Town News

Catchup with Council, December 13, 2022 – Arts & Culture, Home Improvement Loan, Marina Improvements

Arts and Culture Strategic Plan Discussion

Town staff presented to Council a Strategic Arts and Culture plan, which maps out a five-year strategy to enable the implementation of arts and culture programming in Frisco that supports the community’s character, vision, and creative community.

During the November 9, 2021, Town Council arts and culture discussion, Town Council directed staff to move forward with the creation of a five-year arts and culture strategic plan that would express the mission, vision, and path to implementation of arts and culture programming in Frisco through a planning process that involves the community. Therefore, the Arts and Culture Strategic Plan RFP was released on February 4, 2022 with a March 16, 2022 submittal deadline. Ten proposals were received by the deadline. Subsequently, 23.4 Degrees was chosen to lead the arts and culture planning process with the Town, which started in May.

The Frisco Five-Year Arts and Culture Plan presented to Council on December 13 is the product of clear goals to have a plan that is easy to understand, informed deeply by public process, and actionable. While the plan will speak for itself, highlights of the plan include a focus on opportunities for youth, supporting mental health through programming that encourages community attachment, the formation of a Frisco Arts and Culture Council, researching the viability of filling a void around music production and rehearsal space in Summit County, long term planning around a Frisco “art lab”, and housing that encourages and supports the creative community. It is envisioned that the Frisco Five-Year Arts and Culture Plan will inform the way forward for a Frisco Arts and Culture Council, as well as the Town’s investment in arts and culture.

Town Council directed staff to return in January with an ordinance to form a Frisco Arts and Culture Council and a resolution approving the plan, after making some changes to the language in the plan to make it clear that all programs in the plan would first be assessed for feasibility and through the lens of funding before an implementation could occur. Council also clarified that the plan is road map which relies on budget and the direction of Council going forward and will be constantly assessed and reviewed for feasibility with the help of the future Frisco Arts and Culture Council.

Legislative Policy Discussion

Staff presented Town Council with a proposed legislative policy statement, or a document that would aid Town Council and staff in taking and communicating official positions on subject matter important to the Town. The goal of the proposed policy statement is to identify general legislative issues that impact the Town of Frisco and to provide guidance on where the Town stands on these issues. The Town’s stance is intended to be consistent with Town Council’s Strategic Plan priorities. Issues include commonly discussed topics among Council including childcare, economic development, housing, and transportation and mobility.

Council agreed that they would like to proceed with a legislative policy statement and that Council should reach consensus before approving any statement. Also, the statement should be regularly reviewed, particularly when new Councilmembers are elected. A Council subcommittee will be working to revise the statement before bringing it back to Council in early 2023 for discussion and potential approval.

Home Improvement Loan Program

As Town Council and staff continue to take multiple approaches to increasing the affordability and availability of housing in Frisco and to increasing the proportion of full-time Frisco residents to 50%, staff presented a proposed home improvement loan program intended to assist community members who own their homes but may not have cash to pay for major home repairs.

In summary, this potential loan program would be for homeowners who occupy their Frisco homes full-time, as their primary residence. Loan requirements still need to be approved by Council but some suggestions for requirements included that the loans could only be used for needed home repairs, such as roofs, electrical, plumbing or mechanical systems, foundations, or other similar structural or systems repairs. Loans could not be used for aesthetic improvements such as kitchen remodels, deck or patios, driveway resurfacing, painting or siding, or other routine maintenance. Staff proposed that loans should accrue interest at a suggested rate of 3% with a default rate of prime +3 at the time of the default.

Because the home improvement loan program is intended to support full-time residents in maintaining their primary residence in Frisco and ultimately is revenue neutral, the program could be funded from general fund or the housing fund per Council’s direction. A recommendation for an initial program fund would be $250,000, with a maximum loan amount of $50,000. Council directed staff to continue to develop this loan program, refine the criteria, and return to Council at a future date to more formally consider this loan program through a proposed ordinance.

Mountain Dreamers Presentation

Peter Bakken, Executive Director of Mountain Dreamers, described the goals of Mountain Dreamers, which is helping immigrants to gain work authorization and keep their families together. Mountain Dreamers staff also provided suggestions to support immigrant populations, which include better language access, reducing barriers to renting and buying homes, and making licensing, such as business, driver, and liquor licensing, more accessible and easier to understand for all. Mountain Dreamers also provides a legal defense fund for immigration proceedings and even assists immigrants in obtaining drivers licenses.

Council asked Mountain Dreamers staff what would happen if DACA were to go away, and Mountain Dreamers staff explained that large employers, such as the Summit School District and St. Anthony Summit Hospital, who have employees with work authorization through DACA, would lose a significant number of employees. Federally, 22,000 DACA authorized employees would lose their work authorization per month if DACA were to be rescinded. Council thanked Mountain Dreamers for their work and said that they wanted to continue to support Mountain Dreamers and make changes that support immigrants.

Police Department Remodel and Expansion Ribbon Cutting

At 6:30 pm, Council took a moment to cut the ribbon on the Frisco Police Department’s first update in 22 years. The newly expanded and remodeled space includes bunk rooms and locker rooms for both men and women, a dedicated and updated interview space, a squad room which can act as a backup for the County’s Emergency Operations Center, a HVAC system that keeps the temperature comfortable year-round, and yes, a fully functional kitchen with running water, which was not available before the remodel.

This seven and a half month, 1.5-million-dollar project was approved by Town Council to serve the community by better supporting the Frisco Police Department staff and their service and professionalism.  Chief Wickman and Mayor Pro Tem Rick Ihnken thanked many for their diligent work, including the contractors, sub-contractors, and Town departments and staff who brought this project from idea to reality, including MW Golden Constructors, the Police Department staff, Community Development staff, and Frisco Public Works staff.

Frisco Bay Marina Landscaping

In accordance with the 2018 Marina Master Plan, the Town of Frisco took on a significant improvement project at the Frisco Bay Marina called the “Big Dig” starting in 2019. Since the completion of the “Big Dig”, which lowered the grade in the Frisco Bay up to 13 feet to extend the boating season at the Frisco Bay Marina, improvements included a new Marina building (Frisco Bay Landing), a new fuel system, improved site utilities, and a new sewer lift station. With the completion of all underground and vertical site work, Town Council tasked staff, Stais Architecture and Interiors (SAI), and Norris Design with completing a schematic design for the area’s landscaping for the nearly 50,000 square feet of vacant space between the water’s edge, the beach, the Lund House, and the new Frisco Bay Landing.

This design, presented to Council in February 2022, created a newly landscaped area to be as flexible as possible, to allow the Town to host potential events, be more welcoming to Marina users, and create a much better flow and circulation of people throughout the waterfront area.

After the project was put out to bid in May 2022, and a revised bid package sent again in the fall of 2022, staff recommended the sole proposal received from Columbine Hills Construction working in partnership with 2V’S Landscaping and Irrigation, as both companies have a passion for the community and Columbine would be returning to the Frisco Bay Marina area after their work on “Big Dig”. The initial proposal was outside of the budgeted amount for the work, so Town staff adjusted the scope to better accommodate the current adopted budget of $750,000.

Town Council directed staff to move forward with this adjusted scope for the Frisco Bay Marina Area landscaping project and approved the contract with Columbine Hills for $771,195.60 in order to move the Marina project to completion. Staff will return to Council in the future to seek for any additional appropriations over the $750,000 budgeted amount for the Frisco Bay Marina landscaping project.

Second Reading Dillon Reservoir Recreation Area Ordinance

Town Council approved on second reading an ordinance that amends sections of the Town Code regarding the Dillon Reservoir Recreation Area. Recreation within the Dillon Reservoir Recreation Area is managed by the interagency Dillon Reservoir Recreation Committee (DRReC), comprised of Denver Water, Town of Dillon, Town of Frisco, Summit County Government, and the U.S. Forest Service, each of which either own or manage land within the Dillon Reservoir Recreation Area.

Every five years, each Chapter of the Frisco Town Code must be reviewed for possible amendment or repeal. Staff has reviewed Chapter 140 concerning rules and regulations of recreational use of the Dillon Reservoir and recommended amendments to eight sections to match the amended changes from DRReC. The changes modify definitions within the code and clarify the code language.

Sales Tax Code Updates

Staff presented Council with potential amendments to the sales tax code that would allow the Town to remain consistent with ongoing changes in legislation and new technology found in Colorado State statutes. These revisions to the code, which include new and updated definitions, aim to provide clarification on current policy and add practical exemptions to the code. Some items of note, which have been proposed for sales tax exemption at the State level, are diapers, feminine hygiene products, retail delivery fees, and disposable bag fees. These State exemptions will commence January 1, 2023. For clarity, the Town of Frisco does not currently charge sales tax on the $.25 bag fee, although it is currently not clearly exempted in the Town’s code.

Town Council directed staff to return with a revision to the code to be considered by Council in January, which would include sales tax exemptions as outlined in the staff memo, including but not limited to exemptions for diapers, feminine hygiene products, retail delivery fees, and disposable bag fees. 

New Beer, Wine and Liquor License for Vine Street Social

Town Council approved a liquor license for Vine Street Social to be located at located at 156 4th Avenue in Frisco. As prescribed in State statute, all new liquor license applications must be first submitted to the local licensing authority for approval. The applicants had filed the necessary paperwork in accordance with the Colorado Liquor Code and had undergone the necessary background checks.

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.