Council Connects

Golden Council sits at the dais in Council Chambers

In an effort to be open and transparent, the City of Golden has created this page for City Councilors to share information with each other and with the community. Though there is not an opportunity for dialog between City Council and the community here, residents are encouraged to reach out to City Council via councilcomments@cityofgolden.net. This email will distribute to all City Councilors as well as city staff department leads. If you would like to reach out to individual City Councilors, email addresses and phone numbers are available on the Meet Your Council Members tab below.


In an effort to be open and transparent, the City of Golden has created this page for City Councilors to share information with each other and with the community. Though there is not an opportunity for dialog between City Council and the community here, residents are encouraged to reach out to City Council via councilcomments@cityofgolden.net. This email will distribute to all City Councilors as well as city staff department leads. If you would like to reach out to individual City Councilors, email addresses and phone numbers are available on the Meet Your Council Members tab below.


Notes from Council

In an effort to be as open and transparent as possible, Council Members will use this tool to share ideas and thoughts, including information they learn from other groups, to city discussions.  

Council members are only sharing ideas on this public forum, not holding conversations with one another or with the community.

Please visit one of our Council meetings where you may sign up to share your ideas with City Council, or contact your Council members directly by email at councilcomments@cityofgolden.net.This email will distribute to all City Councilors as well as city staff department leads. If you would like to reach out to individual City Councilors, email addresses and phone numbers are available on the Meet Your Council Members tab.

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Oddly I'm just finding out I was not subscribed to this page. So I'm seeing some great new stuff. But more importantly, I want to share with council my summary notes (sketchy I know) from the Water Alliance Now conference I went to in Philadelphia last month. I also shared these with Anne Bierle in Public Works:
Financing

Much of the first panel was about funding sources. Some money is grants, some is loans, some is forgivable loans. The State Revolving Funds (SRF) is an area we should be engaging in, because those funds can be used even for local grant matches. Funds available for projects across water issues, :

An interesting element (new to me anyway) was Section 108 funding from HUD, can be part of CDBG and can be used for

Economic Development
Housing
Public Facilities
Infrastructure
Acquisition

Funding – www.build.gov, searchable database from the Whitehouse on funding approaches from AIIJ act (American Invest in Jobs Act?)


Creative projects that are intersectional are a good way to apply for money. For example a storm water project that results in a park getting built. So, for example, could Bachman property do water detention/storm water quality and provide money toward a park?

Water reuse can make use of SRF funding, could we apply for that for our gray water program?

EPA has money that they flow through SRF but also directly. Do we have fingers into EPA local regional director? If not, should we reach out? Kathleen Becker, Region 8 Administrator, based in Boulder.

Equity and Social Justice

There were several panels on this, all of them making the same message that water is a human right, and preventing access to water is a moral choice. One city (Durham NC?) stopped charging late fees, cutoff fees, and gave up $1.5M in revenue. The worked with LEAP programs to pay utility bills, partnered with social impact groups and housing authorities to keep people with access to water. Many other groups made the same point. Should we investigate whether unpaid water bills are leading to utility cut off?

Access to good water quality is not an issue in Golden. But how well known is that? Are there people in Golden, maybe immigrants who come from countries where that is not the case? They are drinking, at great expense, bottled water instead of using our good tap water? What education can we provide around this?

Access to recreation is an issue in other parts of the country too (Fredericksburg, VA) was a case study. The local utility partnered with advocates to educate, and celebrate latinx visitors. They also are trying to engage residents in a discussion of a new sewage treatment plant that will be close to people who have been previously (or still) marginalized. Developing partnerships and trust was key. If you want to draw a more diverse population, value their input, pay them. Their time is valuable. In fact to them, it may be more valuable than yours, if they are foregoing time with family, work, or church.

Communication

In some cases utilities ensured they educated users about the quality of their water, drainage, etc. to build trust. This helped when utility work was done, lead line replacement, storm water changes. A new phrase to me, in dealing with citizens, government, and big projects, was this line, “Projects move at the speed of trust”. Welcome people in, the strongest impact is when people can use their own power, share power.

Green Infrastructure

I toured a really cool UPenn athletic complex that was built ($46M) on 14 acres of parking lot, and before that sort of a brownfield weedy mess for decades. They put in bio-swales, detention, cisterns, well drained fields used almost continuously (artificial turf). The planted high water use trees in the swales and have lower water use plants/trees on the paths on the berms. They also had some super small swales that just allow percolation into the soil. It is well maintained, which is key, so there is not an accumulation of trash.

Some cities are replacing sidewalks with planters/cisterns, permeable pavers, even off setting the curb and asphalt so the gutter can store some capacity of water before it recedes. One innovative idea was to pull out some sections of sidewalk, put in flowers, native plants (not turf) and allow more water to perk into the soil. Granted the places they are doing this deal with more rain events than Golden has, but it is a great way to seed green space into areas where it is lacking (multi-family, parking lots?). But another way to look at storm water control that reduces flooding, creates green space, even tiny parks, addresses equity to a degree.

In Golden I am worried that addressing flooding in Leena Gulch may set up the owner of Golden Terrace to displace residents and create a few more mobile home sites, displacing those on “temporary” pads who can not find another place to be.
Walking paths around/near water treatment with signs, same for the sewage treatment plant. Water heroes, murals, community members, drinking water from a tap, moving them away from bottled water.

dcameron 16 days ago

Interesting local reporting about cities investigating drone shows in lieu of fireworks displays to minimize fire risk. Wouldn't it be cool if we could partner with Mines students to do something like this? https://www.9news.com/article/news/local/next/2-colorado-towns-4th-july-drone-shows-fire-risk-2022/73-44b6f3ca-29aa-4e6b-91c2-a63d429793f2

CaseyBrown 28 days ago

New CML Housing resource has launched - https://bit.ly/35vItvu . I am on the CML Board subcommittee focused on housing this year and one goal was to create a space for cities to share housing resources and ideas.

Laura Weinberg about 2 months ago

Entertaining video on the history and downsides to suburban single-family zoning, with a cameo from the Golden City Hall at minute 16:30. https://youtu.be/SfsCniN7Nsc

CaseyBrown 2 months ago

Interesting article summarizing researching showing a strong correlation between COVID-19 deaths and lack of internet access. Could a colorable argument be made to expend some recreational marijuana tax revenue on municipal broadband-related projects?
"This March, researchers at the University of Chicago published a study in the journal JAMA Network Open that showed one of the factors most consistently associated with a high risk of death due to Covid-19 in the US was the lack of internet access, whether broadband, dial-up, or cellular. This was regardless of other demographic risk factors like socioeconomic status, education, age, disability, rent burden, health insurance coverage, or immigration status."
https://www.vox.com/22979086/covid-pandemic-deaths-mortality-broadband-internet-access

CaseyBrown 2 months ago

Council is engaged in “one of the most important decisions we will make” during our tenure.

Without a specific background in hiring municipal executives such as a City Manager, I believe it’s important to research and rely on best practices from professionals in the field. Our very own Colorado Municipal League (CML) has a great primer that may inform our work regarding both the City Manager search as well as options for and the importance of an Interim City Manager.

https://www.cml.org/docs/default-source/uploadedfiles/issues/employment/hire-2013.pdf

BFisher 3 months ago

Interesting article discussing how USDOT new grant guidance allows states to access to billions in funding for safety measures, including automated traffic enforcement devices. https://thehill.com/changing-america/sustainability/infrastructure/592689-states-can-now-access-billions-for-speed

CaseyBrown 3 months ago

Broadband - City owned, fiber to the last mile may be better long term, and have lower cost than WiFi Broadband. So I learned from this long You Tube recommended by a resident.https://youtu.be/kD1VAPC1UcM. My takeaways are here summarized:AuWireless is a WISP, and the take away message from this group is that WISPs compete for limited spectrum, and fiber all the way to the house is preferred.

Fiber is preferred not just for a backbone, but ultimately to the user. It may cost more, but is less labor intensive and costly to maintain (due to having to climb polls to fix radios and such). Lead times for fiber and switches are long, some over a year, so building out a network takes some serious amount of time.

Some states have made capital purchases to store and stage fiber materials (Illinois in particular) to allow for bulk purchases and cost savings, especially for smaller towns that can not compete to get a fiber build-out. As to what makes cities successful, I think the takeaway was to own the network as much as possible, and basically become your own utility if you can. Otherwise you do all the investment but don't gain the long term benefits.

dcameron 3 months ago

Air Pollution: What can we do? DRCOG guidelines for the TIP (Transportation Improvement Program) "will include" requirements for off setting Air Pollution Impacts: Should we electrify our lawn care? It could be a wise alternative action to target/incentivize electric and battery implements with some of our transportation dollars. I'd recommend it.

Here is an excerpt from a longer opinion article in the link below:
"Let’s also offer incentives to replace gas-powered lawn equipment. A New York Times column recently cited a 2011 study by Edmunds that found that hydrocarbon emissions from a half-hour with a two-stroke leaf blower are about the same as a 3,900-mile drive in a 6,200-pound Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. The California Air Resources Board says using a commercial leaf blower for one hour emits as much smog-forming pollution as driving a 2017 Toyota Camry from Los Angeles to Denver. "

https://coloradosun.com/2021/12/30/air-quality-cars-buses-lawn-equipment-opinion/?mc_cid=c24a37e00e&mc_eid=1adde6f3a3

JimDale 5 months ago
JimDale 5 months ago

Met with the state today about ARPA funds for transformational regional approaches to address homelessness, workforce development, and mental and behavioral health challenges. Learned more about 2 proposed projects that will benefit Golden regardless of ultimate location in the region. Colorado Sun discusses both - https://coloradosun.com/2021/12/17/denver-homeless-recovery-campus/

Laura Weinberg 5 months ago
JimDale 5 months ago

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/01/health/childhood-obesity-covid.html

From the article:
Jamie Bussel, a senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who focuses on childhood obesity, said the pandemic had worsened systemic problems like the lack of access to healthy foods in poorer communities and the ubiquity of junk food and sugary drinks.

"Covid really highlighted how negligent our food system really is,” she said. “We need long-term policy fixes. Otherwise, we’re just putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound.”

This feels like the right time to be taking a closer look across the public health spectrum, including health beverage options for our children!

BFisher 6 months ago

MORE on AFFORDABLDE HOUSING:
OPINION FROM LEADERS AT HABITAT FOR HUMANITY AND THE LAND TRUST: food for thought.
https://coloradosun.com/2021/12/09/colorado-housing-affordability-stimulus-opinion/?mc_cid=7472acad40&mc_eid=1adde6f3a3

JimDale 6 months ago

AFFORDABLE HOUSING: can we learn from Aspen? I'd urge that the Strategic Planning session include time to discuss housing.
https://coloradosun.com/2021/12/09/aspen-emergency-ordinance-permits-residential-construction-strs/?mc_cid=7472acad40&mc_eid=1adde6f3a3

JimDale 6 months ago

COVID IN COLORADO &THE METRO REGION - reporting from the Colorado Sun
https://coloradosun.com/2021/11/23/denver-mask-vaccine-mandate-covid/?mc_cid=7e2a061da3&mc_eid=1adde6f3a3

JimDale 6 months ago
JimDale 6 months ago

These Americans Are Just Going Around in Circles. It Helps the Climate.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/20/climate/roundabouts-climate-emissions-driving.html

A wonderful write up from the New York Times about Carmel, IN and their 140 roundabouts. You read that right — 140, with a dozen more on the way. The insane number of roundabouts help increase safety, reduce carbon emissions (with no red lights there is less idling time for cars) and get people where they need to go, faster.

JJ Trout 6 months ago

Thoughts bout parenting and social skills/norms & schools - parenting was the hardest "job" I ever faced (BTW, my kids are doing great):
https://coloradosun.com/2021/11/21/covid-teachers-schools-opinion/?mc_cid=412ac0e43c&mc_eid=1adde6f3a3

JimDale 6 months ago

Green House Gases: Colorado, the Metro region and Golden - Food for thought & possibly some ongoing action/s:
This Colorado Sun article speaks to the challenges that I heard at DRCOG as the Board struggled with gaining agreement on input to the state plan:
https://coloradosun.com/2021/11/21/climate-conscious-cdot/?mc_cid=412ac0e43c&mc_eid=1adde6f3a3

JimDale 6 months ago
Page last updated: 20 Jan 2022, 04:55 PM