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Hangars and OHVs and pool people, oh my

In a meeting with only two council members present in the room (and the other three on the phone) and in which the major attention was divided between a contentious possible law concerning pets and the fact that the city manager had announced he was leaving for a new job on the East Coast, the council did take a series of other notable actions.

The pet ordinance, which would allow for pet breeding in Boulder City, was tabled (see the story on page 1 for info on the building public opposition to the proposal) and the city manager is still leaving. But, in other actions…

Hangars

The Great Boulder City Hangar Debate appears to be in the rear-view mirror where it will stay for a long time. Long enough, given actuarial tables and average life expectancies, several members of the current council may no longer be among the living the next time it comes up.

Without discussion, the council unanimously voted to adopt changes in the leases for about a dozen hangars. Like the actions on the previously extended hangar leases, the new rates are good for 10 years plus an option to extend for an additional 10 years. (This will put all of the hangar leases at the very top of the 50-year limit established by the FAA for airports that receive federal funding.)

Unlike the other hangars, the rates actually went up by a small amount and no members of the council had to read a disclaimer explaining why it was OK for them not to recuse themselves despite having a financial interest in an airplane currently housed in one of the hangars in question.

Off-highway vehicles

In addition to tabling the pet breeding proposal, the council also voted to table a discussion requested by Councilmember Matt Fox to consider allowing off-highway vehicles to access city roads in order to move between private property or to go to and from trails established for off-highway vehicle usage. There is not a current date when the council is set to take that discussion up. Fox requested that it be tabled until a meeting when all member of the council could be physically present.

There were also two actions that are both related to the proposed replacement for the current city pool.

Return of a familiar face

The first was the introduction of a bill to create a new city fund called the Swimming Pool Recreational Facility Construction, Operation and Maintenance Fund. According to the accompanying staff report from Finance Director Cynthia Sneed, “It is in the city’s financial interest to establish a separate fund to account for the accumulation of funds for the design and construction of the swimming pool recreational facility, and for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the facility.”

As the action was just the introduction of the bill, no action was taken. Discussion and a public hearing will take place at a future council meeting.

Finally, the council needs to appoint committee members to write arguments for and against the ballot ordinance that would see an additional amount of up to $9 million to be moved from the Capital Improvement Fund in order to be used to fund pool construction.

State law says that the council has to go with volunteers. The committees can each have as many as three people. If there are three volunteers, they all get appointed. If there are no volunteers, then the council can appoint members of its choosing. But they can’t deny anyone a seat on the committee unless there are more than three volunteers.

All of which led to the following:

Former Boulder City Mayor Kiernan McManus stood up in public comment at the beginning and laid into the current council, calling out Fox in particular in very personal terms. In reference to the proposed off-road vehicle discussion, McManus said that he was, “Surprised to see councilman Fox do something, or anything, in his time on council.”

Then at the end of the meeting, the council had one volunteer for the committee to write the argument for the proposed ballot question and two volunteers for the committee to write the arguments in opposition. So all of the volunteers got appointed, including McManus who will help write the arguments opposing the funding.

Mayor Joe Hardy called for a motion to approve the members of the committees and the motion had a second and Hardy had already called for a vote when Councilmember Steve Walton interjected with a question.

“So we have one who has volunteered to write the argument for and we have two to write the argument against. Do we need to just have one for each?”

City Clerk Tami McKay answered that, according to state law, there were fewer than three volunteers so all would be appointed.

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