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City Council tackles budget, water and roads plans in Fountain

 

Last updated 9/22/2021 at 9:11am | View PDF



The Fountain City Council is in the final stages of working through the budget for 2022.

"We are in our second year of our two-year budget cycle," Mayor Gabe Ortega said, noting this year's planning is less intense than when the city completes the initial two-year plan.

The council held a budget work session at its regular meeting on Sept. 14, where Finance Director John Lewis said departments continued to make cuts overall and attempted to live frugally, while the city enjoyed higher revenues from sources such as sales taxes.

Lewis said the first reading of the budget ordinance would be Oct. 12, with the final approval two weeks later.

Pavement Management System

The Council also voted to award a $200,000 contract to Stantec, Inc., for development of a Pavement Management System. This study is to look at all city streets, their condition, what work would be needed to maintain or repair them, and provide a comprehensive overview to help guide the city in deciding how to tackle the many problem areas.

The council later asked to add another $12,000 for a traffic count study that may help future endeavors to install signals, such as at Carson Boulevard and Hwy. 85/87. The city is in discussions with the Colorado Department of Transportation to develop possible designs.

"That is a priority and we're going to keep pushing forward with that," Deputy City Manager Todd Evans said.

Council Member Sharon Thompson said a current traffic count for certain areas such as downtown could be useful in showing developers there is a population to support businesses such as grocery stores that most residents have said they desire.

In related news, Evans said the city continues to work with the railroad to finalize details for the long-awaited Indiana Avenue crossing project.

Also, the city is moving forward with a span-wire signal for Jimmy Camp Road and Ohio Avenue.

Several bus stops around the city are getting shelters, but at $20,000-$25,000 a piece, it is a slow process. That work has started.

Also, Evans noted that the city's recent decision to increase salaries for transit drivers had an immediate effect, with the bus system becoming fully staffed within a few weeks.

Liquor license for Maverik

The City Council voted to approve a liquor license for Maverik, the new gas station and convenience store under construction at the corner of Mesa Ridge Parkway and Syracuse Street. The store will sell beer.

When Widefield resident Jean Smith questioned the store's proximity to Mesa Ridge High School, City Clerk Silvia Huffman said the store was more than the minumum required distance of 500 feet from the school.

A Maverik representative said, "We've gone and done a little bit extra because of the location of the store." He said employees would undergo extra training on alcohol sales; registers would have special prompts to ensure IDs are checked; there would be "extra eyes" on deliveries to ensure accountability; and there would be no beer sales between midnight and 8 a.m., with doors to those products locked.

In other business, the council voted to:

Increase City Manager Scott Trainor's salary by 3 percent to $152,815 annually. This position does not receive a cost-of-living increase, and raises are based on merit.

Reclassify the two remaining part-time school resource officer (SRO) positions to full time at the request of Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8. The district will pay the vast majority (all but about $900) of the additional yearly cost.

Renew a gas franchise from the city to Black Hills Energy.

Appoint three people — Bryan Johnson, Jennifer Herzberg and Shirley Martinez — to the Personnel Grievance Board.

Coming up soon

The City Council will hear two presentations on the Water Master Plan update: one on Sept. 28, and the last on Oct. 12. The plan will outline the city's current position with regard to water supply and discuss options for expanding capacity in the future. See notice on p. 6 with more details.

 

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