In my summary from the April 25th meeting, I mentioned that Infrastructure in Wellington including high water rates & conservation, along with road conditions, continues to be an issue for all residents. This May 9 meeting addressed those concerns.
1. Utility fee structure and schedules were discussed and approved by the board.
2. Raw Water Dedications and Cash-in-Lieu payments give additional options for the increase in raw water costs. Changing from per unit rates to acre feet should also make it easier to determine costs.
3. Amending the Fee Schedule and reducing the reconnection fee for Wellington residents is yet another step in trying to accommodate the large yearly increases in water rates.
Read and search the transcript of meeting at this link, or scroll below. To keyword search all content on this page hit the "control" or "command" button and "F"
The purpose of this board is to provide outstanding municipal services for the community of Wellington both today and tomorrow. The May 9, 2023 meeting was quick. Mayor Chaussee made several community proclamations and Meagan Smith, Director of Public Works presented three (3) resolutions related to one another.
There were no initial Public general comments.
Four (4) proclamations were made by Mayor Chaussee for 2023:
Peace Officer Week (May 14-20): thanking the Deputy Sheriffs for their sacrifices to protect the residents of Wellington.
Mental Health Awareness month (May)
Childcare Provider Day (May 12)
Kids to Parks Day (May 20)
There was unanimous consent to approve the April 25, 2023, regular meeting minutes.
Trustee Gaiter requested Consent Agenda No. 2: 2023 Old Town Street Repair & Concrete Contracts be moved to the end of Action Items. Approved.
Several action items were voted on all presented by Meagan Smith, Deputy Director of Public Works. According to Meagan, all three (3) bullet points are inter-related, and details are in the packet:
Ordinance No. 05-2023: repealing ordinance 6-2021 regarding Municipal Utility Fees.
Repealing the previous ordinance is to allow the town of Wellington to separate the different utility fees on the fee schedule and address increases individually. Affects fees such as tap fees, water & wastewater fees, and meter fees. This resolution also allows cash-in-lieu payments for raw water as its own resolution (See below #2).
Dan Sapienza, Town Attorney explained this ordinance is a procedural cleanup of assessments and previous fee schedule. It helps bring meter charges back in line with other fees.
No board questions: no public questions.
Vote: Yay – 6 Nay - 0
Resolution No. 17-2023: establishes Raw Water dedication requirements for water taps serving residential units; and establishes payments for Cash-in-lieu of Raw Water dedication requirements.
The town code of Wellington requires dedication of Raw Water for all utility customers. This resolution will allow payments of cash-in-lieu of dedications to meet the long term demands of customer needs. The resolution also reduces the current rates for residential, family use, and multi-family indoor use. HOA and commercial development rates will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
The cash-in-lieu value of shares of Raw Water (north Poudre River) is increasing rapidly and will be determined by an average of the past three years of share prices. The proposed increase for cash-in-lieu payments will be a 20% increase from the current $102,800/acre feet to $124,000/acre feet (the town is moving away from using per unit cost to using per acre foot cost).
Board Comments & Questions:
Trustee Gaiter: Wanted to clarify and confirm that this Resolution is the second half of reduced shares from the North Poudre River due to the zoning code changes? Meagan – Yes. And that the current share of North Poudre River is at $224,000/acre share, while cash-in-lieu payments would be at $248,000/acre share? Meagan – Yes
Trustee Tietz: she is concerned how the higher fees will affect new developments in Wellington.
Trustee Weigand: in response to Trustee Tietz, new building has to pay its own way.
No Public Comments
Votes: Yay – 5 Nay – 1 (Tietz)
Resolution No. 18-2023: Amending the Fee Schedule presented by Meagan Smith, Deputy Director of Public Works.
After updating codes in November 2022 and February 2023 this resolution allows the new coding to move to a fee schedule for updating:
Chapter 13 code updates to fees
All are highlighted in green in the meeting packet.
Board Comments & Questions:
Trustee Mason: a resident has complained about the reconnection fee of $100.00. What is $100 for?
Megan: it covers 1 hour staff time to shut off and shut back on, vehicle use & mileage, contacting people about the shut off.
Trustee Gaiter: same concerns as Trustee Mason. $100 seems high. Should consider a fee reduction starting at $50-$75 instead.
Megan: total staff time is about 3 hours & vehicle at 0.555/mile cost.
Trustee Tietz: agrees with Trustee Gaiter. Residents who have shut offs are already struggling to pay their bill. Adding an additional $100 just makes it worse for them. Reduce the fee and it can be adjusted upwards if the town is losing money.
Trustee Weigand: how many are the same people over and over again? They’re always struggling and have HUD grants available to use. Are they just irresponsible?
Meagan: the staff’s goal is to work with residents, give them options, and help them as much as possible to try to prevent shut offs.
Mayor Chaussee: what are the number of repeat contacts?
Meagan: that changes each month. She’ll pull a more detailed report for a later meeting. Approximately 10 of 100 get shut off.
Mayor Chaussee: let’s compromise and start at $75.
Trustee Gaiter: believes staff time is divided among all notices. Agrees with $75.
Public Comments: none
Votes: Yay – 6 Nay – 0
Resolution passed to reduce the utility reconnection fee from $100 to $75.
Nathan Ewert reviewed which contractors were accepted to provide Old Town Street Asphalt and Concrete repairs.
L4 Construction will do the concrete repairs.
Connell Resources, who are already on other Wellington projects, will do the asphalt repairs.
Public Comment by Christine Gaiter: make sure to consider quality with these contractors. In the past it hasn’t been good: the manhole covers rose in the streets.
Votes: Yay – 6 Nay - 0
No reports were reviewed.
Several board members thanked the financial staff, mental health providers, and childcare providers for their services. Trustee Daily gave details on the Kids to Park Day.
The meeting adjourned. I had made a note from the April 25, 2023, meeting to watch for discussion on any potential property acquisitions. There was no discussion or action on this matter during this May 9 meeting.