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City of Colorado Springs / Commissions & Committees / Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee Meeting Minutes
Meeting Minutes: Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Police Operations Center ? Community Room
705 S. Nevada Avenue
 
Committee members in attendance: Cindy Corsaro, Richard Hansen, Bernie Herpin, Frank O?Donnell, Winfield Pate, Ronald Ruckdeschel, Marjorie Smith

Committee members via telephone: Randy Case II, Joe Pelka

Committee members absent: Robert Gallagher, Pat McElderry

Others present: Steve Cox/CSFD, Dan Raider/CSFD, Nina Rikoski/ CSFD, Bob Lund/CSFD, Cassie Beckey/CSFD, Pete Carey/CSPD, Sue Autry/CSPD, Nancy McCauley/CSPD, Dorothy Stevens/CSPD, and JoAnn Cox/Economic Development

Call to Order: Chairman Richard Hansen called the meeting to order at 4:28 p.m.

Citizen Comment: No citizen comment.

Approval of Minutes:
MOTION: Frank O?Donnell moved to approve the minutes from the 12/03/2008 meeting and Winfield Pate seconded the motion. There was no discussion; the motion passed by a 9-0-0 vote.

Old Business:

Old Fire Station 8 Use: In the original Public Safety Sales Tax (PSST) list, there were 20 projects. Fire Station #8 was approved for renovations; instead, City Council voted to replace the station, leaving the disposition of the old station to be determined. The property could be sold or perhaps used for another City use. The PSSTOC motion in the committee?s 2006 discussion advocated that funds derived from the sale be returned to the PSST fund to offset costs for the new Station #8 and allow funding for more projects. While the City has an ordinance requiring that the funds be returned to the fund that originally funded the project, the PSSTOC argued that even if they were returned to the General Fund, those funds should be dedicated to public safety. The new Station #8 is complete and the old station is being used for the Fire Wise program and apparatus storage. No further discussion occurred due to its current use.

CSFD staff reported that the building was appraised when the City considered selling the old station. Acquisition of a facility to compensate for its uses would cost approximately 6 times the appraised value of the old station. It currently houses three reserve apparatus for the Fire Department, and emergency equipment that would otherwise be stored outside and exposed to the elements, including Office of Emergency Management (OEM) cots and Fire Wise chippers/dump trucks/chain saws. The addition of PSST purchased equipment creates the nexus for use of the station to properly house it.

The preamble of City Code 1.6.1005 indicates ?. . .This fund will not replace local funds already budgeted for public safety operations.? The committee needs to be consistent in the actual use, or appearance of use of PSST funds for something that is already budgeted by general funds monies.

MOTION: Bernie Herpin made a motion that old Fire Station #8 be utilized by the Fire Department as they (CSFD) see fit. Vice Chair Marjorie Smith seconded the motion.

Discussion:   Members asked questions for clarification. Is the motion being made to close the item? Yes. Is the Bijou maintenance facility also being used as storage/is that was already a precedent? Yes. Is there security in the station? Yes. Were some of the building renovations completed by staff? Some heating equipment purchased for Station #17 was repurposed for old Fire Station #8 and the chipper crew does grounds maintenance in return for storage of their equipment. The motion was repeated and then passed by a vote of 8-1-0.

Due to another commitment, Joe Pelka excused himself from the meeting at 4:57.
 
Sustainability Funding Committee update: The committee requested an update from Randy Case, who is the current Vice Chair of the Sustainable Funding Committee. Discussion turned to changing the April 1 meeting date to after the election and agreed to reschedule to April 8 at 4:30 p.m.

Mr. Dan Stewart currently chairs the committee with Randy Case sitting as the Vice Chair. Meeting minutes are a matter of public record and are available on the website (springsgov.com/Agendas & Minutes/ Sustainable Funding Committee). The committee has four sub-committees.
         TABOR ? looks at the ratcheting down effect of the TABOR restrictions and look at the differences between our state and local TABOR charters.
         City Services ? analyzing what we should be doing and what we should discontinue.
         City Assets/Enterprises ? assessing at our current list of assets to determine what can be sold or leased.
         Revenue Generation ? working to understand current funding streams and researching ways to bring additional money to the City.

The work of these committees generated four ballot initiatives to be put forward for the April election.
1.      TABOR ? To allow dispensation from Federal grants monies being counted against the cap.
2.      Mil Levy - To allow the City to keep the .665 mil levy (set to expire in 2009) for economic development.
3.      TABOR Overage - To retain the $1.2 million revenue over-collection to apply to a Capital Improvement Project (CIP).
4.      TOPS - To modify the TOPS charter to allow an increase in retention from 6% to 15% for operation/ maintenance of existing parks/facilities.

The committee has an open ended charter and may continue to meet for two years. They hired PFM, a firm from Philadelphia, to provide strategic assessment assistance.

Fire Update: Instead of relocating Fire Station #1, FD will probably build adjacent to the existing building. City Council approved certificates of participation (COPs) for the construction of Fire Stations #1 and #21 but they have not been issued. FD staff has determined a need to keep the windows closed due to the higher diesel particulate levels in the exhaust near station #7. Budget numbers will be released on 02/16/09 and, as a result, the buildings for Stations #1 and #21 will not go forward until the economy rebounds. When asked if there was any other input CSPD Deputy Chief Carey interjected that a proposal to consolidate functions between the Fire and Police Departments was accepted by the City Manager. PD and FD finance and human resource sections will coalesce to create efficiencies; other areas will be examined for savings opportunities. Both departments raised substantial concerns regarding PSST funding and future impacts of the economy.

Police Update: Deputy Chief Carey stated that, due to the shortfall in revenue, six sworn officers will be rolled to patrol and two code enforcement officers are to be let go. These are PSST funded positions.

Budget Update: A written update was provided.

Special Invitation: The CSPD Recruit Graduation will take place on February 13 at 1:30 p.m. They will be hired as part of the General Fund. Police staff extended an invitation to committee members to attend the graduation ceremony at Radiant Church.

Chief Cox qualified a previous answer he provided. In the vein of collaborating resources and sharing assets, the CSFD will be lending facilities to the City Fleet body shop at no charge to them.

Meeting adjourned at 5:27 P.M.

Next Meeting:

The next meeting was rescheduled from April 1 to April 8, 2009 so results of the April 7th election will be available. The meeting will be held in the Police Operations Center, Community Room at 4:30 p.m.

Notes: The minutes of this meeting were taken by Dorothy Stevens. Any omissions or corrections should be brought to the Chairperson?s attention at the next PSSTOC meeting.