Town News

Catch Up with Council January 28 Meeting- Solar, Dig-Once, Summit Stage, & More

Recap of the January 28, 2020 Frisco Town Council Meeting

Non-Profit Grant Presentation

Through Frisco’s 2020 grant process, Frisco Town Council expressed its continued support for local non-profit groups who serve the Frisco community. Town Council awarded $69,400 in cash and $17,386 in in-kind donations to 46 non-profit organizations; $10,000 will go toward college scholarships for Frisco high school seniors.

Council also recognized larger cash contributions outside of the grant process totaling $140,900, which were distributed to Summit County Preschool, Building Hope Foundation, Community Care Clinic, Child Advocacy Center, and the Energy Smart and Resource Wise programs of High Country Conservation Center. These programs were identified as making vital contributions to the health and welfare of Frisco residents.

Dig-Once Policy Discussion

Council discussed a dig-once policy and decided that they wanted to see an ordinance regarding this policy on their February 11, 2020 regular meeting. This ordinance would provide the Town with the opportunity to install high speed broadband/fiber infrastructure when excavation is being done for other projects. Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Dillon and Summit County have adopted similar ordinances to provide for the efficient and cost effective installation of high speed broadband communications facilities, while limiting the disruption to the public by digging once. It would provide for the following:

  1. Broadband conduit would be installed during all Town projects if deemed beneficial.
  2. Broadband conduit would be installed when utility companies are performing work in the Town of Frisco right of way. The Town would pay the cost to co-locate broadband conduit in this case.
  3. Broadband conduit would be installed during new development or new street projects. The total cost of the installation would be paid by the developer and dedicated to the Town.

Adoption of this ordinance aligns with Council’s goals to provide quality core services, support a thriving economy and create an inclusive community by ensuring high speed broadband communications system can be installed in the Town over time and with fiscally responsible spending.

Excelsior House Discussion

Council discussed additional options regarding the relocation and historic rehabilitation of the Excelsior House. Sites at Triangle Park, 1st Avenue/ Main Street and Madison Avenue/Main Street were considered. Town Council made the decision to continue the discussion and not rush into this project, while considering other possible site options as they arise.

Summit Stage Discussion

Council welcomed Summit Stage Director, Curtis Garner, who addressed cutbacks in service made by the Summit Stage recently due to recruitment issues. Summit Stage staff noted staffing shortages are happening across the transportation industry nationwide. In an effort to retain staff and attract new staff, Mr. Garner explained that they needed to make schedule changes in consideration of continued concerns about driver workload, sustained overtime and burn out. Council asked if an adjustment to pay might assist in recruitment and retention, and Mr. Garner announced that just that evening Summit County had reached an agreement with the transit union representing Summit Stage drivers, which would increase wages. He reiterated that they regularly evaluate routes, schedules and ridership and would continue to do so.

Community Solar Proposal

As part of the Council’s strategic plan to reach net zero carbon emissions and to utilize renewable energy whenever possible, staff was directed to investigate and find efficient and cost effective methods to help achieve these goals. Staff identified an opportunity to partner with the Clean Energy Collective (CEC) to participate in CEC’s proposed solar array/garden project, which is coming on-line in early summer 2020 and is located on the Front Range. The CEC program does not requires a down payment or other up-front costs, and the Town will realize savings on Xcel Energy bills starting in June when the solar array/garden goes online with Xcel. Along with these energy bill savings, the Town will not have to alter existing structures or incur the ongoing maintenance or replacement costs for solar panels.

Amendments Concerning Telecommunications Facilities to Revise Regulations Concerning Small Cell Wireless Facilities

Upon second reading, Town Council passed an ordinance concerning small cell wireless facilities with one change to height limits to allow 10 additional feet on existing utility poles instead of the original two feet additional limitation for the installation of small cell wireless “towers”. The purpose of this ordinance is to revise the Frisco Unified Development Code (UDC) to conform to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requirements and limitations related to small cell wireless facilities. Within the boundaries of these FCC requirements and limitations, this ordinance provides for rules around height, spacing and design standards.

On September 26, 2018, the FCC adopted rules regarding small cell telecommunications and the acceleration of wireless infrastructure necessary for 5G and other advanced wireless services through the relaxation of regulatory barriers affecting local permit processes. The existing provisions of the Frisco UDC did not fully comply with the requirements and limitations of this FCC ruling so amendments needed to be made to the Frisco UDC to comply with these federal rules.

Next Meeting

The next regularly scheduled Town Council meeting is on February 11, 2020; the agenda and packet will be posted on Friday, February 7, 2020. The public is always encouraged to attend both the work session and the regular meeting at 7:00pm.