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Council hears utilities updates, slated to vote on oil, gas moratorium

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By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — City Council continued its advance during a March 3 special study session. Council received an overview of what the utility, police, public information and development departments have in store for the city this year. 

Highlights discussed during the meeting include:

• The implementation of a water conservation program, which will start this month. Police Department Chief and Acting Utilities Director Clint Blackhurst said if they waited to present the program to council, they would have been behind and that informations and updates will be coming throughout the month.  

• An intergovernmental agreement with Adams County for a sewer line to bypass the jail. Blackhurst said “all sorts of unusual things travel the sewer from the jail,” and about two years ago, a blockage flooded the basements of a couple residents. He said the city is trying to avoid that again by rerouting the sewer line out of the jail and into a larger pipe.

“We’ve already started the design. Manuel’s had several meetings with the county administrator and we’ve talked with their staff, so that’s proceeding well,” he said.

• At council’s next study session Blackhurst and Commerce City Police Chief Troy Smith will talk to council about some collaborative policing efforts they’d like to pursue. Blackhurst told council the police departments, along with School District 27J, have entered into an agreement to have one school resource officer from each department present at Prairie View High School.

“That’s been a very successful venture between the two agencies… so we have other areas we want to pursue,” he said.

• City spokeswoman Kristen Chernosky said council members have indicated they would like to start coffee with council where members of a ward could meet their council representative in an informal setting to ask questions they may have. The public information office will also be looking into the cost of televising council’s study session meetings.

• Chernosky said Youth Services Director Tawnya Russell is working on a Youth Master Plan. She also said the Brighton Youth Commission is ready to start recruiting members for its Youth Corps and that an update will be presented to council during a May study session. 

• As the development department is gearing up for a comprehensive plan update, Assistant City Manager for Development Marv Falconburg said the department will be looking at growth plans for the city’s future. He said Development Director Holly Prather and her staff will be looking at population projections and revisiting the city’s growth plans based on all factors.

“One of the big ones was infrastructure capacity and looking at water and where we need to focus our growth,” he said.

• A number of code amendments will be brought before council during a study session in April. The development department will be updating its land use code to address aspects of urban farming related to chickens and bees. The business licensing section of the municipal code will also be updated. 

• The development department would like to finalize the oil and gas regulations after further study, and Prather said the department would ask for a six-month moratorium during its March 4 council meeting so they can work to finalize them.

The development department would also like to provide web-based access for customer service primarily for permitting and licensing and online inspection requests.

 

For more on council’s Monday session, visit us online at www.thebrightonblade.com for the full story.

 

 Prather said it’s a two-step process, with the first phase giving builders and contractors the ability to view and request their permits and inspections online. The next phase would allow them to submit permit applications and pay fees online.

• The Brighton Economic Development Corporation continues to work with potential developers on a number of projects around the greater Brighton Area. Director Robert Smith said they are working with a developer who possibly would like to bring a retail project to a property on Bromley Lane and Fulton, across from Walmart. Smith also said the Bridge Street corridor where the new King Soopers is to be located has also generated a lot of interest.

“We’ve had lots of inquiries and lots of folks talking that are about all of the property along the Bridge Street Corridor all the way back to the original part of town,” he said.

Smith also said the BEDC will be moving to Historic City Hall this year and anticipates the move will occur in the summer.