Durango, CO: Durango's transportation efforts were commended at Tuesday's meetings, with recognition of ridership increasing 27%, the e-bike rebate program that's currently underway, and charging stations for electric vehicles at city-owned stations increasing by nearly 400%.
Councilors held two regularly scheduled meetings on Tuesday: A study session at 2:15 p.m. and a regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 949 East Second Ave.
During the study session, council:
- Received an update on the city’s sustainability efforts over the past year through the annual Sustainability Action and Indicator Report. The report included information on the five sectors of sustainability action laid out in the City of Durango Sustainability plan, including energy, transportation and development patterns, water, and natural systems and ecology. Sustainability Manager Marty Pool noted that 40% of electricity in used within city limits comes from renewable sources. "LPEA has really been driving towards towards more renewable energy in a really fast way in recent years, which is really exciting," Pool said. "As a community over the past five years we're actually seeing a per capita reduction in energy consumption."
- Heard updates about the City’s current efforts to expand organic waste management and composting services related to its public-private-partnership contract with Table to Farm Compost. Council gave direction to explore the current limitations of the City Code to address organics waste management, and to perform a review of potential avenues for funding various aspects of organic waste management.
- Discussed possibly moving forward with a future ballot initiative to reauthorize the 2005 half-cent sales tax with updated language to include funding for transit services. Currently the 2005 sales tax is used solely to fund parks and recreation. Council directed staff to investigate other possible options for transit funding. Staff will return to council with other potential transit funding streams at a Study session in June.
During the regular meeting, council:
- Heard an update from Visit Durango on its tourism efforts for 2022. Visit Durango saw a three percent a 3% year over year increase in hotel occupancy, and was awarded the number one destination to visit in Colorado for the second year in a row. Visit Durango is partially funded through lodgers’ tax collected from city hotels.
- Established a team to interview candidates for various boards and commissions. Once the interviews are complete, the team would provide recommendations to council on May 16, where council can discuss and vote on the appointments.
- Approved a resolution that supports policy updates for the Colorado Communities for Climate Action, and determine if a councilor is interested in representing the city as a liaison to the group. "This is the continuation of really great work," said councilor Olivier Bosmans.
- Approved a budget amendment to appropriate funds to the Energy Performance Contract approved by council on April 18. The contract is for various energy efficiency upgrades to city buildings.
- Went into executive session to discuss the purchase, acquisition, lease, transfer, or sale of real property located at 1235 Camino del Rio (River City Hall) and 201 East 12th street (former 9R administration building). Direction was given to staff to continue negotiations.
- Went into executive session to discuss to discuss the purchase, acquisition, lease, transfer, or sale of city property consisting of approximately 62,000 square feet located at the corner of Camino del Rio and West College Drive. No direction was given.
- Went into executive session to the purchase, acquisition, lease, sale, or transfer of an interest in real property located at 1188 East Second Ave. (Carnegie Building) and Buckley Park at 12th Street and Main Avenue. Direction was given to staff to continue lease negotiations.
City Council meetings may be attended in person at City Hall, 949 East 2nd Ave., or virtually. Meeting links for virtual meetings are at DurangoGov.org/Zoom. Meetings are televised live on YouTube, via Zoom and on the city's website (click on "Live Media"). An email link for public comment is located at DurangoGov.org/meetings at the top of the page as well as on the agenda itself under Public Participation. Comments must be submitted no later than noon on the Monday preceding the meeting. If comment by email is not possible, comments may also be placed in the drop box located in front of City Hall no later than noon on the Monday preceding the meeting. All written comments will be provided to the Council for review. Written comments may be read into the record and/or attached to the minutes of the meeting at the direction/discretion of Council. Email comments should be directed to: PublicComment@durangogov.org.
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