Colorado BBQ Challenge Discussion
The cancellation or revamping of most events during the COVID-19 pandemic created a space for discussion and re-evaluation events as whole, which took place during a work session meeting on February 23, 2021. During that discussion, Town Council directed staff to return with a discussion specific to the BBQ Challenge to better understand the event’s current relevance to the Town, its importance to the community, its relational value to the community’s character and values, and its economic impact. In preparation for this discussion, a survey was conducted to gain information about the BBQ Challenge. The survey questions were reviewed and edited by RRC Associates, and the survey was distributed through e-newsletters, social media, and traditional media coverage. RRC Associates, a company that specializes in custom market research, analysis and consulting solutions, then analyzed the results.
There were 1,793 survey responses, which is an unusually high level of response compared to past Town surveys on a variety of issues.
- Business owners were most likely to report that the BBQ Challenge had a positive impact on business, however, business owners on Main Street gave comparable but slightly more negative responses.
- 87% of respondents that do not own businesses in Frisco would “like to see the event remain in Frisco.” About 64% of business owners recorded this opinion, but with 9% unsure. One in five business owners (22%) said they would not like to see the BBQ event remain in Frisco.
- Importantly, while 73% of full time Frisco residents would like to see the event remain in Frisco, and 82% of Summit County residents feel this way, respondents from beyond Summit County (including second homeowners) are strongly in favor of the event remaining in Frisco (93% to 97%).
- The full results seem to signal that the community is certainly open to some change and evolution with this event.
Town Council decided to bring back the Colorado BBQ Challenge in June 2022 and to take this opportunity to better align the event with the community’s values by going “back to basics”. Council gave staff direction to bring the event back in a simpler form and closer to its roots by focusing on the elements of the BBQ Challenge which were identified as important by the community in the recent BBQ survey: BBQ food and libations, music, and meeting with friends. This approach would mean that ancillary event components, such as bouncy houses, cook-offs, chef demos, and carnival type attractions and food, would be cut from the event in order to focus on the quality of the event by securing more high quality BBQ vendors; additional non-carnival food vendors, perhaps with a focus on Colorado sourced; more seating areas; and quality live music acts.
Council also asked staff to look at the event more creatively and bring in components which would appeal to the community and better align with the community’s values. Staff explained that they anticipate that the event will still have larger than desired attendance numbers due to pent up demand for this “back to basics” reboot in 2022, and that staff will work to bring the event back to be more of a community event which better benefits all local businesses and the community in the years to come by reducing marketing, refocusing the event on quality over quantity, and reducing attendee numbers.
Update on the Summit School District’s New Strategic Plan and Graduate Profile
Interim Superintendent Roy Crawford and Chief Academic Officer Mary Kay Dore presented the Summit School District’s new strategic plan and graduate profile. Both emphasized that what made this plan so unique to previous plans was the participation of students, parents, all school staff from bus drivers to teachers, and interested community members. The strategic plan has three focus areas: academic and personal success for every student through a diverse set of pathways to learning and graduation, an equity seeking system that honors and builds upon every single students’ cultural and personal identity, and a commitment to family and community partnerships in the interest of enhancing learning and supporting student success. The defined graduate profile included the following characteristics that the school district is supporting students to achieve: courageous, curious, globally aware, prepared and growth oriented.
Council encouraged the school district to continue to find creative ways to get this new strategic plan and graduate profile to parents. Superintendent Roy Crawford also responded to questions around staffing by discussing the kind of environment and support that school district leadership aspires to in order to keep and attract the best staff and to inspire and support staff to provide an exceptional learning environment for all students.
Workforce Housing Discussion Follow-up
On September 14, 2021, Town Council held a work session to discuss various housing strategies that focused on specific projects and programs and staff returned to this meeting with a recap in order to summarize and reaffirm Council’s direction on housing strategies prioritized in short, mid, and long-term actions. Council also provided feedback on various ongoing efforts to alleviate the housing shortage, and how to move efficiently in the areas of development opportunities, policy and regulatory measures, and funding.
275 Granite Street Parcel
Council again discussed options with the Town-owned lot at 275 Granite, currently used as parking and snow storage. Council discussed whether to develop the lot, and the desired outcome (market rate or workforce housing), or whether to sell the lot with encumbrances and density bonuses. Ultimately, council decided to hold onto the parcel for the time being, and to get an appraisal for this property.
Long Term Rental Incentive Program
There was also a discussion about setting up a program incentivizing short-term rentals to convert to long-term rentals. Staff suggested flat fees per bedroom, plus insurance to ease the risk factor to landlords, as well as the possibility of providing/funding management services for these converted rentals. Staff was asked to return as soon as possible to present a program of this type.
Real Estate Investment Fee (REIF) Exemption
Council members also had a discussion about reevaluating the Town’s “Locals Exemption” which exempts local buyers from part or all of the REIF for qualified purchasers and asked staff to return with an amended ordinance for Council discussion.
Housing Helps Update
The goal of the Housing Helps program is to incentivize real estate buyers and homeowners to deed restrict their property in order to maintain and sustain homes for locals in the community. The Town of Frisco Housing Helps Program pays buyers, businesses, current property owners, and investors to accept a deed restriction on homes that are currently unrestricted.
There are two Housing Helps properties owned by the same person closing on October 4, 2021 for down payment assistance on purchases. The newly placed deed restriction will now limit occupancy in these two units to local workforce community members with no income cap, price appreciation cap, or household size requirement. Both properties are two bedroom/1 bath condo units in Frisco.
Resolution in Support of Summit Combined Housing Authority’s Ballot Question 5A
In 2016, voters approved a temporary sales tax of six tenths of one percent (0.6%) for the purpose of improving the quality, availability, and affordability of housing in Summit County. At the September 28 meeting, Frisco Town Council voted via the consent agenda to support a twenty-year extension of the temporary sales tax of six tenths of one percent (0.6%) for the purpose of improving the quality, availability, and affordability of housing in Summit County. Frisco Town Council strongly supports the passage of ballot question 5A, which will appear on the November 2, 2021 coordinated countywide election ballot, and urges the electors of the Town to vote in favor of ballot question 5A.
Bonnie Moinet Day
The Frisco Town Council proclaimed September 28 to be Bonnie Moinet Day in Frisco to honer Bonnie Moinet, who has been the Town of Frisco’s Finance Director since April 2007. Bonnie is retiring on October 1 after 14 years and having provided the Town with strong fiscal stewardship and the financing of many key improvements, including the Frisco Adventure Park development, the Step Up Main Street project, the Basecamp project, and ongoing Marina improvement projects. Under Bonnie’s leadership, the Town of Frisco has earned the following awards from the Government Finance Officers Association:
- The Certificate for Achievement for the Excellence in Financial Reporting every year since 2008,
- The Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting every year since 2009,
- The Distinguished Budget Presentation Award every year since 2009.
Bonnie has worked on 15 Town of Frisco budgets through the Great Recession, into recovery, through the COVID-19 pandemic without compromising core services for Frisco’s residents.
Bonnie’s intelligence, integrity, professionalism, sense of humor, humility, and kindness have inspired us all and made the Town of Frisco a better place to work and live. Bonnie’s Bassets, Mickey and Babe have stolen hearts, distributed drool throughout Frisco, and distracted us all from the woes of the past 13 months. The Town Council and Town of Frisco staff wish Bonnie all the best as she embraces her love of travel and sets out on an epic road trip in her van and with Mickey and Babe, as well deepest gratitude to this dedicated professional for her exceptional service to this community over the past 14 years.