Town News

Catch Up With Council, April 23, 2024: Swearing in of Councilmembers, Highway 9 Sidewalk Improvements, and Old Town Hall Renovation

Farewell and Swearing in of Councilmembers and Mayor & Selection of Mayor-Pro Tem

During the April 23, 2024 Town Council Meeting, Council bid farewell and gave thanks to Mayor Hunter Mortensen who served for 10 years and Councilmember Jessie Burley who served for eight years. The Town Clerk then swore in three Councilmembers Martin Allen, Dan Kibbie, and Andrew Aerenson (who has served for four years already), and Mayor Rick Ihnken (who has served for eight years already) to all serve four-year terms.

At the first meeting of a new Council, Councilmembers appoint a Councilmember as Mayor Pro-Tem for a two-year term. The Mayor Pro-Tem has the Mayor’s powers and performs the Mayor’s duties whenever the Mayor is not available. Council voted Councilmember Andrew Aerenson to serve as the Mayor-Pro Tem for a two-year term.

The Frisco Town Attorney also reviewed the Colorado Open Meetings Law and provided an ethics in Government review with the new Town Council

Highway 9 Sidewalk Improvements

Currently, the west side of State Highway 9 (Summit Boulevard) lacks a sidewalk from Hawn Drive to I-70. Additionally, maintaining the sidewalk section from the driveway into Crossroads Shopping Center (near Frisco Animal Hospital) to the bus stop near School Road during winter poses challenges for Public Works due to its location next to State Highway 9 and the adjacent grades/retaining walls, often leading to sidewalk closures due to snow accumulation. These maintenance difficulties, combined with the absence of a sidewalk section, contribute to the lack of pedestrian connectivity and safety concerns.

In August 2023, the Town was awarded the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Multimodal Transportation and Mitigation Options Fund (MMOF) grant. Staff have been working with a consultant to finalize the design of a new detached sidewalk and retaining walls between the driveway into Crossroads Shopping Center (near Frisco Animal Hospital) to the bus stop near School Road and a new sidewalk from Hawn Drive to the main entrance into Walmart from Summit Boulevard. Recently, the designs for these sidewalks were finalized, the notice to proceed with advertisement was received from CDOT, and the project was advertised for bids. The project is tentatively scheduled for construction in August and September 2024.

This project is part of the ongoing effort to improve pedestrian connectivity which is outlined in the Frisco Trails and Pathways Master Plan. To that end, a new section of sidewalk from Lusher Court to the main entrance into Walmart is also planned and is in Frisco’s capital improvement plan for 2028. This coincides with the Colorado Department of Transportations planned improvements to Exit 203 and the Lusher Court/Summit Boulevard intersection also scheduled during that time.  

The CDOT MMOF grant was for $504,882, and the Town is subsequently providing $1,065,118 of funding in 2023 and 2024, for a total project budget of $1,570,000. The Town awarded Naranjo Civil Constructors, Inc. the Highway 9 Sidewalk construction contract.

Town Council approved Resolution 24-27 to approve this construction contract.

Old Town Hall Renovation

The Town of Frisco’s 125-year-old Old Town Hall, located at 300 East Main Street, currently houses the Visitor Information Center and Main Street public bathrooms. It has played a unique role in Frisco’s history, always being utilized and tailored to the needs of the community, including use as a meeting space for Town government, as a gathering space for community events, as a childcare center, and as a support for Frisco’s tourism economy in this most recent iteration. It is a prime example of the building style and architecture of its time, is one of very few historic Town government or public structures left in Frisco, and is iconic in the way it supports our historic Main Street’s vitality.

In January of 2022, Council was presented a plan to retrofit and update Old Town Hall, also known as the Frisco/Copper Visitor Information Center. At that time, the direction to staff was to include an ADA ramp on the Main Street entrance to the facility, update the interior to include more energy efficient infrastructure and fixtures, and remodel the restroom facilities. In August of 2022, Council directed staff to make Old Town Hall Park a priority as well, as it sits behind Old Town Hall and is addressed in the Neighborhood Parks Master Plan.

In October of 2022, Stais Architecture and Interiors (SAI), along with Town staff, presented Council with preliminary construction costs of $2.13 million, which came in 28% above the budgeted amount of $1.6 million. After this meeting, staff reevaluated its project planning process and sought the assistance of an owner’s representative firm, Wember Inc. Together with SAI, Wember assisted staff in taking the best approach in effectively using the space, meeting the needs of the community, and responsibly using the budget. Wember and staff believed that it would be plausible for an expansion of the facility and the restrooms within the existing budget, and the project team worked with a general contractor to explore these options. Ultimately, the expansion ended up being too expensive with construction pricing coming in at $2,325,739. Based on the cost estimates, Council directed staff to stay within the budgeted amount of $1.6M and utilize the existing footprint of the building, rather than continuing to pursue expansion of the restroom and information center space.

Staff then worked to solicit the best price for this smaller project, and subsequently, Council was provided with a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) contract to review which included a start date for this summer and a six-month construction timeline. The project will now include a remodel of the existing facility with the addition of an ADA ramp at the Main Street entrance into the facility, an update to the interior of the Visitor Information Center, and a full remodel of the public restrooms which see almost 100,000 users each year. Additionally, this project will electrify the facility by removing the gas service and installing a new electrical boiler along with high efficiency heating units. There will also be upgrades to the park which will include a redesigned plaza with seating walls, stamped and colored concrete, and landscaping with low to no water plantings.

The Town received two proposals. AD Miller, who is also working on the Slopeside Hall project at the Peninsula Recreation Area, proposed a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) of $1,897,843.50 for the project, with Old Town Hall totaling $1,533,854.46 and Old Town Hall Park totaling $363,989.04. This was the lowest proposal received for this project.

Town Council approved Resolution 24-26 to enter into a contract with AD Miller Services, Inc.

Frisco Town Council Meetings: Ways to Participate

Frisco Town Council meetings are available to view via Zoom and YouTube, and are also held in person to make Town Council meetings easier to access for everyone.

The public can provide comment during meetings via Zoom or in person (not YouTube), and a public comment period will be available at 7:00pm; during the consideration of ordinances; and at the discretion of Town Council during work session items, which are discussions that don’t require a formal vote by Town Council and do not require public comment. Again, this hybrid approach is intended to make Town Council meetings more accessible, and meeting recordings will typically also be made available the day after a meeting in the meeting archive with agenda topics bookmarked to the discussions in the video.