A new Yuma City Council took the reigns during last week’s regular meeting at Yuma City Hall.
Actually, it is mostly the same council, with only Jerome Benish joining as a new member, replacing incumbent Daniel Ebersole following the council election earlier this month.
Benish joined incumbents Marylu Smith-Dischner and Terri Frame being sworn in for three-year terms, while incumbent Marc Shay has a two-year term. The city is switching municipal elections to November beginning in 2025, thus the three-year terms rather than four. The final April municipal election will be in 2024.
The “old” council began the meeting, taking care of some action items, including approving a feasibility study with Exponential Engineering for approximately $8,500.The study will determine costs necessary to potentially build a second electric substation on the east side of town.
All members but Dan Baucke were present. Baucke, Mayor Ron Swehla and Tim McClung are in the middle of their terms.
The old council adjourned. Ebersole said it had been a privilege serving on the council and thanked everyone for their cooperation and service during his time on the council.
The elected council members then were sworn in by City Clerk Karma Wells.
Shay was nominated and unanimously approved to remain as the mayor pro-tem. A motion to continue having council meetings on the first and third Tuesday of each month, beginning at 6:30 p.m. was approved. Frame was nominated and unanimously approved as the council’s representative to the Yuma County Economic Development Board, a position previously held by Ebersole.
A public hearing was held in regards to a proposed home occupation business at 320 S. Gum St. City Manager Scott Moore that Tristan Earl was wanting to operate a taxidermy business out of the home, and had filed all the paperwork and paid the fees. There was no comment during the public hearing, and the council unanimously approved the request.
Paper Moon’s liquor license renewal was unanimously approved.
Moore read a proclamation declaring May 21-25 S EMS Week, after which the council approved the proclamation on a 6-0 vote.
The council approved the expenditure of $6,620 to Exponential Engineering for the implementation of additional equipment related to the recently completed fuse coordination study Exponential did for the city.
The council approved a “not to exceed” expenditure of $5,500 to drain, clean and replace filters in a fuel tank at the airport’s fuel farm. The wrong fuel had been put in the tank when first installed last year. TWS, the company doing the work initially had quoted a price of $4,813 last August, but is now just getting out here for the work, and the price of filters might have gone up enough to exceed $5,000, thus the “not to exceed” motion.
After the tank is cleaned, the proper jet fuel will be put in. Moore told the council the city had budgeted $12,000 to fill the 3,000-gallon tank, but the price, obviously, has gone up with the bid now pushing the total cost above $12,000. It was noted the revenue from selling the fuel will offset the initial purchase. The council approved “not to exceed” spending $14,000 on the jet fuel.
City attorney Kathryn Sellars then walked the council through a municipal official training for about one hour.
Life Care license
Moore had a couple of interesting reports to give the council following the training.
The city is holding the Yuma Life Care Center license, after it closed last summer, just in case the community would be able to get it open again. However, nothing has transpired along those lines, and the property is listed for sale.
Moore and Sellars informed the council that the city has received two “past due” bills for $500 each from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Quality Control.
Moore told the council it needs to give some thought about where the situation is going, and if the city wants to continue to hold the license. Sellars said the council needs to consider letting it go.
Moore also told the council that earlier this month he received a visit from representatives of the Hazardous Materials & Waste Management Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.
They told him the division had received a complaint that the blasting material used in the downtown water tower project in 2018 had not been disposed of properly. There was concern the lead levels within the material was higher than the standard. The material has been kept, above ground, at the waste water treatment plant. Moore said the state people were happy it had not been buried.
The city sent a sample to a lab, which came back with the lead being with allowable limits, but Moore said the CDPHE wanted another test done, and that came back fine as well, so all seems to be good with the state.
It was noted the firm doing the water tower project this year at the north end of town will be responsible for disposing of the blasting material.
Moore also informed the council that the valve replacement project at the waste water treatment plant currently is being done.