Town News

Catch Up with Council, November 10, 2020 – Marina Performance Audit, Strategic Plan Update, 50% Occupancy Discussion, Social Equity Discussion, Adopting the 2021 Budget, COVID Response

Frisco Bay Marina – Operational Performance Audit

Since the “Big Dig” project, which deepened the bay, and Phase 1 improvements in 2019, the additional space, new amenities, and improvements resulted in a highest ever volume of guests at the Frisco Bay Marina. As a result of this growth, staff recognized the need to reevaluate the daily operations and to effectively and thoughtfully plan for the future. The recent success at the marina has brought to the forefront challenges with the bathrooms, parking, customer traffic flow, and safety, as well as opportunities to evaluate and improve services.

In light of all these changes and opportunities, the Town of Frisco contracted with F3 Marina to conduct an operational assessment of the Frisco Bay Marina in September 2020. This audit included: interviews and meetings with all available staff, roundtable discussions with slip holders, a review of marina operations, facilities, and equipment. A key recommendation from the audit is to further separate services for motorized use and Marina operations from paddle sports rentals by dedicating the Lund House to paddle sports and the new office and retail building to motor sports customers. This separation would be intended to help with the flow and efficiency of Marina traffic and operations.

On September 22, 2020, Council approved a sole source contract with Stais Architecture & Interiors to complete construction drawings, assist with bidding and permitting, and to serve in the construction administrative role for the duration of the construction project for the new retail and office building. In September, Stais Architecture worked with F3 Marina to incorporate the consultant’s recommendations into the new office and retail building design.

The new building design remains at 2,290 square feet, which is the same square footage as originally presented in September, but a key change is the creation of a multi-purpose space, instead of a staff breakroom, in order to build a space that is usable by more people.

F3 Marina also recommended expanding bathroom facilities to accommodate the high volume of users.

Town of Frisco 2020-2021 Strategic Plan Update.

In July 2020, Town Council held two retreats reviewing the list of priorities and goals for the next 6 to 12 months. As part of this ongoing process in January 2021, Town Council will have an in depth discussion regarding the future vision for the Town of Frisco. Evaluating and adopting a specific vision will provide guidance as to purpose and expected outcomes for Town Council priorities, projects, and programs.

Based on high-priority goals identified by the 2019 Council, Town Council identified the following five strategic priorities:

  • The Town of Frisco will be an Inclusive Community;
  • The Town of Frisco will strive to create a Thriving Economy;
  • The Town of Frisco will take action to achieve a Sustainable Environment;
  • The Town of Frisco will prioritize its Vibrant Culture, Art & Recreation
  • Providing Quality Core Services are the heart of the Town of Frisco.

The Town Council also identified several high-priority goals to be incorporated into the Town’s work plans immediately:

  • Inclusive Community High Priority Goals: Increase Full-time Residents to 50%, Implement Plans to improve Social Equity and Justice, Adopt a five-year Housing Plan and Implement Housing Projects (CDOT, Granite Street).
  • Thriving Economy Priority Goal: Development of Main Street Economy
  • Sustainable Environment High Priority Goal: Net Zero along with Implementation of the Climate Action Plan
  • Core Services High Priority Goals: Strengthen Infrastructure Resiliency and Digitize Government Services

Each of these goals will be discussed at a later time at length; however, during the November 10 Council meeting, goals around increasing full-time residents to 50%, and implementing plans to improve social equity and justice were on the agenda for discussion.

Discussion of Strategic Plan Goal – 50% Residential Occupancy

Town Council recently established a strategic plan goal to increase the proportion of full-time residents of Frisco from the current level up to 50 percent.  Based on 2010 Census data (2020 results are not released yet) and data from the 2019 Summit County Housing Needs Assessment (which also uses 2010 Census data), there is currently 42% full-time residency in Frisco.

The discussion focused on why this goal is important to council. Council stated that increasing full-time occupancy can:

  • Build a stronger sense of community and a more stable, resilient, compassionate and caring community
  • Develop a robust and more predictable year-round economy
  • Encourage efficiency by using homes for year-round residency
  • Create cultural vibrancy through diversity
  • Increase demographic and professional diversity to bolster inclusivity

Council also considered some unintended consequences of a higher full-time populations, such as the loss of the quiet time that comes between seasons, and the impact on existing infrastructure and resources.

The discussion turned to diversifying the housing offerings in the Town by continuing to pursue collaborations to develop additional deed restricted housing within the Town, utilizing 5A funds. There are currently a total of 170 deed restricted or Town managed employee units, however, it is unlikely that building of new residential units using 5A funds alone would be sufficient to achieve the goal of increasing residency to 50%, so other options will need to be considered, including incentive programs and marketing initiatives, to increase the number of full-time residents. Council discussed forming a housing subcommittee to determine which steps would best meet the goal of increasing residency.

Discussion Regarding Implementation of a Social Equity Initiative.

For several years, Council has affirmed their priority around encouraging an inclusive community, and this pivotal moment in our culture and country has brought the conversation around inclusivity and equity to the forefront. Council again stated their commitment to being proactive on social equity issues by identifying equity gaps now in Town policies and programs to establish an inclusive and diverse community. This goal of inclusivity ties in with the previously discussed goal of building full-time residency, in that cultural, demographic, racial, and economic diversity will result in a more stable, vibrant, and compassionate community. The Town staff organized three meetings with representatives from the community and Town, in order to discuss actions that could make Frisco a better community for all. It was important to Council that they first ask the community what they saw as gaps and how those gaps could be filled before making any decisions or embarking on a planning process.

Topics that participants prioritized were as follows:

  • Improve the integration of Frisco’s native population by regularly telling the story of native inhabitants and also tell the story of who lives in Frisco now
    • Create and facilitate “the conversation”, which includes authentic and tough discussions about how everyone is experiencing this community
    • Continue to focus on housing and how diverse housing options encourage diverse residents to make Frisco their home
    • Focus on recreational activities by better explaining offerings and expanding offerings
    • Promote respectful speech that welcomes diverse residents and visitors
    • Be clear about who we are and what are intentions are so there is a common understanding that our community goal is to be open and welcoming

Town Council approved $30,000 for social equity initiatives in the 2021 budget and gave staff the go ahead to use a part of this budget to contract with the National League of Cities (NLC) to work with their Race, Equity, And Leadership (REAL) team. The NLC will assist the Town in coming up with an actionable plan to encourage and support inclusivity and equity in Frisco.  

Adoption of the 2021 Budget

Town Council adopted the 2021 budget:

  • Budgeted expenditures: $29,781,140
  • Budgeted revenues and reserves: $54,568,760
  • Projected ending fund balance at the end of 2021: $24,787,620

The financial impacts resulting from COVID-19 are far from being fully known and the projections made in this 2021 budget recognize that this is a fluid situation. Overall, the Town’s fund reserves demonstrate the Town is prepared to weather the current economic crisis, while maintaining a fiercely conservative and strategic perspective in its spending for the foreseeable future.

To follow the journey of the 2021 budget from the first work session to adoption, check out the earlier editions of Catch up with Council

General Discussion / Action on COVID-19 Response

Enforcement of Public Health Orders

With the most recent public health order enacted to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Frisco Police Department has stepped up enforcement of the orders. The department has rescheduled Community Service Officer (CSO) shifts to enable CSOs, as well as police officers, to visit businesses to ensure compliance with face covering, occupancy, closure time, and all other public health orders.

Delayed Opening of the Tubing Hill

Summit Public Health approved the Frisco Adventure Park tubing hill and Nordic Center operations plan recently, and it is currently pending State approval. These plans include outdoor ticketing and minimal use of the lodges for restroom needs. The tubing hill was scheduled to open on Thanksgiving Day. However, due to the recent steep rise in COVID-19 cases and the resulting new public health orders, Council decided to postpone this opening until COVID-19 numbers decrease in order to make an investment now in our health and the future of our ski season. Both the State of Colorado and Summit Public Health are encouraging everyone to refrain from interacting with other households for the rest of November in order to protect our health and save our winter. It is the Town’s hope that numbers will improve and tubing will open sometime in December.   

The Frisco Nordic Center will still open on Thanksgiving Day, as it is an inherently more solitary activity on miles of trails, which make physical distancing easier.