Annexation first step is approved

A requested annexation will make the City of Yuma limits whole along the western stretch of Highway 34.
It turns out the one-block wide, two-blocks deep plot, between Harvest Motel and the old bowling alley, and from Eighth Ave. (Highway 34) to 10th Ave., is outside the city limits, while everything around it is.
One house and some outbuildings sit on the property, which Korf Continental has used in the past to display its pickup inventory.
The Hamrick/Ringlein Annexation was presented to the Yuma City Council during its regular meeting, which was held Monday night due to the council election being Tuesday. A resolution for “substantial compliance of the petition” was passed on a 7-0 vote.
The council was told the property owners have completed all the required steps. City Manager Scott Moore said the owners’ intention, as he understood it, was that half the property would be zoned commercial and the other half R-2.
A public notice is being run in the Pioneer for the next several weeks about the annexation. There will be a public hearing prior to final approval.

Grass clippings only
The city provides grass clipping trash containers all over town. As described, they are meant only for grass clippings.
However, Moore told the council Monday night that some people are using them for trash. He said the city has no choice but to start removing the containers where trash is dumped into them. Moore said it is time consuming for city employees to remove the trash from clippings, adding he hoped neighbors would help police themselves so they would not lose the grass clipping containers.

Moore said the city is considering offering individual grass clipping containers to residents for a fee, but that has not been finalized yet.
Councilman Tim McClung suggested some educational efforts with the public. He mentioned there also are all sorts of items, such as paint cans, Roundup containers, and tires, that end up trash containers.
Moore said there is a plan underway to include informational fliers with the utility bills.

Econ Dev update
Shelby Clark, the new director for Yuma County Economic Development Corporation, provided an update during Monday’s meeting.
She said the job fair at Yuma High School on March 25 was a success, with 23 local businesses involved.
“It was a great way to show local youth what we have to offer in Yuma County,” she said. “Hopefully, they will return to Yuma County, or stay here after high school.”
She moved on to the efforts to bring revenue into the county. Clark said the way to do that was to advertise on a global scale. She said she has been doing business spotlights on social media that are reaching thousands. The spotlights so far have featured Farm House Market and Godsey Precision Ag.
Clark said the YCEDC also is advertising in Colorado Life Magazine, first featuring the Orphanage. The next Colorado Life edition will have an advertisement for the Yuma County Fair.
She reported the YCEDC is moving forward with its trade scholarship programs, focusing on electricians and plumbers, but will be available to youth interested in any trade. Those that get the scholarship will be required to come back to Yuma County for two years to work.
A regional Roadmap to Recovery Project has recently started. Clark said it is in the planning stages of determining where to get planning fund. The project will be identifying the county’s and region’s biggest needs. A strategic fund will be established, then grants will be pursued to go toward meeting goals.
Clark covered ag tourism, saying it will be a countywide effort, working with both Chambers of Commerce. She noted people are interested in where their food comes from, so there could be some unique tourism aspects.
Housing is staying at the forefront. Clark said Fort Morgan and southeast Colorado have found success with their housing programs, and she is planning on hosting meetings with representatives to get their insight and figure out what can be done here.
She concluded by saying she is always available to visit with the council members.
McClung thanked Clark for visiting with the council, and noted her enthusiasm and visibility since taking the position.
“I hope your energy and enthusiasm is very contagious,” McClung said.

Purchases and more
The city received three bids for a mower deck that will be used primarily at the airport. Moore said the current one is about 20 years old, and that the purchase is an eligible expense for the COVID-related funds the city has received for the airport.

The bids were from 21st Century Equipment for $20,079.32, Redlund for $19,097, and Taylor Equipment for $16,500. The council unanimously approved the Taylor Equipment bid.
An aeration bridge drive at the wastewater treatment plant is in need of replacing. The council approved the purchase of a new drive for $6,411, with the total expenditure not to exceed $7,500 as the freight charge had not been determined yet. Moore said the motor that is being replaced will be rebuilt and kept as a spare.
The council also approved the repair of an ambulance for $7,057.08 at Korf Continental. Moore said one injector went out, and that the other injectors were about to follow, and the ambulance was needed, so the city went ahead with the repair.
Moore told the council the new street sweeper has been repaired and is back in service, and that both trash trucks now are in working order.
Council member Terri Frame gave updates on legislative bills concerning municipalities. McClung gave a Landfill Board update, saying there is a need for a new trash compactor as the current one is old. However, a new one is around $500,000 and the landfill is not in a position to buy a new one outright. He said an effort is underway to determine the true trade-in value of the current compactor.
“All the equipment out there is old,” McClung said.
Monday night’s meeting was the last full one with the current council, following Tuesday’s completion of the Yuma City Council Election. Mayor Ron Swehla, Mayor Pro-tem Marc Shay and council members Dan Baucke, Daniel Ebersole, Marylu Smith-Dischner, Terri Frame and Tim McClung were in attendance. The only change to the council following the election will be Jerome Benish replacing Ebersole.