August 23 Buena Vista Trustees Meeting Includes Farewell and Welcome from Puckett – by Landon James

The Buena Vista (BV) Board of Directors held its bi-monthly meeting last Tuesday, August 23 in the Piñon Room of the Buena Vista Community Center. The meeting marks the BOT’s final meeting with Phillip Puckett as interim BV City Administrator.

Buena Vista City Hall. Photo by Henry DeKam

A five-year look back

After the public opening, Puckett kicked off the staff reports with a slideshow compiling some of his favorite moments from the past five years as a BV city administrator. Puckett seemed to hold back his emotions as he pushed his way through the slides, saying he had such joy at having a beautiful and rewarding time as a Buena Vista city administrator.

“A lot happened along the way,” Puckett recalled. “Form new partnerships, new links with members of the City. My family grew up with me too.

Mayor Libby Fay pointed out that as Puckett grew in his role as city administrator, so did the city of Buena Vista. The proof of his hard work can be seen everywhere you look in BV. “You did a great job,” she concluded.

At the end of the slideshow, emotions wafted through the air as Puckett wrapped up his final staff report as city administrator.

“It was a great race. Thank you very much,” Puckett said with a hint of emotion.

Puckett said that in the past five years as city administrator, he has attended more than 128 BOT meetings and presented more than 120 staff reports.

Without wasting a moment, Puckett moved on to his staff report as Acting City Treasurer and informed the BOT that the Heart of the Rockies Medical Center (HRRMC) had been advised that the city wished to purchase the position of existing font. A new Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) has been drafted and title work has been commissioned. Puckett explained that the PSA will be presented to the BOT at the September 13 directors’ meeting.

Mount Olivet Buena Vista Cemetery. CO. Image courtesy of ‘Find a Grave’.

Public Works Director Shawn Williams then updated the BOT on July’s water production numbers and ongoing municipal projects, including the Buena Vista Cemetery Improvement Project.

“It looks fantastic,” Williams said, his enthusiasm evident.

With improved landscaping and irrigation works, new fence post proposals and new signage, the cemetery is receiving a much overdue facelift and cleanup thanks to public works.

Williams also mentioned that the official grand opening of the McPhelemy Stage took place on Sunday August 21 and that there is enthusiastic support for the plans. The City remains on track for the project’s proposed fall 2022 completion date.

Trustee Business Elements

The first item on the agenda was the adoption of Resolution No. 63, titled: “An Ordinance Appointing Lisa Parnell-Rowe as City Administrator” and approving an employment contract with Lisa Parnell-Rowe .

Trustees unanimously passed Resolution #63 and officially named Lisa Parnell-Rowe as the new City of Buena Vista Trustee.

At the same time, Order No. 24, titled: “Amendment to Section 2-47(E) of the Buena Vista Municipal Code” was brought before the BOT for discussion and debate.

Incoming Buena Vista City Trustee Lisa Parnell-Rowe meets outgoing City Trustee Phillip Puckett at the end of the BV Trustees Session. Puckett doesn’t go far, he takes on the critical role of town treasurer. Photo by Landon James.

Previously, city administrators had to live in the city of Buena Vista in order to be allowed to fulfill their role. However, given the housing crisis in BV, the BOT considered changing the ordinance to allow Parnell-Rowe to live within a 15-minute drive that is no more than 15 miles from Buena Vista. .

With the help and guidance of the city attorney, the administrators agreed to amend the employment contract even further to give Parnell-Rowe until March 2023 to find accommodation within 30 miles of the city. from BV. In addition, the BOT has agreed that it may modify and waive this requirement at its discretion if it proves more difficult than expected for Parnell-Rowe to find suitable accommodation given the current housing situation at BV.

After the meeting, Parnell-Rowe expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve BV in the role of city administrator.

“Becoming a Buena Vista city administrator has been an aspiration of mine for many years and it’s amazing to have this opportunity,” Parnell-Rowe said. “It is truly an honor to have been chosen to work with and guide such a great team of city employees. I look forward to hearing from the community and working to improve and build more towards achieving their overall visions and goals for this very special city.

Special Projects Manager Joel Benson took the stage and addressed the BOT to share a special tool developed by Wright Water Engineers to calculate water usage prices for residents and future water projects. subdivision/construction within BV.

Benson explained that the tool, which comes in the form of an Excel spreadsheet, would allow the City to calculate water usage prices for two purposes:

1. Single Family Equivalence (EFE)
2. Future subdivisions and residential construction projects

SFE refers to the indoor and outdoor water consumption of an average single-family household, but can also be used for future commercial properties that the City may build.

Benson showed a real-time demonstration of how the Excel spreadsheet tool allows various measurements and numbers to be entered into certain fields allowing the City to calculate water usage costs and amounts based on project or property.

Benson also requested that the BOT consider using this tool to determine when it would be appropriate to use water from the Upper Arkansas Water Conservation District (UAWCD) as opposed to reserve water. present in the city.

Although no resolution was proposed, the administrators were impressed and accepted future working sessions and discussions regarding the use of the tool regarding water use for new properties and residential projects and businesses in the city. It was agreed that these sessions could easily lead to a resolution and, if so, would be presented to the BOT at a future meeting.

The last item on the agenda was the proposed adoption of Order No. 25, entitled: “An Order Approving the Loan Agreement between the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority and the City of Buena Vista, Colorado , acting by and through the city. of Buena Vista Water Activity Enterprise and authorizing the mayor and city administration to sign related documents. »

Through numerous legal documents regarding the details of the loan, it has been noted that this loan is issued as a 100% principal forgiveness loan in accordance with the capitalization grant, and the principal amount of the loan will be canceled pending the city following the guidelines set out. the bridle.

“You hear the word loan, but it turns into a grant,” explained city treasurer Puckett. A motion was unanimously approved by a roll-call vote.

Once the business items were settled, the meeting moved on to staff interactions.

The first item on the list was a proposal to begin the process of becoming a Continental Divide Trail (CDT) gateway community through the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC).

The CDTC has established a network of towns and communities near the CDT as welcoming destinations for those traversing the CDT while “fostering local awareness, stewardship, and pride of the trail,” according to the BOT package. The town of Salida is already a CDT gateway community.

The application process for BV to become a CDT Gateway Community includes:

1. Formation of an advisory committee
2. Obtain letters of support
3. Approval of designation by the community governing body

The Trail Advisory Board recommends forming a Trail Advisory Committee to weigh the costs and benefits of becoming a Gateway Community for the Continental Divide Trail and Colorado Trail.

The BOT showed immediate interest and support from several members and voted unanimously to agree to form the Trail Advisory Committee and to schedule a meeting with the Trail Advisory Committee in the future to discuss details of the request.

After the meeting, the administrators held an executive session with the city attorney to receive legal advice on specific legal issues.

The next meeting of the Board of Directors will take place on Tuesday, September 13 in the Piñon Room of the BV Community Center.

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