The Akron City Council met on Monday evening, June 6, with Pro Tem Mayor Jared Jefferson opening the meeting with the “Pledge of Allegiance.”
Once the agenda was approved, the two new directors, Brittani Kusel and Braden Brent, were sworn in. Matt Richardson was later named city attorney; Dencia Raish was appointed as Clerk/Treasurer; and Shane Watson was appointed Director of Public Works.
The administrators then volunteered to sit on the various city committees. Brent and Jefferson were appointed to the Airport Development Committee; Ariella Gonzales-Vondy and Kusel were appointed to the finance and budget committee; Susan Watson and Maura Hernandez at Parks and Recreation; Jefferson and Kusel at Public Works; Mayor Brandon Hill and Brent to law enforcement; Watson to the cemetery committee; Hill and Hernandez to the Marjorie Brandon Committee; and Jefferson and Gonzales-Vondy on planning and zoning.
The minutes of the meetings of May 2 and 25 were approved, as well as the invoices for May.
Commissioner Tony Wells said the commissioners had issued a moratorium on the transmission lines until June 30 as they are currently under review by the county’s planning and zoning committee.
“This year’s legislative session was grueling, to say the least. Special interests and majority leaders are trying to get a lot of stuff through the governor’s office for signature,” Wells said. “Many counties are growing increasingly frustrated that the legislative and executive branches continue to interfere in property tax matters, which are THE primary source of revenue for most local governments.”
Last week Commissioners attended the ICC Summer Conference. They received information about child welfare, Colorado housing and finance authorities, the Republican River Compact and the South Platte River Basin, as well as updates on opioid regulation . There were many discussions about broadband for small counties and Governor Polis and Senator John Hickenlooper presented a report on how Hickenlooper was helping small counties maintain local control.
On June 7, in the afternoon, the commissioners invited several people to have a fair discussion and make some final decisions. The rides will be inspected on June 22 and this year the Ferris wheel’s 100th anniversary will be celebrated. The commissioners will draw prizes during the four days of operation of the rides. Dale Baker has produced a replica Ferris wheel and a raffle will be held at the end of the fair for someone to take home the replica. They are also thinking of a draw for $100 each day the rides are open, Wednesday through Saturday.
An engineering and design group has been contracted to remodel and construct a new addition to the emergency services building, which will be in the former YW garage. The building will now house county maintenance, emergency management office, ambulance service, and a significant portion of information technology for county government agencies.
Deputy Robbie Furrow gave the sheriff’s report. There were 481 calls during the month of May, 12 citations and numerous incidents. Furrow said they were still short of a deputy and had been busy for the month. He was asked about issuing liquor licenses for the Akron Elks poker race June 11 and the Knights of Columbus beer garden during the July 27-July 30 fair. He said there were no issues and both licenses were approved.
Two other special event licenses for the Akron Vets Club and the Akron Lions during Crazy Days on August 13 were discussed. The Vets Club will serve frozen drinks and the Lions will have a beer garden and Bloody Mary’s. The council postponed these two until next month, as they wanted to know where they would be located on the main avenue and how much space they would take up. These will be discussed at the July meeting.
Keith Damrow then spoke to the board at the June 25 auto show. The main avenue between 3rd and 4th streets will be closed for the show. Annette Bowin will sing the national anthem to open the show. Damrow said they expected slightly more vendors than last year and he thinks everything is set for the show.
Carl McGuire of Akron Vets then spoke about transferring ownership of the cemetery directory to the City of Akron. McGuire spoke about the type of work needed on the directory and said they would transfer ownership to the city, but the vets would also help keep the directory up to date.
There was discussion of the first reading of Open Burn Ordinance 583. After some discussion of the ordinance, the first reading was approved. The board then approved the renewal of the Bank of Colorado group loan. A discussion ensued for the Text My Gov app for the city, but more research will be done before the city commits to spending money on an app like that.
Shane Watson presented the Director of Public Works report and said May was busy cutting the grass, working on the 50/50 sidewalk program and working regularly. They hired a high school student for summer help.
Raish delivered his report and said that the CML (Colorado Municipal League) is hosting two webinars and they can watch them at the office. A working session has been set for 5 p.m. on June 27 to watch a webinar. Verizon sets up its tower on city property behind City Hall. It was approved two or three years ago and they are finally putting it in place.
Librarian Heidi Hobson reported. On average, 25 people per day visit the library. She asked the council to hire another part-time person to work about 30 hours a week. She said if they can’t get help, some of the programs they offer would have to be cut because she doesn’t have time for everything. Council approved the hiring of a part-time employee. The third grade classes also organized a trip to the library and they got many students to sign up for library cards.
City attorney Richardson made his report. He said the counties were forming small general councils to discuss how the money each county would receive would be spent and whether some would go to each county or work on programs for all the small counties. Right now they are trying to determine who will be appointed to each board. He also said the lawsuit filed by Gary Brandon was dismissed without prejudice.
Council members then talked about Crazy Days and several other small businesses for the town. The next meeting will be on Tuesday July 5th.