Town News

Catchup with Council, October 27, 2020 Meeting – Shop Local Program Reboot, COVID Testing at 1st & Main Discussion, Right-of-Way Authorization for Businesses, PRA Vision and Plan, 2021 Budget, COVID Response

Summit County Library Building Project Presentation

The Summit County Library Foundation is launching a capital campaign to raise $1,000,000 by December 2021 to help fund library improvements at the Main Library in Frisco and the North Branch in Silverthorne. Summit County has budgeted 1.9 million dollars to support these upgrades, but more resources will be needed to improve these heavily used facilities. The upgrades will include:

  • Remodeled children and teen rooms
  • Expanded adult reading areas
  • New study rooms and meeting rooms
  • New, more efficient entrance to the Main Library in Frisco
  • 2,000 square foot addition to the North Branch in Silverthorne

View the presentation videos here:

Conceptual design video for Frisco Main Branch

Conceptual design video for the North Branch in Silverthorne

Presenters from the library and library board were there to ask for assistance in spreading the word about the library fundraising efforts, which are just beginning. They are hoping that construction can start in spring 2021.

Love Frisco, Winter Frisco (Shop/Stay) Program Reboot

In June 2020, the Town of Frisco launched the Love Frisco, Shop/Stay Frisco Program with $125,000 in funding committed by Town Council in May 2020. This program encouraged spending in local businesses by providing Town funded bonus e-gift cards. Of the original $125,000 that Town Council invested in the Love Frisco, Shop/Stay Frisco Program, $53,712 remains. At the direction of Town Council during their August 25 meeting, the Town’s technology partner, Yiftee, is still holding these funds.

During the October 27 meeting, Council approved the Love Frisco, Winter Frisco program be relaunched and renamed, with e-gift card sales from November 15, 2020 through January 15, 2021 and bonus cards expiring on March 30, 2021. The winter program will function much like the summer program, and will be promoted as part of Wassail Days, but also independently to continue to encourage shopping, eating, and staying local this holiday season and beyond. The Town will use the $53,712 remaining from the summer program for the winter program, and any businesses signed up for the summer program will be automatically signed up for the winter program. Qualifying business that did not opt in for the summer will have the opportunity to opt in for the winter. The spending and bonus amounts will remain the same:

  • Spend $30, receive a $10 bonus
  • Spend $75, receive a $25 bonus
  • Spend $120, receive a $40 bonus

Council has asked staff to closely monitor the funds left in the program and return to Council with updates and any requests for additional funding if necessary.

Vail Health and Summit County Request to Use the First and Main Building for COVID-19 Testing

In order to increase COVID-19 testing capabilities in Summit County, Summit Public Health has requested the use of the 1st and Main Building as an additional testing facility; Vail Health would offer cheek swab testing there. Town Council unanimously agreed that they wanted to be part of the solution to make increased testing available in Summit County by finding and providing a space in Frisco. Council also discussed the advantages and limitations around using the 1st and Main Building, and other options were discussed, including the Old Community Center at 3rd and Granite, as well as the Lund House at the Frisco Bay Marina.

Council agreed that time was of the essence so it was vital to move quickly. Several Council members were concerned that the 1st and Main Building on Frisco Main Street might not be the right location for a COVID-19 testing site so Council directed staff to quickly research what it would take to establish the Old Community Center as a COVID-19 testing site. Staff would need to move current youth programs out of the Old Community Center into a different licensed building, in order to accommodate testing.

Authorization to Use Public Spaces/Right-of-Ways to Accommodate Changing Business Needs

Council approved Resolution 20-26, which allows the Town Manager to approve license agreements for the use of public spaces/right-of-ways and/or parklet use through June 1, 2021. The May 26, 2020 resolution that originally granted this authorization to accommodate use of Town public spaces/right-of-ways to accommodate the Frisco Pedestrian Promenade expires on November 1, 2020, and an extension was needed in order to continue to execute agreements for business use of the Town public spaces/right-of-ways.

In May, Town Council authorized the Town Manager to implement the Frisco Pedestrian Promenade and execute necessary license (Town property use) agreements with businesses on behalf of the Town. This increased efficiency in setting up and implementing the Pedestrian Promenade, as these license agreements would otherwise require approval of Town Council at a regular meeting. Similarly, the Town would like to continue to be rapidly responsive to business needs when deploying parklets for use by various businesses around town.  

Businesses have expressed a continued need to utilize outdoor space, including the use of parklets (mobile decks that fit into parking spaces built and provided by the Town of Frisco), because of the occupancy limitations imposed through State and local public health orders related to COVID-19. The first 19 parklet sections were placed on Main Street in parking spaces in front of businesses on October 19, with the remaining 21 parklet sections anticipated to be deployed in the next several weeks.  

Frisco Adventure Park at the Peninsula Recreation Area Comprehensive Vision & Project Implementation Plan

Town Council adopted the Comprehensive Vision & Project Implementation Plan for the Frisco Adventure Park at the Peninsula Recreation Area. Council supported the Plan with recommendations and edits prior to adoption, such as reviewing the plan with the Frisco Planning Commission, improving labeling on maps, and removing summer tubing from the plan.  Based on the prioritization recommendations from the Plan, Council budgeted $200,000 in the 2021 capital budget for design development of the Village Center and $10,000 for the wedding overlook.

In August 2019, the Town of Frisco contracted with Lose Design to complete a Comprehensive Vision and Project Implementation Plan for the Peninsula Recreation Area (PRA). After significant community outreach, the plan was presented to Town Council on September 22, 2020. The Plan is an in-depth design evaluation that considers current uses and facilities, previous ideas and reports, community input, and desired future uses. The Plan aligns any proposed improvements and enhancements with three goals:

1) Revenue-generating opportunities
2) Operational efficiencies
3) Value-added enhancements

The Plan is a road map intended to be implemented over time in alignment with community needs and feedback and fiscal considerations, and encompasses many components, including better facilities for Nordic and tubing operations, more adequate bathroom and community gathering facilities, more dedicated spaces for youth programs, trail improvements, and much more. The $30M plan would not be funded in one chunk, and instead, would be would be phased in over years if still seen as needed and relevant.

2021 Budget

Town Council approved the second reading of the 2021 budget.

On September 21, 2020, staff presented a draft budget to Council during their work session, which did not include any non-essential expenditures or capital projects. At that time, Council added some of those items and capital projects into the budget, based upon Council’s project priorities and relevance to Council’s Strategic Goals. These changes were incorporated into the 2021 budget ordinance, including $1.96M in capital improvements.

Due to ongoing uncertainty, the Town is continuing to budget very conservatively to continue to meet the needs of the Town, and conservative budgeting over the years, as well as a nimble response to the pandemic, have put the Town in a secure financial situation. The General Fund ending fund balance is required to equal seven months of operating expenditures or approximately $7M, and in 2020, the general fund is projected to end at approximately one year of operating expenses.

As part of the budget process Council approved:

  • An ordinance establishing the 2021 budget.
  • An ordinance levying general property taxes for the year 2020. The Town expects to receive approximately $194,000 in property tax revenues, which are part of the General Fund and help to defray the cost of general operations for the Town of Frisco for the 2021 budget year.
  • A Resolution Establishing a Temporary General Fund Budget Stabilization Reserve- This Reserve will be available for utilization by a majority decision of the Town Council if economic conditions worsen to such a point that the Town’s essential operations are threatened, in the event there is opportunity to pursue a capital project that would be of future benefit to the town, or for emergency purposes or, in any instances Town Council may deem funding is required to meet the needs of the Town.
  • Town Council also directed staff to return with a work session presentation in January to facilitate a discussing of the vision/mission for the Town and in February in to discuss how events and marketing and allocation of the lodging tax meet this vision/mission.

General Discussion on COVID-19 Response

Town staff provided an update on and review of the Summit Public Health Orders issued on October 28. These newly amended orders address the need for serious action to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in our community in order to avoid further restrictions mandated by the State. The Town of Frisco, along with all of Summit’s communities, have committed to stepping up enforcement. Frisco has adapted the Community Service Officer work schedules to direct more resources towards enforcement.

The data from contact tracing indicates that group gatherings are a significant cause of viral spread, and the new orders target behaviors associated with group gatherings and alcohol use, including afterhours consumption and gatherings by staff at bars and restaurants. Also, Council urged Town staff to continue to spread the word about making decisions that support Public Health this Halloween; this includes avoiding group gatherings and traditional trick-or-treating. Town Council emphasized that the stakes are high, saving our winter, our health, and our economy.