Wednesday, August 19, 2009

City Council meets Tuesday, August 18.

The City of Fruita City Council has approved Chrissy Mart to the Arts and Culture Board to fill a vacant position. Her term will expire in 2012.
Derek Elder was approved to take a vacant seat on the City’s Planning Commission, term to expire 2012.
Also on the consent agenda were the following, all of which were approved:
Request for approval of Intergovernmental Agreements with Mesa County Public Libraries for the design, construction and occupation of the Fruita Community Center;
An amendment to the agreement with School District #51 concerning the purchase of Etchart property; Conditional Use Permit for the Wastewater Reclamation Facility and permission to negotiate a contract for that facility with Garney Companies, Inc for the construction thereof. Ten first readings concerning that facility were also read.
Several properties were annexed, one to become a community Residential zone, one as public right of way for 15 Road south of Highway 6 & 50.
Last week saw the Planning Commission discuss at length, approval of the POST, (Parks, Open space and trails).
Well-organized, citizens spoke their minds about what they considered their land rights, which they have the right to do and should if they feel threatened. All of this contention arose due to the interpretation that because a new map showed proposed trails, that sometime in the future the owners would be beset by trespassers, vandals and more. It was Tim Grimsby who held up maps from 1999, 2002 and 2004, noting the map accompanying the concept for the future, he pointed out that the same trails were on all of the maps. Thus he questioned the alarm at having such a map published because the public already has had access to the maps. He also noted that as a policeman himself, crime would not be any worse there as it is anywhere else in the Valley.
POST,  (parks open space and trails) was approved finally, by four of the six commissioners present. Jeff Pace voted no and Ms. Ginter, who had just returned from a prolonged absence due to illness in her family, excused herself.
Council will next address this issue.
According to the City of Fruita’s Audit by Dalby, Wendland and Co, PC, the City did well in 2008  due to wise planning and the manner in which finances have been handled.
“National and regional economic conditions in 2009 are cause for concern with declining sales and use tax revenues, reduction in energy related employment, and the continued slowdown in new construction and development. Continuation of fiscally conservative budgeting procedures is necessary to ensure the continued fiscal stability of the city.”
The upcoming waste treatment facility is one expense that is caused by mandates of the government in requirements for waste treatment per population numbers. The Voter approved Community Center is on board. Grants and other sources are being sought to facilitate this construction.
Land has been acquired for the Waste Treatment Plant, the round abouts are complete.
The Chamber of Commerce report noted there ate 10 vacant businesses in Fruita. There are five Mexican restaurants including Taco Bell in Fruita, yet no dry cleaner or bakery.
The average lease is .66/ square foot. The business master list is made of mearly 400 businesses.
It was interesting to hear that Fruita’s greatest asset was the “abundant receation opportunities” and the fact that Fruita is a small and friendly community.
The biggest weakness is it close location to Grand Junction in the commercial aspect. Some  felt the city and city council have an anti-business reputation.
Businesses most hoped for were: grocery store, restaurant and family entertainment, a bakery, auto mechanic and dry cleaner business.
Although a downtown authority could very well help bring in business, Mary Lou Wilson, Chamber Director, noted it is very difficult to get businesses to talk with each other thus making cohesiveness most difficult.
There will be more ongoing discussion about URR, (Urban Residential Reserve) which is land, a portion of which can be developed, but a portion must be reserved to be developed in the future.
A good explanation of the URR can be found on the Mesa County Web Site.

No comments: