Town News

Catchup with Council, August 10, 2021 – Ice Feasibility Study, 4th of July Discussion, Extending 5A

Ice Feasibility Study Update

Over the past several years, Frisco Town Council has discussed the possibility of developing a seasonal ice facility. During a budget discussion at the March 23, 2021 Town Council meeting, Council directed staff to include a budget amendment of $50,000 for an ice facility feasibility study to help the Town gain an understanding of existing needs and demands, types of potential facilities, costs of installation, maintenance, and operation, and potential revenue sources.

Staff worked with two consultant firms that have completed similar studies in Summit County, resulting in a joint proposal. The study presented during the August 10 Town Council meeting included a needs assessment and presented the types of ice facilities that could possibly best align with community needs. The study found a low overall need for an additional ice facility for competitive ice sports in Summit County, as existing ice facilities are not able to fill all of their available ice time currently. Also, the cost of an ice surface is significant whether indoors, outdoors, or smaller in size than a standard hockey surface.

Council decided not to move forward with an ice facility at this time, but expressed interest in improving Meadow Creek Pond. Subsequently, Council directed the consulting team to summarize their findings in a report, including an analysis of enhancements to the ice at Meadow Creek Pond, which could be made to improve that surface for expanded community use.

4th of July Fireworks and Parade Discussion

Town Council discussed how to move forward with two of Frisco’s traditional 4th of July components, the parade and the fireworks display, after changes and cancellations over the past two years.

Frisco’s “Fabulous 4th of July”, a longstanding community tradition celebrating Independence Day, was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In past years, the traditional festivities included a kids’ fishing derby, a pancake breakfast benefiting Team Summit, several concerts, a fireworks display over Dillon Reservoir, and a parade, which ran the full length of East Main Street and featured floats, vehicles, horses, bikes, and pedestrians. In 2021, the parade returned in a human-powered only format compatible with the Frisco Pedestrian Promenade, which could not accommodate vehicles. The “Bikes and Barks” parade featured 450+ costumed human and canine participants, and decorated bicycles. The 2021 celebrations also included chalk artists on Main Street, acrobats, and an adult marching band, in addition to the creation of a permanent mural at the intersection of 3rd and Main.

In March 2019, Frisco Town Council made the decision to suspend July 4th fireworks, based on the Town of Breckenridge’s decision to cancel their fireworks into the future. Breckenridge’s cancellation signaled an anticipated influx of visitors to Frisco’s fireworks with crowds from Breckenridge likely joining Frisco’s already high level of spectators. The anticipated traffic gridlock due to attendees leaving the fireworks show at the same time was anticipated to significantly slow any emergency service response. Subsequently, Town Council directed staff to bring back the July 4th fireworks discussion once infrastructure improvements had been made. With the completion of the GAP project on Highway 9 expected in October 2021, fireworks discussion returned to Council due to this significant improvement in road infrastructure. The Frisco Police Department anticipates that with this improved road infrastructure they would be able to clear the Marina and Frisco traffic more efficiently after a fireworks display if they are able to receive additional support from other law enforcement agencies. Also, Summit Fire and Centura provided feedback about their confidence that they would be able to provide emergency services.

After discussion about July 4th and community feedback and values, Council directed staff to plan for a human-powered parade for 2022 and to plan for a traditional fireworks display in 2022 on the shores of Dillon Reservoir with the understanding that a Stage 2 fire restriction would not allow for fireworks and that support from other law enforcement agencies would need to be secured to allow for this event.

5A Extension Discussion

On November 7, 2006, Summit County voters approved the Summit Combined Housing Authority (SCHA) Referred Measure 5A, which authorized a temporary 10-year sales and use tax of .125% and a development impact fee of two dollars or less per square foot of new construction to be used for affordable housing purposes. In 2015, this tax was extended in perpetuity. In 2016, Summit County voters approved an additional, temporary 10- year .6% sales and use tax to the existing sales tax, effective January, 21, 2017, making the current tax rate .725%.

With the ongoing and pressing affordable housing shortage throughout the County, local municipalities and the County have begun discussing the feasibility of extending the existing .6% SCHA 5A tax, which would then result in the retention of the current tax of .725%, which has generated approximately $1.5M annually in sales taxes since 2017.

Council was in favor of extending the tax, possibly for 15 or 20 years, with the understanding that this effort would be pursued in collaboration and partnership with other local entities and the County.

Amendments to the 2018 International Fire Code

Town Council approved the first reading of Ordinance 21-10 to amend provisions of the International Fire Code (IFC) adopted by the Town in 2019. The language in the IFC essentially placed the Town in permanent Stage 1 fire restrictions. Amending this code will bring the Town into alignment with the US Forest Service and with the towns of Silverthorne, Dillon and Montezuma, unincorporated Summit County and the Red, White & Blue Fire District. This consistency between jurisdictions will allow fire districts to continue to monitor the fire danger using approved scientific data and to present a consistent decisions and message based on that data. Backyard fires pits/devices will still need to be permitted yearly in Frisco through Summit Fire & EMS, unless propane or natural gas is being used.

Contract Approval for the Construction of the N. Ten Mile Intake Structure, Pipeline and Erosion Mitigation

Town Council approved a contract with Velocity Constructors Inc. to replace a 40-year-old water intake pipeline and rehabilitate the diversion and intake structure on North Ten Mile Creek. This project will install a Parshall flume in the channel on the diversion wall at the intake structure. This flume will have an electronic measurement device that will record and display the stream flow at the water treatment facility in order to comply with diversion restrictions placed on the Town by the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s minimum stream inflow water right. This statewide water right is intended to keep water in the state’s rivers and streams to prevent drying up aquatic wildlife habitat due to diversions, and supersedes all other water rights. This project will enclose and slightly heat the intake structure to prevent freezing, which can inhibit water flow to the treatment plant during the winter months. This project will also make some improvements to the stream bank at the intake structure to prevent the creek from over-topping the structure during high water events and prevent erosion around the foundation of the tank. The project will take three to four months to complete and will have some impact on the North Ten Mile Trail during that time (late summer to late fall 2021).