Town News

Catchup with Council, November 30, 2021 – Marina Action Plan, STR Discussion, Frisco’s Backyard, PFAS Treatment

Marina Action Plan

Staff presented a Marina Park Action Plan to Town Council, focusing on the core areas of storage, including slips and moorings; rental operations; parking; and supporting a high performance employee culture to ensure high-quality service and experiences.

The basis for this plan is a product of F3 Marina’s Operational Performance Audit of October 2020, F3 Marina’s Operational Performance Audit One Year review in October 2021, Frisco Bay Marina customer and employee feedback, and Edgewater Resources’ Frisco Bay Marina Water Levels Operations Plan from November 2021.

  • Council supported the operational recommendation to keep the docks in place on the shores of Frisco Bay Marina year-round to eliminate the need for “dock island”, which are docks placed in deeper water in response to low water level projections. Council also directed staff to provide additional mooring spaces, which could be rented, to give boaters the option to extend their season during low water levels.
  • Council supported simplifying the slip/mooring rental and boat storage rate structure for the 2022 season. Specific rates will be reviewed by Town Council at the December 14, 2021 Council meeting.
  • Council considered reinstating perks for Marina employees if they are transparent, limited, equitable, and managed. This will be discussed in more depth at a future Council meeting.
  • Council supported implementing a paid parking system at the Marina, to be managed by a third party, potentially from June – September. The details regarding rates, parking passes, and discounts will be discussed at the December 14, 2021 meeting.

Short Term Rentals- Excise Tax, STR Cap, and More

Short-term rentals (STRs) are often cited as contributing to the decrease in workforce housing availability and rising housing costs. Council discussed various policy options that could be applied to short-term rentals as a means to facilitate additional workforce housing options, including an excise tax on short-term rentals.

Council generally supported an excise tax on STRs, but requested further information and discussion around the rate. There is already a sales and lodging tax of 10.725% applied to short-term rental stays in the Town of Frisco. Estimates based on the current number of STR licenses show that if the Town’s voters were to approve a 7.5% excise tax, an additional $1.8 million of revenue could be generated annually, and provide a steadier funding source to support workforce housing initiatives.

Approval of this tax would require a public vote at the April 5, 2022 election.

For the January 11, 2022 meeting, Council directed staff to bring back the ordinance required to place the excise tax question on the April 2022 ballot, and Council indicated that during that time they would have a deeper discussion about the excise tax rate.

Council also directed staff to research exemptions for various types of STRs, especially for owner-occupied properties; to research a potential real estate investment fee waiver or reduction for home sales to those planning to make it their primary residence; to provide more information to inform a more in depth discussion on a cap on STR licenses; and to provide more details about the use of excise tax funds, if approved by voters.

Frisco’s Backyard – Environmental Review for More Trails and Fire Mitigation

Council reviewed and approved a request for proposal (RFP) to be issued December 1, 2021, that will incorporate recreation resource management with wildfire fuel reduction efforts, and consider other resource management needs in the project area known as Frisco’s Backyard. This area encompasses the land located generally south of Frisco, comprising of Mount Royal, Miners Creek, Rainbow Lake, Ophir Mountain and Gold Hill. While outside of town limits, these National Forest (NFS) lands are a very important community recreation destination in Frisco’s “backyard”.

Because this area is almost entirely on lands managed by the US Forest Service (USFS), any trail planning, construction, and management would require coordination with and approval by USFS.

The Town and USFS staff agreed that combining the environmental review processes required for both the fuels management and proposed trails projects would more efficiently move these projects forward. Town Council included $490,000 for trails construction and enhancements in the 2022 budget. These funds are allocated for multiple projects, including the Trails Master Plan update; continuation of trail construction and enhancements; maintenance in Frisco’s Backyard; and wildfire mitigation plans and revegetation efforts.

Draft Agreement for a Municipal Emergency Response Team

Council directed staff to move forward with finalizing a draft intergovernmental agreement (IGA) for the formation of a Municipal Emergency Response Team (MERT) comprised of law enforcement agencies from the Towns of Frisco, Dillon, Silverthorne, and Blue River. For many years, Summit County law enforcement agencies participated in an IGA that formed a Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT). On April 1, 2021, Summit County Sheriff Fitzsimons formally withdrew from the SWAT IGA.

Since the separation, the Towns of Blue River, Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne have been working together to develop a new team focused on providing an immediate response to the communities of Summit County. The collaborative effort will share resources and training with the goal of being able to respond immediately to any active community threat that may require a specially trained tactical response team, such as handling barricaded subjects, high-risk warrant services, and high-risk apprehensions.

At this time the Summit County Sheriff’s office and the Town of Breckenridge are not members of MERT. The agreement between the participating towns is expected to be finalized by the end of the year. Staff will bring the final draft and resolution to enter the IGA to council at a future meeting.

PFAS Treatment Plan for Well #7

Town Council approved a sole-source contract with Plummer & Associates not to exceed $163,124.19 to design and permit a new PFAS treatment system at Well #7; this will enable the Town to seek bids for construction during the 2023 building season.

In 2020, The Town participated in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) voluntary sampling project to study the presence of PFAS (Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) in drinking water throughout the state, with the first round of PFAS sampling conducted by CDPHE on April 15, 2020.

The results of those samples indicated the presence of PFAS at below health advisory levels in Well #7, while all other town water sources tested below detectable levels. On May 13, 2021, the Town performed another round of sampling to better understand the effects of PFAS in Well #7 on the water distribution system as a whole. These results showed that water within the distribution system further away from Well #7 produced significantly lower levels of PFAS due to blending with the Town’s three other water sources.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is continuing to study the health effects of PFAS in drinking water and has issued a health advisory for two members of the PFAS family, PFOA & PFOS. During both rounds of voluntary water testing, Frisco’s water did not test above the maximum contaminant level for the two chemical compounds, PFOA and PFOS, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has guidance for at this time. The EPA has recently indicated that they are likely to issue new maximum allowable contaminate levels, and these new regulations are anticipated to be finalized in 2023.

Due to the evolving knowledge around these chemicals and their health effects, as well as the possibility of changing regulations around PFAS, Town Council directed staff to be proactive in the design and permitting of a treatment system to remove these substances. The system would be designed with the goal of achieving non-detectable levels for all PFAS substances after treatment, which will allow the Town to satisfy any regulation that may be implemented in the future, as well as continue to provide the highest quality drinking water possible.

Staff is investigating other Federal and State funding sources, possibly through the recently passed Infrastructure Bill, which contains funding for PFAS treatment.

Median and Roundabout Landscape Design Contract

Council approved a sole-source contract with Norris Designs in Frisco for the design and production of construction documents for aesthetic improvements of medians and roundabouts within the recently completed CDOT Gap Project. During their October 12, 2021 meeting, Council directed staff to work with Norris Designs, as they had already completed a significant portion of this project design work and presented their conceptual designs in 2019. The contract is for a cost not to exceed $94,700.

Council will have the opportunity to comment on the designs throughout the process, and this proposal includes a public outreach component to obtain community input, as well as a work session with the Planning Commission to obtain their input. Once this design project is complete, the Town will have designs and construction drawings ready to put out to bid for construction. The current proposed phasing plan is to improve the two new roundabouts in 2022 and then work on the medians in 2023.

Recreation Path to Stay Put

Council approved an ordinance to relocate portions of the bike path easement on several lots in the River Pines subdivision. The subdivision was developed in 1991 and as part of the development approval, the developer offered and platted an easement for a bike path along the rear lot lines of several lots, and dedicated the easement to the Town of Frisco. The Town has maintained the bike path since its construction. In late 2020, the owner of lot 6 contacted the Town after a survey of his property identified that the constructed path was not located within the platted easement.

In response, the Town contracted with a surveying company to determine that the bike path was located outside of the easement on Lots 5, 6, and 7. Due to the location of the path with respect to the top of the bank of Ten Mile Creek, the lot owners generously agreed to relocate the easement rather than relocating and reconstructing the bike path in order to correct this issue.

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.