Walter Byron Park Update
The Town of Frisco contracted with Norris Design for Phase Two of the Walter Byron Park landscape and site improvements. Staff from Norris Design presented schematic designs for these improvements to Council for review, as well as estimated costs of construction, and solicited Council’s feedback.
Phase One improvements at Walter Byron Park, which included new bathrooms and a playground, were completed in fall of 2020 in accordance with the 2019 Neighborhood Parks Master Plan, a conceptual master plan outlining community priorities for park improvements. Town Council allocated $750,000 for this work.
Phase Two work includes a remodel or expansion of the gazebo, the creation of a wetland viewing deck to sustainably engage park visitors with the wetland area of the park, and adding boulders for additional seating areas along the Ten Mile Creek. This work was planned for 2021, but was not completed due to budgetary concerns, staffing issues, and other priorities related to the pandemic. $750,000 has been allocated for park improvements in 2022.
Council provided direction to move forward with the process and expressed the wetlands viewing area as a priority, while asking the design team to value engineer other aspects of the improvements. Staff will now work with the consultant team to prepare construction documents for solicitation of a qualified contractor.
Parks and playgrounds are heavily utilized in Frisco and are a priority for residents. The Neighborhood Parks Master Plan was a result of public input, which helped highlight the priorities for improvements to Town of Frisco parks.
Discussion on Parking for Workforce Housing
In ongoing discussions about workforce housing, council provided direction to staff to investigate options to reduce parking requirements for workforce housing developments in order to potentially increase the number of units that can be built on a given property for future projects and reduce environmental and congestion impacts of driving.
Council discussed the potential impact a reduction in parking spaces could have on those living in workforce housing, who may be the most reliant on private vehicles to get around due the nature and hours of particular jobs, incompatibility of schedules between people who would otherwise share a vehicle, as well as insufficient public transit service availability.
Council gave staff the direction to:
- Research additional public transit options such as bringing back the Frisco Flyer, establishing a local micro-transit service, or potential car-share situations for future developments
- Research development of street right-of-ways for use as permitted parking spaces for workforce housing
- Research and develop amendments to the Town Code that would allow for more flexibility in parking requirements that would be equitable to both market-rate and workforce housing
Short-Term Rental Excise Tax Ballot Question for April 5, 2022 Election
Council approved a resolution supporting Ballot Question 1, regarding a 5% short-term rental excise tax for the April 5, 2022 municipal election. Over the past several months, Council has discussed the impact of short-term rentals on the community, specifically the impacts of short-term rentals on housing affordability and availability for the local workforce.
To address Frisco’s housing challenges requires dedicated, sufficient, and guaranteed streams of revenue. Adding a new 5% excise tax to the current taxes applied to STRs (10.725%) would bring the total tax for STRs to 15.725% and is estimated to generate between $1.2 million – $1.5 million of additional revenue each year. This funding would be used for programs that support workforce housing projects and programs.
Finance Options for Housing
The Town of Frisco has several programs to address housing issues in the community: Housing Helps, Frisco Housing Locals, employee down payment assistance, and construction of additional housing units.
During the Strategic Plan discussion at the February 8, 2022, Town Council meeting, Council directed staff to draft a 10-year housing financial pro-forma to help guide Town Council in future housing decisions.
Staff recommended a retreat-style deep dive into the details of the decisions behind the data presented in this draft pro-forma including the number of units to be added through this plan, identifying low hanging fruit, and new ideas to bring to the table. This more in-depth discussion will lead to development of a Housing Action Plan to be adopted by Town Council, that will include goals, projects, programs, and strategies that will guide decisions for years to come.
Amending Housing Helps 2.0
Council approved a resolution to expand Housing Helps 2.0 to include the option to partner with Summit County Government in splitting the costs of a deed restriction purchase. This occasional partnership would allow for a potential deed restriction to include long-term tenants employed anywhere in Summit County, not just Frisco. Additionally, sharing these costs with Summit County will allow further flexibility in the Town housing budget to pursue Council’s housing goals.
Frisco’s Housing Helps program, first established in 2019, provides financial assistance to homeowners or prospective homebuyers in exchange for a live/work occupancy deed restriction. The program was modified in June 2021 to remove income and appreciation caps. Since that modification was approved, the Housing Helps program has been used to acquire deed restrictions on two properties.
IGA with the Town of Breckenridge to Administer the Childcare Tuition Assistance Program
Council approved an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the Town of Breckenridge for administration of Frisco’s new childcare tuition assistance program.
Town Council has held numerous discussions addressing the desire to support our local economy by increasing access to safe, affordable, quality childcare for working households. At the January 11, 2022 Council meeting, Council agreed that a childcare tuition assistance program for parents/guardians who live and/or work within the Ten Mile Basin will better enable local households to live, work, and raise their children in the community. At that time, the Town of Breckenridge, which has administered a successful childcare tuition assistance program for several years, had reaffirmed their offer to administer the Town of Frisco’s program. While the ultimate goal is to proceed with a countywide tuition assistance program, Town Council strongly believes in this priority and chose not to wait until the implementation of the countywide system, currently predicted to roll-out in the fall of 2023. Staff estimates 37 households within the Ten Mile Basin will be awarded scholarships through this program. Applications are now open will be due by March 31, 2022. Details of the program and applications are available at Frisco-Childcare.com.
Pay as You Throw and Universal Recycling Ordinances
Council approved the first reading, with amendments, of an ordinance which introduces recycling policy changes to curbside waste pickup at residential properties, and dumpster pick up at commercial and multifamily residential properties. For individual residences, a Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) policy is similar to a utility bill model in that a household pays for waste removal service based on how much waste that household produces. PAYT will provide an economic incentive to reduce waste and recycle more by requiring 80% minimum price differential between three trash bin size options and by including recycling with the service. Universal Recycling requires that businesses and multifamily properties have recycling collection service in addition to any existing waste pickup.
Following the initial December 14, 2021 Council work session, High Country Conservation Center (HC3) and LBA, a consultant hired by HC3 to facilitate the stakeholder process and draft the ordinance, performed an extensive outreach process with residents, businesses, HOAs, and property managers in addition to Town Council and County Commissioner presentations, and one-on-one hauler meetings.
The next steps include continued discussions of policy, implementation budget, waivers, marketing and information campaigns, and enforcement. The ordinance will go into effect on April 1, 2023. Summit County’s communitywide goal is to increase landfill diversion to 40% by 2035. Second reading of the ordinance is on March 22, 2022.
Frisco Police Department Remodel
Town Council approved a contract with MW Golden Constructors for the remodel of the Police Department at a cost not to exceed $1,576,791. Based on staff recommendation, Council also directed staff to bring forward a future budget amendment of $1,600,000 to provide a small buffer of $23,209 for any unforeseen costs.
The Frisco Police Department, located within Frisco Town Hall, was last remodeled in 2000. Due to the extensive growth that Frisco and Summit County have experienced, the department has outgrown their current space and is in need of expansion to better suit their operations and aid in recruitment and retention of officers to be able to better serve the community of Frisco.
Amendments to the Budget
Council approved on second reading two separate ordinances amending the 2021 and 2022 budgets. Circumstances occasionally require the Town to make changes to an approved budget and these changes must be adopted by Council ordinance.
Supplemental Appropriations for 2021: These supplemental appropriations were discussed with Council during the 2021 calendar year and include: Discontinuing temporary reserve held related to pandemic uncertainty, and transferring $13,480,105 from the General Fund to Capital Fund and reimbursing $287,500 to the SCHA (Housing-5A) Fund, also from the General Fund, for funds spent in support of pandemic related employee rent relief.
Supplemental Appropriations from 2022(rolled over from 2021 Budget): These supplemental appropriations relate to projects budgeted, but not completed in the 2021 budget. Overall, funds are available within each fund’s ending balance in order to absorb the additional appropriations. Re-allocating the expenses to the 2022 budget does not decrease the total projected ending fund balance for 2022 below the amounts published in the 2022 Adopted Budget Book. These expenses include:
- Appropriating $107,000 in the General Fund for the Frisco Housing Locals pilot program and social equity outreach programs.
- Appropriating $328,500 in the Capital Improvement Fund for various equipment and maintenance projects
- Appropriating $976,574 in the Water Fund for ongoing capital improvements to water infrastructure
- Appropriating $897,906 in the Marina Fund for ongoing Marina Plan projects such as the fuel system, new lift station, and new office/guest service building.
In Other News
- The Town of Frisco is hosting Frisco Town Council Candidate Forum will be held Thursday, March 10, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the 10 Mile Music Hall. The forum will also be livestreamed on the Town of Frisco’s YouTube channel, as well as recorded and available on March 11 through Summit County Television’s (SCTV) website, summitnews.com, and on the SCTV broadcast channel. More information on the forum and the election is available on FriscoGov.com.
- The Town of Frisco will be hosting a job fair on Thursday, March 10, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at The Edge at Copper Mountain. This will be a great opportunity to meet the Town’s hiring managers and human resources staff in person to learn about open seasonal and year-round positions with the Town. For more information about available jobs and working for the Town of Frisco, please visit FriscoHiring.com .
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.