2021 Budget Work Session with Council and Department Directors – September 21, 2020
In a special meeting of the Town Council, Town staff presented the 2021 budget draft for Council discussion during a six-hour work session. This year, due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the uncertainty involved moving forward, staff introduced the budget with essential expenditure requests only, and provided any non-essential expenditures or capital projects separately for Council to add at their discretion in accordance with Council’s strategic goals and priorities.
During the discussion, Council noted the sound fiscal condition of the Town due to healthy reserves, savings because of conservative spending, and stronger than expected revenue. Council indicated that they were able to continue to invest in the community due to these factors, and while not every project could be funded in 2021, there were still resources available to direct staff to go forward with projects that would support Frisco’s strategic goals and quality of life.
The first reading of the budget ordinances will be considered by Town Council during the October 13 Town Council meeting.
- Town Council took immediate steps in 2020 to boost Frisco’s local businesses and assist residents, including a business grant program, a residential rental assistance program, a Main Street Promenade plan, a shop local program, and mask/sanitizer supply business giveaways. Council also directed staff to tighten budgets by leaving vacant positions unfilled and deferring all but essential capital projects.
- Additionally, the Town transferred $4.7 million dollars from the capital fund resulting in a higher general fund balance.
- Declines in Town of Frisco revenue collections for 2020 are not as severe as originally projected.
- Even though all of these factors positioned the Town to enter 2021 in solid financial condition with a 2020 projected ending fund balance of $32 million, it is important to note the key factors for this stability are the $4.7 million transfer from the Capital Improvement Fund into the General Fund and the excess fund balances of $1.6M from 2019.
Staff closely monitors economic indicators during the year, and the 2021 budget reflects the current uncertainty by proposing a conservative approach while recognizing the need to invest in the community by taking advantage of opportunities for development and maintenance of the Town’s assets and to preserve quality of life for Frisco citizens.
- The total ending fund balances for all funds in the 2021 equals $38M.
- Council decided to increase the required reserve of $7 million in the General Fund by $2 million to establish a budget stabilization reserve which would only be used if and when specific circumstances arise that Council designates for this reserve.
Each department presented council with summaries of adaptations due to COVID-19, completed projects, budget cuts, and discretionary budget requests for Council’s consideration.
Council delayed adding items to the budget that they did not consider essential or a priority, with the assumption that the budget will be revisited in April 2021 based on economic conditions.
In the 2021 budget, Council prioritized infrastructure, e.g. fiber optics, road and water system maintenance, workforce housing, etc…, going into 2021, as well as investment into recreational opportunities as vital to quality of life in Frisco and also important to the Frisco’s economic health.
For a detailed list of projects that were considered, but not necessarily approved, please see the council packet for the September 21, 2020 Special Meeting. The final proposed budget will be available for review when the October 13, 2020 Town Council packet is released on October 9, and as usual, there will be time available during the budget ordinance discussion on October 13 for public comment.2021 Budget Work Session Packet
Town Council Regular Meeting
AT&T Mobile Service Update
Staff has been working with AT&T to improve cell service in Frisco. Subsequently, AT&T has funded an immediate plan to install two small cell towers – one at Public Works and one at the fire station in the next two months to take the load of the macro tower on the Dillon Dam Road. AT&T will also install two small cell “towers” on Main Street next summer to further improve cell coverage.
Peninsula Recreation Area Comprehensive Vision and Project Implementation Plan
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.
The Plan presented to Council 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. The Plan encompass 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 total cost for implementing all of the proposed improvements and enhancements contained in the Plan totals over $30M, but components would not be funded in one chunk, and instead, would be would be phased in over years if still seen as needed and relevant.
Council provided input for Plan revisions, including direction to remove summer tubing from the Plan, and the Plan will be presented for Town Council formal approval at the October 13, 2020 Town Council meeting.
Town of Frisco Rental Assistance Program Update
On April 7, 2020, the Town Council approved the Residential Rental Assistance Grant Program in response to the economic hardship incurred by individuals due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Residential Rental Assistance program provided grants to aid individuals who live or work in Frisco and who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Town Council allocated up to $250,000 for this program, plus an additional one-time payment of $37,500 to the Family Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC) for administration of the program.
As of September 11, 2020, the Residential Assistance Program has assisted 175 clients with a total expenditure of $179,843, and therefore, $70,157 remains available.
FIRC has indicated that they have received inquiries from those who had received an initial grant about whether a second round of funding could be made available.
Council gave staff direction to extend the program to allow those in need to be eligible for a second round of assistance, and this revision to the Residential Rental Assistance Grant Program resolution will be voted on by Council during the October 13, 2020 Town Council meeting.
Excel Energy Project at the Frisco Bay Marina
To accommodate many of the upgrades being made at the Marina under the direction of the Frisco Marina Park Master Plan, including a new lift station, electric vehicle charging stations, fuel system upgrades, new buildings, power to the docks, etc…, additional electric service infrastructure is needed.
Staff began working with Xcel in the fall of 2019 on upgrade designs, including the extension of 3-phase power, three transformers, and stub-out for future phases. Total cost to the Town is $179,412.88. Xcel could start this work in early November 2020.
Council approved entering into a contractual agreement with Xcel for the additional electric service infrastructure at the Frisco Bay Marina.
Resolution Approving an Agreement with Stais Architecture & Interiors for Design Work at the Frisco Bay Marina Without a Competitive Bidding Process
Council approved a sole-source services contract with Stais Architecture & Interiors for the continuation of design services for the new retail, services, and office building at the Marina which expands the retail space, staff offices, and support spaces in a single story, wood frame building atop a concrete slab foundation. This building would sit on a portion of the currently vacant land created during the 2019 “Big Dig” project.
This contract includes completing construction drawings, assisting with bidding and permitting, and serving in the construction administrative role for the duration of the construction project, as well as site work for the building and turnaround area.
Under the Town Code, the Town Council is authorized to approve a contract for goods or services without a competitive bidding process when, in the opinion of the Council, the goods or services are best obtained from a single source due to specialized skills, knowledge or experience, unique and relevant experience, knowledge of the Town or exceptional qualifications or reputation in the field.
COVID-19 Response Ongoing General Discussion / Action
Frisco Pedestrian Promenade
After consideration of weather, visitation levels, and business demand, Council decided to close the Main Street Frisco Pedestrian Promenade on Monday, October 5, 2020. This means that businesses on the Promenade will have until approximately 10 am on October 5 to remove any of their equipment, furniture, fencing… on Main Street so Frisco Public Works can work concurrently to ready Main Street for vehicular traffic by late afternoon on October 5. While the current forecast is dry and warm, the start of fall has brought colder temperatures, earlier sunsets, and reduced crowds which indicate the need to pivot operations.
Council had a discussion regarding the new parklets (think small decks that fit into parking spaces), which Public Works is currently constructing with support from a $60,000 Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) grant. The Town of Frisco applied for, and received this parklet grant from CDOT as a way to help businesses adapt to changing conditions and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Some parklets are expected to be ready for deployment by mid-October on Frisco Main Street or anywhere else in Frisco where allowed and possible (check with those HOAs!). The parklets are designed to withstand snow load and harsh conditions. Any business interested in parklets in front of their business should contact Don Reimer at DonR@townoffrisco.com.