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Council grants solar firm access to land so power lines can connect to electrical grid

After a heated City Council meeting on Nov. 10 regarding the old Boulder City hospital, Tuesday's meeting was much more subdued as only three agenda items were up for action.

Boulder Solar Power LLC was granted an easement of land to place power lines across parcels located in the Eldorado Valley Transfer Area. Access to the area will allow the company to install transmission lines and towers, providing the ability to connect the solar project with the electrical grid.

"These solar power projects need to have a way to connect into the grid and that's what this easement is for tonight," said City Attorney Dave Olsen. "It's a 100-foot-wide easement, but when you get down through some areas, it becomes an 8-foot-wide easement."

The Civil Service Commission came before City Council as well to discuss modifying civil service rules and regulations.

The original rules, established in Resolution 935 on March 22, 1983, by then mayor Robert H. Boston and City Council, have since been modified 24 times. The resolution itself mandates that the city's Personnel Policies Manual be amended when policies are out of date or need to be changed. Tuesday marked the 26th amendment to the policy.

"There's two notable changes," said Bryce Boldt, personnel administrator. "We have certification eligible lists that have been a part of practice here since the 1960s as far as I can tell, that will no longer be required. Also, new classification plans and maintenance of the classifications would go through the Civil Service Commission."

Additionally, Century Link's term and rental fee portions of its ground lease agreement with Boulder City was amended because of the telephone company's several project delays.

The company wants to move from its current location to the Hemingway Communication Site and requested a June 30, 2016, termination of its current month-to-month ground lease agreement because of delays in moving equipment to the new site.

"We are hopeful that the construction of the site will happen at Hemingway ... will be completed after the first of the year," said fire Chief Kevin Nicholson, who represented Century Link. "We feel very confident this will be the last time we bring this before you. We're hopeful to get the site up and the equipment moved before the end of June."

The reason for the move, according to Nicholson, is that there's been a nationwide effort since Sept. 11, 2001, to protect critical infrastructure areas. Cooperating with the Public Works Department, the two sides have been working for several years to move the communication tower away from the city's water tanks.

All three motions were unanimously approved, 5-0, and there were no public comments throughout the meeting.

Contact reporter Randy Faehnrich at rfaehnrich@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow him on Twitter @RandyFaehnrich.

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