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Infrastructure upgrades, repairs OK’d by council

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By Jeremy Johnson

FORT LUPTON — Fort Lupton Public Works Director Marco Carani is becoming an expensive summer date.

As the city continues this summer to address a number of infrastructure upgrades and road repairs, Carani’s presence at council meetings has come to signify that the city should get their checkbook out.

But following a laundry list of expense requests on for sewer and water improvements, Carani said the good news is that contractors fixing up Fort Lupton’s streets are at least doing more with less. The bad news is, the sewer and water bids came in a bit higher than anticipated.

“Those bids came in a little high, so we’ve been switching things around and deciding what projects we can do,” Carani said, before putting in a number of requests for water and sewer work totaling about $750,000.

Council approved the four requests for a total of about $747,000 Aug. 4 at City Hall — the majority of which came from the City’s utility fund, which had $750,000 already budgeted for water and sewer line replacements. The pared-down project will include, for now, areas near Ninth and Northrup in Fort Lupton, as well as Third to Fourth streets and the Pacific sewer line from Route 52 to Ninth Street.

Carani wasn’t close to being finished. He also requested an additional $80,000 to be approved for a contingency fund lest “something comes up.” Council also approved that request despite councilwoman Zo Hubbard’s vote against.

Meanwhile, Carani’s next request for the Rollie Avenue paving project was approved at a bid of about $394,000 — more than $6,000 less than what was budgeted. Carani also requested an additional $15,000-plus for more sidewalk and concrete work, some of which was approved earlier this year. Carani said that particular project had already been about $37,000 under budget, and said the additional $15,649 request would help him and his crew “piece together a little more so we can get it done.

“And we’d still be coming in about $12,000 under budget on that project,” he added.

Before putting the final request up to vote, Carani told council what they wanted to hear: “I won’t be back,” he joked. “Hopefully. I can’t promise, but I’ll try.”

Moments later, Carani was back in front of council requesting approval of $7,000 for line painting on the city’s “five or six streets with markers on them.” Carani said Fort Lupton contracts with the City of Brighton on those services, which will run about $7,100 total. He said the 2014 Financial Plan had $35,000 budgeted for street services, and said none of those funds had yet been touched this year.

Council was also presented with a number of proposed code changes at the Aug. 4 meeting. Planning director Todd Hodges said the codes have passed their timetable for public comment and are ready to be updated in the fall after they’ve been adequately advertised.

The proposed code updates are in accordance with International Building Codes, most of which were established in 2012, and include adopting new fire, building, electrical, property maintenance, plumbing, fuel and gas maintenance and existing building codes.

Hubbard questioned Hodges on details of the electric code in particular. She said she’d received word from her constituents that there may be language in the new electrical code requiring new builders to use arc fault breakers rather than ground fault breakers, something she said would make a “big difference.”

Hodges said he would look into what the new electrical code entails, and City Clerk Nanette Fornof said the ordinance pertaining to that code could be changed after the fact if council was so inclined.

In other business, council approved an agreement with Titan Liner LLC, a Texas spill containment company that submitted a site plan for operation along County Road 27 on Yarbrough Acres. It is the company’s intent, according to a spokesman, to provide spill containment liners for oil and gas industry in the region.

Hubbard wondered if the new operation will create more truck traffic, but a representative said Titan will have only three or four trucks maximum coming and going through the site, and only pickup trucks – no semi-trailers.

Council also approved the purchase of a new compressed natural gas sports utility vehicle for the Fort Lupton Police Department. Fort Lupton finance director Leann Perino said that new vehicle is one of several being provided to the city through a Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant, which requires the city to remove one non-CNG vehicle of the roster for every new one they receive. 

“The purpose is to replace gas vehicles with alternative fuel vehicles,” she said in an email. “The grant we received converts vehicles to bi-fuel, meaning they have ‘regular’ gasoline tanks and a second tank for compressed natural gas. (They) can run on either type of fuel.

Perino said the city received only one bid from Chevrolet. Cost of the new vehicle includes CNG conversion and is not to exceed $44, 630, she added.

 

Contact Staff Writer Jeremy Johnson at 303-659-2522, ext. 217, or jjohnson@metrowestnewspapers.com.