or the hospital to maintain the highest level of safety for the child. The estimate for this box is $16,000 and Colorado safe haven for newborns the Colorado chapter of the safety law is willing to fundraise all money needed for the box reading online is a prime location for it because of the ease of access to Denver, Boulder Fort Collins Greeley just need it sits in a really great place in the state. And we’re hoping to partner with Longmont to bring Colorado’s first baby box.

Speaker 2 18:32
Thank you. So yeah, no, that’s wonderful. So with this, because I heard you say an ordinance change is paralleled with this require an ordinance change? Or could this be something that’s handled?

Speaker 1 18:45
Generally, I don’t think it would require an ordinance. I think it could be internal. And just contact me via email. And I’ll put you in touch with our public safety chief, who can then look at this and work with staff in the hospital because we do have a really strong working relationship from an EMS perspective. So

Speaker 9 19:08
it’s not an ordinance change. We just want to make sure we’re going the right routes, attending that city council meeting, but maybe that’s not necessary. And it’s just Just

Speaker 1 19:16
call me. My number is 303-651-8601. Eric is my assistant and she will she may have even asked to speak to Eric talked about what we’ve discussed.

Unknown Speaker 19:36
Thank you. Thank you. So I did see a hand over here. Yes, go ahead.

Speaker 10 19:40
I just have a question about what city guidelines are to include public parks public and open space in the new neighborhoods that are being built. I’ve lived in Longmont about 15 years in parks. Just stand out As raising quality of life, 20 year old 3040 50 year old neighborhoods are either located near open space or have public parks. So what are the guidelines the city is following to continue that?

Tim Waters 20:27
When so I will get the percentages accurate, I’m sure. Let me just give you the kind of the general requirements. Every proposed new development. residential development is required to address landscaping, including recreation space. And based on the size and the setting, it may be a pocket park, it may be a neighborhood park in oftentimes, it’s in fact, in most cases, the developers is purchasing whoever’s proposing a project, they purchase the land and then deed it to the city. So I just give you an example Fox in more than one. From the day I was elected Fox meadows, who lives over by Fox Meadow is the sinuses This is the site of a new school in new park. It’s been there forever that sign right? Well, the good news is, well, here’s the here’s just the reality. I’m gonna give you more information than you want. You want me to do that. Anybody who knows me knows don’t do that. Tim, don’t start down that path. But the reality is we’re behind the curve in terms of park park development, not in terms of acquiring space and not insurance or land or allocating money for for park development. We have like $18 million. The council’s have approved over time for park development problem has been recovery from the flood in 2013. Right, that has put all of our park development behind the curve. That doesn’t mean that in places like Fox meadows, Dry Creek Park on the west side of town, I mean all over to the developers as I here’s my application, I’m gonna purchase this land, I’m going to deed it to the city. Now it’s up to the city to decide, you know, what’s the right schedule for developing that land. The problem has been trying to catch up with recovery. So he’ll put together with his team. And I’ve worried about this enough. That, you know, I’m not the only one I think it’s whine about it. But we are taking a whole new approach to park development this year, it’s kind of a test to see whether or not we can get smart enough to use a methodology called the best his best value. We’re using outside contractors etc. But here’s the point. That land is purchased and set aside. It’s dedicated. Sometimes it’s a community park, which is like 70 acres. So Montgomery farms at the corner of 66 in a county line with one Dry Creek Park on the other side of town, those are large enough parcels in the twin sisters, the twin sisters, just right adjacent to the new park and by independence elementary school, are all set aside to be community parks. I mean, you know, to serve the region, compared to a neighborhood park, which is like Langdon Park, which would be a neighborhood park or call your park as opposed to a pocket park, which was just something much smaller within multi family dwelling projects, something like that. But But this we know, we understand how this community values its parks. It’s this there’s no there’ll be no less commitment that I can I can ever foresee in the long run to protecting that kind of space in developing it for use by families in you know in the larger community. There are times just this is just kind of a based on an email I got yesterday, there are times where people look at undeveloped land that was that was purchased and dedicated to a park yet it has not yet been developed. Look at that and see it as open space. Now we start to talk about developing that piece of ground in the view is that you’re somehow developing lung or open space, when indeed it’s not open space. It wasn’t purchased with open space dollars it was purchased for the purpose of being apart. I got one of his emails yesterday on Dry Creek Park. This council should protect that as open space was the message he said well, it wasn’t purchased with open space dollars. It was never intended to be open space it was it’s been in the master plan for since 2008. To deliver a park to the west side of timberland. We make we get the word we gave to the community. We’re going to keep our word that was my response. So clarity on how we purchased the land, what fund the money comes out of and what the intended use was initially, is really important in this consideration as it moves forward. Just know that everybody is frustrated that we were We are not on the kind of stuff that we’d like to be on to deliver to the community, those amenities, right? With that knowledge that there’s a whole new approach being taken this year, you’ll hear references, if you are showing up in council meetings, which I wouldn’t necessarily advise you to do. Because you all have a life. You’ll hear references to the eight and five, that’s eight priority projects that we’re trying to get out the door or through the queue within the next five years. Right. Now, there’s another eight or 10, Park projects, maintenance projects behind that, but it’s a high priority. We’re testing a new approach this year, and you won’t see any I don’t think ever, in my lifetime, see less commitment to that kind of amenity in this group. And there are you know, there are parks, there are different levels of recreation activity, some low impact, some higher activity, you know, that intention, in terms of what the parks how the parks are developed.

Speaker 10 25:59
But a good example of that would be Rogers growth. Yep. It’s a combination of a small group area. And that lovely half ammonia River, and just

Tim Waters 26:10
great example. Yeah, that’s an example of a low impact recreation as opposed to high impact recreation. It’s a greenway as opposed to a park. And we make those kinds of distinctions as well. So thank you. Yes, sir.

Speaker 11 26:25
I’m kind of a fallen trip mark on 2007, Red Cloud Road, rather than Walmart since the mid 80s. So I was surprised to see it coming out of a February meeting that we’re already short, millions and 10s of millions of dollars of projects in the pipeline already mentioned, maybe eight projects that are priority. The city visioning documents are quite ambitious, the Walmart’s gonna be the greatest village in 10 years in the world. It’s gonna take, it’s gonna take some one piece, and so it’s ambitious. As far as priorities go. Now we’re looking at it in three ballot measures, for rec center, branch library and Arts Entertainment. You know, I can pay for it all, because the taxes are necessary for services.

Unknown Speaker 27:28
But some of us just can’t keep paying.

Tim Waters 27:32
Would you like to answer that question? You’re

Speaker 2 27:33
a patriot before? Absolutely. So, you know, it was interesting, it’s still really loud.

Speaker 2 27:49
So, my entire term on council, I’ve noticed well, right away, I got in, and it’s COVID. But it was looking at our infrastructure, or city building or public safety building our library, like they were there were major flaws in the infrastructure that needed to be repaired that actually should have been repaired decades ago. And, you know, readjusting, and having to Okay, pivot, we’re gonna go, we have to take care of this, this necessity. So it’s what we’re really looking at as a community is, is looking at how we can pick up the flaws that we’re not taking things that we’re not taking care of right from the beginning, that should have been taken care of decades ago. So you know, we’re trying to put all that together. In the meantime, moving our city forward as far as amenities, looking at things for our youth to engage in. You know, I was involved in a project with my class with the growing up Boulder, where they got to do the redesign for the sugar mill, and for the sugar factory, and overwhelmingly, just from our eight year olds, you know, they’re looking at places to live. And it was like, Well, you know, and even just how they’re that this next generation of kids are thinking, they’re, they’re thinking, Well, if we build these homes, and here, they have the art, that’s expensive, let’s put the houses on top of these. There are stores. So they’re completely created this kind of town center, and looking at things for kids to do, exploratory museum, you know, interactive, virtual reality, you know, they’re looking at all these different spaces. So as we’re thinking about what the community is going to look like, we’re trying to plan for what the community is gonna look like 50 years from now, as far as taking care of the major issues that we have to take care of. Now, I noticed when we I remember that meeting, because I was shocked at the at the price tag, and it looking at inflation and how much that has has impacted and what what are we as taxpayers, you know, putting into the mix where I you know, my home state, we were charging the wazoo for everything. Do we also have neighborhood parks, we have things we have a Cultural Arts Center in the city of Escondido. And you know, and I remember the pushback when that when that first happened, it was in the 80s. And people really don’t need that. We don’t need that. But now it’s become a center hub for people who don’t have access, who would normally have access to music to culture. There’s parts in that, you know, so. So there’s a potential that we have in our community, to bring for the future, as well as what do we have to do that’s going to impact everybody’s in and out today. And I, I’m gonna, doesn’t give you a whole lot of how we’re gonna pay for it. But it’s really asking the community to all kind of let’s band together, and let’s start setting these priorities. And, you know, we’re working with staff, we’re having them all the time, grant opportunities, other federal funding, finding all these different ways that we could assist in funding these and even with that public private partnership, there was some great news that we heard last week council meeting around a possible collaboration with the why. So getting creative thinking outside the box that we can bring that price tag down for you all, along with, you know, making, providing the amenities that our community deserves, and our future deserves.

Tim Waters 31:28
Can I just have two thoughts? The first, you made reference to to the vision statement of vision Longmont, right, the the master plan. I don’t know, compared to other cities, how aggressive or ambitious, it kind of lays out, you know, a vision for the city. But the specific vision statement you were referring to are one of two vision statements that a previous council developed in this council has refined in re-embraced. One is about what is the vision for place, a second is a vision for people. And the reference you made was the vision for people. So let me just add one little part to that. That may not matter to anybody else. But it matters to me, the vision is that we would be the greatest community the world in which children could be born and raised. That’s an important part of this. Because it speaks to our intent to make certain we’re addressing the needs of children. In the last part of that vision, too. It addresses people growing old into into senior hood like me, right? It’s really an attempt to say we’re paying attention to the needs of every segment of our community, you know, through their lifetime, a loved one. Now that’s ambitious. So be it. I think it’s, I think it’s a reflection on what a value that we hold. Beyond that. There is no doubt wherever we end up, at least in terms of wherever we end up with questions about that go on the ballot or don’t, you know, I’m not certain where we’ll end up what we’ll end up putting on the ballot. But I can tell you there, across this community, there are people who are very enthusiastic, in fact, would be very disappointed if we don’t have a performing arts center question on the ballot or recreation package on the ballot, in at least the library expansion on the ballot. And there will be a large percentage of this community that will say kind of what we’re hearing this morning, are you out of your mind, there’s so much uncertainty with respect to property tax and what the balance is going to be. We all know the cost of living is is a huge burden. In Boulder County generally in Longmont probably not as much in Longmont actually is in the rest of Boulder County if you’ll get housing guys. But that’s the tension. And there’s that tension is going to be there all the time. It’s going to be a real tension this fall, if we you know, these things end up on the ballot. And at the end of the day, what the decision we have to make is whether or not we’re willing to say to the to the community, you decide, you know, this shouldn’t be our our we shouldn’t be judging winners and losers or that the arts community gets to vote in the rec community doesn’t put it out there. Let those folks it won’t be it won’t even have what we decide it’ll be a matter of how well ad advocates in this community pick up the issue and can persuade their neighbors that it’s worth the investment. Now, you know, that’s a judgment call we have to make. And I don’t think we are one mind on the council about how many quest questions to put on the ballot. But at the end of the day, that’s going to be the tension. We put them all on there and let the public decide. Germany, it’s your city. You decide what the priorities are for you. And then we’ll figure out what to do with as a result of that election. Or do we didn’t do we not put options on the ballot because members of the community have said don’t expose us to the risk of somebody else voting to raise our taxes. That’s tension.

Speaker 11 34:54
So yeah, Tim, I guess you know, those things are desirable. Are those these other projects that are in the pipeline already? That we don’t seem to have the funding for? We as a community, I think we’ve already agreed solid river process. And of course, Burlington Northern has a lot. Yeah.

Tim Waters 35:15
Why don’t we do have the we are budgeted, and we are staff. That’s BNSF. It’s quiet zones?

Speaker 2 35:24
Well, I attribute no budget, because we were on negotiations together. Yes, certain funds go to are allocated for certain departments in certain areas. So, you know, they’re not necessarily coming from the general fund, but money that is allocated for that particular project. You know, what I saw his hand up first, and then you’ll be next.

Speaker 12 35:47
Lance Whitaker 17, to call your street. As you all know, I’ve been one of those ones who have not had a life and showed up the behavior. I didn’t appreciate to be disrespected. And a lot of the things that you have been discussing, a lot of you don’t know, is that continual pool, which is right over there is in critical need of all of you to gather together to say, because we are here, we’ll lose that pool. It’s going to dry up, if we don’t get together and find the proper funding, and proper support from the city, not the council. But the city has to bond together to save that pool before it goes dry. You know, many of you have probably gone to schools, or other things where you’ve been bused into that pool, to learn how to swim. Well, they give your children when they don’t have that swimming pool to swim. Because it’s drying up and now has become a volleyball court. So as a city, we have to bond together and making sure that funding that these seven council members and Mayor can properly allocate those funds to go to that pool. And maybe, you know, abandon the art center a little bit. You know, it’s a new center. It’s beautiful. Museum, you brand new, but places like centennial of cool are literally crumbling walls. So it’s up to us as a city. And together, put that money where it needs to go. So as as a city have to become more informed on what the projects that council really addressed. So just still a you know, your goal may not be there in two years. You may be playing volleyball. Goo.

Speaker 2 38:52
Did you get your answer your question answered? Because I don’t I don’t think so. I feel like there’s more. Ah, okay. Okay. I mean, at the end of the day, you all are we’re all going to be voting on it. So you know, whether what what direction we want to go as far as?

Unknown Speaker 39:11
who’s closest to my home?

Speaker 2 39:12
It is it is? Yeah, we could we could pull together. We could talk a little bit more about that. Okay. Whatever I think, yeah, well,

Speaker 13 39:24
so I’m hearing a theme today a lot of money and we don’t have money. And then also I want to have like a little caveat of the story of we do need more staffing. We do need support our staff. You know how, how I got my start in my career. I was 18 a summer seasonal for parks. Do that for four summers and then that jumped me in and something but that was they hired 2530 kids back then. There are three now and that also, you know obviously have a history with the city with my father but uh, knowing a little back story, but I’m hearing a common theme of money and we need to find revenue. And, you know, if you recall, you know, my little study for downtown, just property taxes, I bet you anything, if you look at value per acre, jobs per acre or higher tax or sales, tax revenue is probably higher than any of the bigger box store developments that we do. And we do get that money. So maybe we need to rethink where we put our investments and maybe rethink our, our development code as well. And allowing that mixed use neighborhood almost everywhere so that small business owners can have a better start, or maybe someone needs to start a business in their front yard so that they can even afford their mortgage. So obviously, so like, you know, we need revenue, mixed use zoning produces more revenue, so maybe we need to put our investments properly to actually build them. Well,

Tim Waters 41:03
economists tell me if I’m summarizing this accurately,

Unknown Speaker 41:08
that our

Tim Waters 41:12
suggestion is we take a look at what we do with zoning and land use code to become to incentivize or encourage more mixed use development.

Speaker 13 41:26
Is that fair? And would also lower transportation needs. Yeah,

Tim Waters 41:29
I mean, we’ve solved a number of problems in terms of revenues, revenue generation

Unknown Speaker 41:35
per acre for develop

Tim Waters 41:37
air. I mean, there’s all kinds of urban planning work that’s been done. The documents is the truth of the matter my view, and I’m, you know, I’m a neophyte. But as I look at our our definition of mixed use, we have the broadest definition of mixed use I can possibly imagine. I don’t think our problem with mixed use is the definition of mixed use or what we’re willing to do. And maybe that we, we need to rethink incentives. But I think the biggest challenge in this is a been a flashpoint for the council over time. The biggest issue, in my view with regard to mixed use is what we’ve done with the part of the ordinance that limits a percentage of a mixed use development to be residential. Right. Are Already this is an eye I don’t agree with this, it is just the law are mixed use our ordinance on mixed use limits residential development in a mixed use property or project to 50% of total built environment. I don’t think there’s a developer in the world that would propose a mixed use development and limit arbitrarily, the development of that project limit to residential development, only 50% of that, in my opinion, is a way bigger challenge or obstacle than the definition of our definition of mixed juice, or what we’re going to incentivize. Now.

Speaker 13 43:05
Throw that in there is that we don’t need to focus on new development, we can focus on what we already built,

Tim Waters 43:09
doesn’t matter if you’re looking at the 50% it makes if you can’t.

Unknown Speaker 43:14
So to that as well, I mean,

Tim Waters 43:17
I need to qualify this is is the 50% is limited, based on how a developer is going to finance their project, is how they finance it, I should have added that. Otherwise, I’m confusing it badly. But somebody who wants to develop a mixed use project in depending on when they will finance the project is limited to 50%. That to be residential property. That’s a nonstarter for most developers. So I don’t think anybody would disagree with you in terms of the value of mixed use work, workload properties, you know, read it all and we know, especially along our main street, or our business corridors. And it may be it’s a matter of incentives for us to get more interest in part of the part of developers and we certainly have been willing to incent economic development into so I’ll stop. I’m going to confuse it even more.

Speaker 2 44:13
Well, and we’re keeping constant conversations with the staff around what what are the challenges? So you know, we have a particular ordinance and requirements. And then as projects come in, or lack of projects, you know, it’s just reevaluating what do we need to do what changes do we need to implement in order for us to get really what what we desire in Longmont so so, you know, again, it’s just conferring the staff and having these discussions at council to guide but those are, you know, I think you brought up some good points about your work constantly thinking about those things as well as we’re moving forward.

Speaker 1 44:56
One thing I wanted to say is the council did change the code or we do have The flexibility to build that 150 remains a good example of where they can do that. So the code gives us the flexibility. It really is on the financing side where you start running into issues. And it’s actually the commercial side sometimes that is causing the for us more than the residential because of filling commercial space. And that worlds just changed dramatically. So that, you know, and that’s where you work with the developers and trying to understand what are really the triggers, and how do you approach and how you perceive the world.

Speaker 13 45:33
I think what I’m also pointing out is a homeowner. So, you know, like, I had friends live at six and below that used to be a little corner store, that’s not allowed. There’s, you know, so there’s also residential, and also homeowners can also integrate the elders. And we’ve restricted the zoning code, through, you know, 50 years of misuse that really limits our finance, growth, and then limits livability for a lot of people.

Speaker 14 46:09
So I had the right, there’s another one where the back and then right here are the columns. But this

Speaker 15 46:16
one is wanting to do, and I know that I can circle and I think I have a question. I’m not sure what it is. But it has to do with public private partnerships. And I’ve got this thought process where you may not be popular, I’m not a proponent of a lot more taxes. I think, what COVID One thing that COVID did is when the federal government unleashed trillions of dollars, it created kind of a wishlist mentality at all level government and with people. And if you don’t think $32 trillion in national debts, not going to be a problem for us someday, it’s gonna be a problem. But, and that’s why I wonder if there’s not public private partnerships that could be used whenever possible. I mean, I like the idea of the arts and entertainment. I love an idea where a group says, we want this, we’re gonna raise half the money for it. I love the baby box idea. I would almost guess that there’s enough people in this community that would easily kick in money to have to provide an option of baby boxes, as compared to abortion. I think there’s a place for that. I am a train horn hater. And, well, I would, I would, I would throw money in outside of taxes to make train horn whistles go away. And so I guess what I’m what I’m really kind of wondering about is, it seems like those things maybe have happened is public private partnership. Occasionally. I don’t know the history long one. But I love I love that idea for the arts and entertainment. Is something like that. Could Could you start almost doing that widespread for stuff, right? For the people that really want stuff, whatever that might be to say, You know what, we’d love to see need to do this, we’re gonna bring in a punch the money to make it happen. I don’t know is that how often does that happen? You could have had the board.

Speaker 2 48:11
I know it’s happening a lot. As far as the success rate, I’ll defer to Harold. But I that is one of the means of if there’s a way that we could get creative with how we’re funding. So we’re not totally depending on taxpayer dollar. Just, yeah, God, go ahead.

Speaker 1 48:34
Yeah, I mean, we were constantly chasing those opportunities. I think, where we’re seeing a lot of it right now is in the housing world. So when you look at what we’re doing in terms of, and I’ll talk about it from the housing authority’s perspective, which we also are all part of, historically, they would fund and build a single property on their own. And so we weren’t able to produce a lot of projects. So we took ARPA dollars into affordable housing dollars. And we’re partnering with development arms that bring in a significant part of the capital stack, you build it. So we’re reducing the value that we’re bringing in. But we’re actually able to create more projects and produce more units for affordable housing. So today, we have about the 988 units being constructed. On North Main, we’re about to close and construct 55 permanent supportive housing units adjacent to the suites. And then we’re in design on another project on 17th and homework for affordable family housing. So what we’re doing is we’re minimizing the dollars we’re bringing in. We’re partnering with these private companies to get these bigger projects done. So we’re routinely chasing that to see what’s out there. In some cases, there’s just not anything out there but when an opportunity presents itself, we’re taking it and so we’ve got a lot of these so good

Speaker 15 50:00
Um, could there be can we start an office of public private partnerships and hire 10 people as a joke? But like so like for really a lot of things so like I’ve been in the Optimist Club for years and not the Optimist Club has raised money for 3d Fire Safety houses in the history of Walmart, right? So could could they just be an app a new work for just a lot of things people say, You know what, we want the city to get involved, we want to do this, we’ll raise the money a lot of the money I mean, just because right, the housing development that’s a pretty big deal, right. That’s that’s a big monstrosity terrible to do those things. But but even just for everyday stuff,

Speaker 1 50:38
we do have that. So the museum’s another really good example of where you have friends of the museum. So folks are interested in the museum, they can contribute to that. So Council allocated a piece of or section of funding, they then received a million dollars from private donor, thank you for coming in. The friends are kicking off their, their campaigns. And so within our various operational groups, we have friends groups that are associated with the library and museum, we started one for a youth center. So as folks are having those ideas, if it’s specific to any operation, you can come in and we’re pointing to the appropriate friends group. That’s really that mechanism for more of the local, private bringing dollars in

Unknown Speaker 51:23
there, and then this woman up here.

Speaker 16 51:27
Morning, my name is Tom Smith, I live in champion greens on the west side of town. I got carried in an email that I got an eight o’clock this morning. Just recently overview, I gave it to Dr. Waters, a neighbor who came down with COVID, in the last few days from his grandkids visiting, excuse me, raise some interesting questions that are way above my paygrade. He’s a former insurance adjuster and FEMA Administrator, who was also assigned here during the flood, and has some experience, chose to come back here and retirement has done some reverse engineering calculations on affordable housing and has a number of questions I can’t answer. But I posed to you what he provided NACA waters has this, that working backwards, the I can’t explain the formula that it would take about I think he said $457,000 to buy a house based on the median incomes and the portable things would get a buyer a 1400 square foot house, I did a quick search on Zillow or Today, there was one house in law online that would fit for that. So I’m not sure how all of those things go together to solve some of our problems. But it is an opportunity, certainly for us. And it will be a big challenge, I think coming into the future. Now we live next to a land that’s in this unique opportunity for development. And we have meeting with the developer here a couple of weeks ago. And he is now projecting the townhomes there will when they’re finished in a couple of years will probably be 900 to a million dollars. So and he’s proposing the affordability factor is what into those. So that’ll be interesting. Now what my question is, is that I would say Harold and I have had some direct interaction dealing with another opportunity for the city and put this down for more money to spend. Some of you know, I’ve had some challenges in the last 1416 months getting information and accurate information from the city and deals from the databases, the record keeping and various things related to and most cases, it was only in planning type things. Dr. Waters and I counselor, Martin and I’ve had some different discussions about what information is available. Mr. Dominguez and I spent half an hour one day on his computer and I started to think maybe the IT people had restricted his access because we couldn’t pull up a map that the developer had submitted in a plan to show some property ownership. And there are some inefficiencies. If you go in to look up the city code this morning, find it weighted down, decide tomorrow, you want to go back and look something up. It may actually have a different coding number because of how that process works. There are all sorts of opportunities. I’ve looked up a map showcar subdivision with 15 houses color coded differently than the rest of it. Planning is yet to be able to explain that to in October, I think it was I asked the City Council based on the information they get whether they consider valid, how do they make accurate decisions, informed decisions? And that I think gets a little bit to the point of much of what we’re talking about here today. That we do need to support that function. So A good decisions get made as we go forward. And we do make decisions that will provide good outputs that haven’t been said. I’ve had a number of interactions with Dr. Walter water going back to our in GLA days. And I would add to it. Pat’s on the back couple of our moments back to and you might remember, caught a city employee doing something right. And this week I caught two city employees doing something right. Okay, stay in your seats. But I had one of these IT related problems I was looking for the records on our subdivision historical record records how things came in. And I would compliment Justin, the harsh an analyst in the planning and development services, and city clerk done in time. And after maybe a two week quest and about 10 or 12 efforts, they have resending me things to try. They finally got the IQ part straightened out. Yay, that works. So it worked. Well. Thank you. Thanks, Marcia is simply three minutes. And Marcia, we don’t have

Unknown Speaker 56:19
you got it. So you go over to a lot

Tim Waters 56:26
of history. So I think the only thing I would say is, I don’t there are no perfect institutions. And the city of Longmont is not a perfect institution. But it is populated by a bunch of folks who are really dedicated to serving this community. They’re highly competent. There just really isn’t making your lives as as productive as they can be. So whatever inefficiencies whether it’s it or you know, codes that we have just keep working, working on. Yep. I honestly, I had no idea when I was elected to council and look at kind of the quality and the commitment of the people in this city. So you got to do. Here’s wife, your husband happens to be an arborist. He’s our software to go, oh, I need an arborist Tanner Weiss is really good.

Speaker 6 57:29
My name is Laura. I live in temporary practice. So we are sandwiched in between nine and 11 Wonderful little neighborhood. We’ve lived in one month for 10 years, my husband and I were both born and raised in Boulder County. So we’ve seen population growth and all the changes that come to a wonderful community. And one of the big concerns that I have is traffic and keeping the streets safe industrials, we won a lot of off ninth and 11th. And they’re both really quite scary, especially with small child. person that will use meetings, I don’t really know what the process is, but figuring out ways to continue to keep the streets safe for people who want to access the parks or walk on the sidewalk without fear of being hit by a speeding car. Those are things that like raising a young child really has been a concern to me.

Tim Waters 58:25
Did everybody hear this? No, no, you can I summarize, Susie, you want to surprise you. So.

Speaker 2 58:32
Okay, so he was in regards to it, let me know, by skip anything, it is really regard to traffic safety, speeding cars, and the challenges it brings for pedestrians, especially our little ones or our kids. So, you know, how do we go about getting some of these roads just in a more safer condition? You know, I worked with a couple of residents early on, I think it was over in the old town area where we got the lights put on we’re just running a traffic study, you know, naming that, that intersection that point that that is hazardous. And then you know, there’s processes that there will be a traffic study done to keep track of, you know, the number of speeding cars that you know, what’s what’s the average in that in that point, and then the traffic department does come up with them suggestions or ideas on how to to minimize those impacts. And I know as this council we’ve been moving forward on the Vision Zero philosophy or structure that we’d like to see in our city as far as really putting pedestrians at the at the heart of the safety around our transport transportation phase. So you know, so there’s again long term but what we could do short term as well and you know, that’s because that is my ward so you and I get A lot of people talking about Mountain View there was a does yield the flashing yield sign that people that are crossing that was put in. There were other ones that were we had traffic studies done that determined, okay, well, maybe that will be beneficial there, but maybe a four way stop or something different. So yeah, but I’d like to connect with you to that to make sure that some things get done in that area,

Speaker 6 1:00:27
the speed limit on a lemon, I don’t know why it’s 30 in a residential neighborhood, but people tend to go 35 And that’s maps to go through a neighborhood.

Speaker 2 1:00:37
And it seems like some of these two are very outdated as well, especially in older neighborhoods, where they would need to reevaluate Is that is that the best approach for the number of houses in that certain area or what it’s used for? So that, you know, there’s just a lot of, you know, we have to take care of our older communities, or little bodies. And then we have one more over here and then we’re at 10 o’clock, so I’ll be clear. Yes,

Speaker 17 1:01:06
all of this is fine and dandy, but I don’t see long not taking care of what long mom had some years ago. We’re a few years old we walk a lot the roads in some places are a mess. Sidewalks are you know, you have to step up you know, are you mind them Don’t trip. And then as far as safety Thank you. For for people our age, we walk all over Longmont and we were over on Ken Pratt and 34 cars with and a lot of light is on two months ago, three cars, man, the last one was a police car right in front of us. It’s in your stand there. Because we like to walk over where those new apartments are, you know, behind, they’re just looking around. And that the little islands there are just because people have hit them so much. They’re falling apart. And I went to him this is not a safe place to even stand to get across the street. And then we went around the apartments and over where it is. The vacant land is to the west, where the sugar now people are driving in there and dumping couches and trash all over.

Unknown Speaker 1:02:30
Did you want to speak to that? Or okay.

Speaker 18 1:02:35
My name is Jack planet and I live County.

Speaker 2 1:02:42
Okay, so I don’t know. Did you want to? I think I you know, I did speak to that a little bit earlier as far as Yeah. And you know, getting

Unknown Speaker 1:02:54
a you don’t have to answer. Okay.

Tim Waters 1:02:56
What was more of a statement than a question on Friday. There’s a gentleman right in the back has raised a couple of times, we’ll come back to Jeff.

Speaker 19 1:03:05
My name is Larry Brittingham. I live over a timeline and night. And I started with questions which might lead into more discussion. But I was wondering if we know if Fox Hill is going to provide the fireworks this year? On the fourth of

Tim Waters 1:03:17
July? I think so. I think there’s still I think the Koreans in in foxhill are still working together. It makes up

Speaker 19 1:03:26
Barcelona plays a lot of fireworks. It brings a negative side effects are community island near those beautiful fields that are not yet developed in parks or schools. And what happened to superior were a little concerned. So I just wonder if there’s any other mitigation factors that might be introduced in the neighborhood because what we’ve seen is we’ve actually sometimes tried to go away to a hotel, take our dog, dogs. And even that doesn’t work because we come home and we find bottle rockets on the porch just like that. So that field just invites people to come and park lots of things and then a trip to the field playing fireworks for all hours. So there’s anything we could do or as I remember when they’re moved from Boulder County Fairgrounds over there in Toronto, and they made it so you could park around and travel and so I don’t know there’s no total answer.

Speaker 2 1:04:22
Yeah, I know that Boulder County had some impact as to why we couldn’t have it at Boulder County Fairgrounds, but Harold has some sad story as well.

Speaker 1 1:04:30
Yeah, so originally in COVID because of the gathering piece they weren’t letting them use the fairgrounds area because actually what we liked it or they were igniting the fireworks in the parking lot off the block these other areas so that then shifted it to where the Carolinas and to Box Hill. We’ve talked to them about some other options and stay at Fox Hill in terms Have a fireworks issue and said, How can people help? We asked for volunteers last year to help staff a call center to assist with the number of calls that we have coming in. So we do put more officers on the streets and put more fire, the fire trucks are moving around. But the big issue we have is innovation polls and one system. So that worked better this year in terms of allowing us to, to deal with this issue. One of the things we’re talking about is how do we work with neighborhood associations and different groups. And so Carmen and I are talking about how they engage in GLA, because the more than neighborhood associations can assist, in terms of maybe you come up with something that you’re doing in your neighborhood that allows a missing definitely say, give us a call the number I gave earlier, call that will connect you with the right person in terms of everything that’s going on. If you’re interested in helping we can use it because we get 1000s of calls and totally awesome options. We also ask people to put signs up. So Mariah could work to create a number of signs that say I’m a veteran. I just are. Yeah, so So that’s where we need to kind of talk. And we can work in but yeah, give us a call, we’ll connect you to the right person. Can you get that phone number? Again? The easy answer is if you just look at the city manager’s office phone number, but it’s 303-651-8601. Again, ask for Erica, she’ll talk to me and they will connect you to the right person, I think that will connect you to the right group.

Speaker 19 1:06:55
Schema thing we thought this was such a small problem with everything that we heard

Tim Waters 1:07:03
on the Fourth of July.

Unknown Speaker 1:07:05
So I did acknowledge this gentleman, so I’m gonna do and then

Speaker 18 1:07:12
Kelly wrote at next to button rock Preserve. And I just like to say your management that up there is damaging my neighborhood. And it’s just bad decisions. The last five years in college, y’all have caused all the problems up there. In the manager, their parts, natural resources, you’re endangering lives up there. I mean, it’s malicious disregard of life, putting a parking lot where you go, forcing people to walk down is just terrible. Please change it to the water department. They were fairly out there and decent, like your parks and natural resource are just terrible.

Tim Waters 1:07:52
Alright. Noted. All right, we’re real quick.

Speaker 3 1:08:01
So I wanted to suggest a solution to some of the problems that we’ve been talking about today related to traffic safety. And this is something that I brought up in front of council before, but I haven’t seen any action on yet. And this is related to the incident with Anthony Viola rather than third. But also the issues that third and over. There’s a lot of residents who have the capability to identify problems with certain intersections and how traffic is managed at those intersections. And a lot of those problems are really related to traffic design, and how we design our roads and the assumptions behind those roads and who the priority users are and how different users when different modalities interact with each other. Along the Vision Zero, there’s a a practice that was used in Jersey City that is becoming more popular across the United States called Tactical Urbanism, where instead of doing really expensive and long traffic studies, in order to be able to facilitate changes in an intersection, you just do something right. You put out barrels, you put up temporary dividers in order to see how that changes the traffic patterns. And if it meets people’s changing means. And then if it works, then you’d like do permanent

Speaker 5 1:09:06
construction and stuff. So your prototype test iterate, yes, exactly. It facilitates data collection

Speaker 3 1:09:11
and faster decision making. And I think it also helps because a lot of people will feel like their government is being responsive. And I think that’s a real challenge here. I think a lot of the buildup of the frustration that residents have is because they ask for change and ask for changes and the city has like a multi year process in order to do some of this stuff for a long time. So it doesn’t feel like the city is doing anything even though the city

Tim Waters 1:09:33
well, let me just add yes to what you just said. Tommy referenced the ngoi the neighborhood group leaders association so whether you’re in an HOA or but you have to have an organized neighborhood. I can give you examples of Neighborhood Improvement Grants split stick focus specifically on quieting traffic in their in their neighborhood, especially in historical town Eastside. So there are there are there are resources available. Today, through in GLA is as part of our Neighborhood Improvement Program that have innate are actually not dual funded that kind of iteration that kind of experimentation, iteration testing, and then recycle or re iteration to go to go to scale if things are working. So those options are there, right thing,

Speaker 3 1:10:18
the challenge with that process is that you have to go through a whole approval process and you have to go get a grant, it significantly increases the barriers of actually taking action. And if you live in a part of town that doesn’t have an HOA and I actually bought right in because I don’t want an HOA, I don’t have access to those funds. It would be great if there was some way that the city could change the rules so that a group of interested people could say this intersection is a problem. I have an idea to fix it. Traffic Department sign off on my proposed changes. All right. I’m gonna go get a bunch of volunteers to go do some good morning.

Tim Waters 1:10:49
All right. Thank you all for being here today.

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