City of Bayfield administrators discuss priorities for budget 2022 – The Durango Herald


Faster internet, workforce at the top of the list of key things to tackle

Doug Miller, left, and Natuambu Obleton, both at FastTrack Communications, complete fiber optic line splicing in September 2018 at Gem Village near Bayfield. (Jerry McBride / Durango Herald file)

Faster internet connection within city limits and housing for the workforce are top priorities for Bayfield City Council administrators in 2022.

Council members discussed these and other items of the city’s budget for the coming year in a meeting this week.

With all the trustees ranking their priorities for the future, the third most popular item was 24/7 police coverage by Marshal Bayfield’s office.

The other priorities ranked in order of importance are:

  • Stormwater development at Dove Ranch.
  • Stormwater management throughout the city.
  • School Resource Officer in Bayfield Schools.
  • Paving of streets.
  • Use of the commercial kitchen at the Bayfield Senior Center.
  • Revitalization of the city center.
  • Park toilets on the roadside.
  • Access to the Rivière des Pins.
  • An agricultural project proposed by Pine River Shares.

City Council will consider a budget based on $ 9.3 million in projected revenue for 2022. Spending is currently projected at $ 10.2 million, with the $ 8.6 million money from city reserves being used to pay for some capital projects.

Workforce housing

To deal with the high cost of housing, the city purchased land in the Cinnamon Heights subdivision on the east side of Bayfield this summer for $ 710,000.

At Monday’s meeting, General Manager Katie Sickles presented three options for developing the property.

Council members said they liked the second, in which the city would build the infrastructure of the townhouses and then post a request for qualifications from the contractors to build and oversee the project, using their own architect.

The costs for a home using this option are estimated to be $ 280,912.

For 2020, the median priced townhouse in Bayfield was $ 331,500, according to the Durango Area Association of Realtors. New single-family homes in a nearby subdivision, Clover Meadows, sell for around $ 400,000, according to the city.

Fiber optic proposal

The council finally hopes to install fiber optic lines in the city, a problem the city has been trying to solve for decades.

Broadband should be a top priority for the city, so Internet connectivity for city residents “is not in the dark ages,” administrator David Black said.

Montrose-based Clearnetworx has provided fiber-optic internet service to cities on the West Slope and wants to partner with the city to build a $ 3.2 million fiber-optic network in 18 to 24 months, Sickles said. .

The company was selected following a call for tenders launched by the city to implement its study on broadband. The city has signed a memorandum of understanding and the proposal could go to the board at its next meeting, Sickles said.

“We need to help businesses first, so that we can increase our tax base,” said administrator Brenna Morlan, noting that local businesses could then create more jobs if they had a faster internet.

Clearnetworx will likely apply to borrow money from the city to complete the project within that time frame, Sickles said. Another option is to pay around $ 300,000 to build chunks of the grid each year, not reaching northern town until 2030 or later, Sickles said.

The city will hold a lien on the fiber until the company repays the loan, Sickles said.

Directors agreed that the idea of ​​a loan to Clearnetworx might be a better and faster way to finally build a network in Bayfield, and said they looked forward to hearing the company’s proposal during a future meeting.

Grants to non-profit groups

Also for the 2022 budget, administrators must decide whether or not to approve grant applications from multiple nonprofits. After moving some requests to other areas of the budget, donation requests this year exceeded $ 28,000.

Groups applying for funding this year are Pine River Shares, Community Connections, Women’s Resource Center, Be Frank Foundation, Small Business Development Center, Community Treehouse, Southwest Center for Independence, and Bayfield Association for the Advancement of Music.

City council will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget on October 25, followed by a budget meeting on November 2.

Cleaning day set for October 16

The town is also hosting a clean-up day starting at 8 a.m. on October 16 at 905 Community Lane, off Bayfield Parkway.

Tree branches, yard waste, small appliances and furniture will be accepted from city residents, who must bring a copy of their utility bill.

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