Since the new Town Board was seated on April 18, the Town Board has been keeping Wednesday nights busy with regular town meetings and workshops. According to town policy, town council members are paid $50 for each town meeting and workshop but are capped at $1200 for the year.
Interim Town Manager
Town Clerk Rhonda Shearer was officially appointed as the interim Town Manager. For her increased responsibilities, her hourly salary was increased from $22 an hour to $30 hour. In circumstances where the signature of Town Clerk and Town Manager were both needed, Erik Woog agreed to fill the role as planning director/ town manager alternate. This was needed at the May 2 meeting for the Wikberg Minor Subdivision.
The Board discussed manager qualifications and determined that a Bachelor’s degree would be preferred but not necessary. The board also determined that qualifications should include management experience and grant writing knowledge. Descriptors would include motivated, good communicator, energetic, tech savvy, team-player, and long-term potential. Salary range was discussed as $45,000 to $65,000 depending on experience. Performance based bonuses were also discussed. Shearer suggested this description, “The successful candidate must be a self-starter and able to demonstrate strong leadership skills. The position will require both strong organizational and administration as well as a willingness to be very handson wherever necessary.” The position will be posted to attract local and national candidates, and the town board will act as the hiring committee. Trustee Woog volunteered his wife to help recruit and screen applicants. Both Schroeder and Pesch suggested a Town Board member should be involved in that process. Woog countered his wife had been a recruiter professionally and would save the Board time. It was decided that the process would be decided after the number of applicants was received. Woog also argued for electronic submission for the candidate’s applications and resumes. A deadline for application was set for July 2.
The appointment of department liaisons was also officialized. According to Trustee Erik Woog in the May 2 meeting the liaisons would create a formal communication channel and enhance communication with individual departments. Trustees taking on liaison responsibilities immediately were: Woog with the police department, Leo Pesch with public works, Dave Sammons with the sanitation department, and Gina Schroeder with office staff. Woog will also serve as the town representative on the Planning and Zoning board. Later at a Kremmling Chamber meeting, Holly Martinson stated she would be interested in becoming the liaison with the Chamber. At the April 25 town workshop, Alan Hassler, who had previously served as Kremmling’s Town Attorney, encouraged the trustees to research the Town’s Human Resources (HR) policies. According to Hassler, the department liaisons may conflict with the responsibilities of the Town Manager. He believed these responsibilities should be outlined in the HR policies.
Recycling, Trash, and Additional Roll-off for Community Use Trash has been a major discussion item for the town trustees. The Town’s recycling center was moved behind the police station in the shop yard. It will be open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. during the work week and will be open from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
Shearer explained that cameras may be used in the future, if there becomes a problem with trash/recyclables being dropped in front of the gate.
Sammons stated in the original contract with The Trash Company there was a caveat for a manned recycling station. Shearer stated former Town Manager Ted Soltis addressed this with The Trash Company when he was a manager but didn’t know how the situation was resolved. Soltis’ contract was terminated in June of 2012. Sammons also recalled that curbside recycling was also offered in the contract.
The trustees are currently seeking a bid from local trash companies for normal trash removal for the town, along with household curbside recyclables and bid for a roll-off for community use at least twice a month for three hours. These will be separately bid.
Sammons asked Commissioner Kris Manguso, who was in the audience, if the County would consider allowing the Town to place roll-off containers at the old dumpsite on County Road 22. The old dumpsite is still fenced. She agreed this would be an ideal site for a community roll-off for trash that would be manned, and she agreed to follow-up with the county. The county replied that the Town had property for this use already, and if the dumpsite was used an insurance policy would be needed and additional fencing would be needed. The Town decided not to pursue the relationship with the County.
The Red Mountain Complex was a suggested site for a roll-off.
Junk Ordinance Violations and Code Enforcement
Code Enforcement was discussed in work session. Police Liaison Woog said there would be a direction change for the Kremmling Police Department and they would start doing code enforcement. Erik reasoned the police officers hadn’t done in the past was the police didn’t want the conflict. “People are going to have to learn it will be uncomfortable at times,” Woog said. “Police officers are going to do it or they will not work for us anymore.”
Trustee Pesch suggested giving the title of code enforcer to one of the current officers. Trustee Schroeder says, “I am still fighting for the position of code enforcer.” The code enforcer is currently in the budget.
The discussion for code enforcement piggybacked a discussion on open storage at the storage lots along Highway 40.
At the May 16 regular meeting, Chief Scott Spade reported that junk ordinance violations were currently being given and reports most people comply within the 15 days.
Police Chief Report
Chief Spade also discussed that his police truck was repaired after being involved in a collision with an uninsured driver. The decal for the passenger side will be completed soon. Compensation from the uninsured driver is being sought.
New police officer Mike Minhas began his duties on May 7 and was sworn in officially on May 16.
New Police Vehicle
Chief Scott Spade addressed the board with a proposal for the $43,000 budgeted police vehicle. He said his preference is the Interceptor SUV. He is analyzing different engine options and is researching an ecoboost for fuel efficiency. The vehicle was budgeted for 2018 but former Town Manager Mark Campbell asked the purchase be completed in June when property tax money was available. At the May 15 meeting, the SUV was on order with its electronics and without the ecoboost. “We went the economic route,” reported Woog.
Can Corrugated Metal be Used?
Chief Spade asked the board for direction for a fence application. An application for a 6-foot corrugated metal fence was submitted. He questioned the board if the corrugated metal was appropriate for a fence. The aesthetic component was questioned by many board members, and Schroeder and Pesch believed corrugated metal was not considered a fencing material. Audience member, Jeff Miller suggested the issue be referred to Planning and Zoning for use for special review. Miller also serves on the Planning and Zoning board.
Packets Delivered Electronically
Chief Spade asked that packets be delivered electronically to the Town Board members. Town Board members agreed enthusiastically.
Trustee Holly Martinson commended Officer Jarred Sralla for his involvement at the school’s safety fair. Martinson reported that her children enjoyed his gun safety presentation. Rhonda Shearer also added that Todd Willson and Sralla both helped at the after-prom.
Public Works Director Report
Public Works director Jason Bock reported that the Town is currently hiring two part-time helpers for the summer. This is in addition to part-time help Bill Jones. Jones may be considered for a year round part-time position. Other Public Works full-time employees are Dillon Willson and Curtis Docheff.
Bock also said Public Works is considering a new riding lawn mower. The riding lawn mower currently being used is not appropriate for Kremmling. Trustee Woog said through his business Alpine Motor Sports he could help with the resale of the current lawn mower and order a new one. The deal was completed by the May 16 meeting. A new lawn mower was purchased at dealer cost and the old lawn mower was put on consignment in Minnesota for over $6000, but only $4000 is expected back.
Pesch said he has met with Bock and believes, “They are on the right track.”
Bock reported that the upper reservoir filled within six inches of spilling, and Kremmling should be in good shape for the summer.
Should the sign be moved? Happy Trails?
The signage placed on Highway 9 in front of the mobile home park was discussed. The trustees discussed the sign was poorly placed and should be moved to the location where the Sportsman’s Paradise sign currently is. Woog suggested a directive be made that sign be placed at an appropriate location. Sammons directed Bock to get a bid for moving the sign. The back of the Welcome to Kremmling signs was also addressed. Originally they were supposed to say “Happy Trails” and was changed to the messages: see you later, we miss you already, thanks for visiting. The board discussed the possibility of changing it to Happy Trails. Michele Mierzkowski, who was on the design committee for the signs, stated that it would be $645 for all the decals to be removed and replaced on all three signs. Excel
Energy Negotiations | Manager Report
Interim Manager Shearer, stated the Town is currently in negotiations with Excel Energy on a new franchise agreement. She reported Excel Energy is aware of their legal agreement and know to do a first and second reading.
Shearer also reported that advertising for the Chief of Police position was extended to June 1 and was more broadly advertised.
Smith Case Update
The appraisal for the Robert Mark Smith’s properties was completed. It appraised for $1.02 million.
Woog said a public statement should be made on behalf of the Town with their position to Mr. Smith.
Sammons suggested that an earlier spray for mosquitoes should be done instead of waiting for events. Woog expanded suggesting that a local mosquito district should be developed. He reached out to Colorado Mosquito Control who currently does Kremmling’s mosquito sprays to develop a plan.
Woog stated Colorado Mosquito Control would not be interested in helping with a town district to control mosquito populations.
Woog feels that mosquito control is necessary for Kremmling as an economic driver and that mosquito mitigation needs to be a priority.