The Arvada City Council unanimously voted to extend the city’s emergency declaration pertaining to the novel COVID-19 pandemic through the end of March during its Jan. 25 meeting. This is the ninth …
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The Arvada City Council unanimously voted to extend the city’s emergency declaration pertaining to the novel COVID-19 pandemic through the end of March during its Jan. 25 meeting.
This is the ninth such extension since last March and replaces the latest declaration that expired on Jan. 31.
“We didn’t expect to be here again. I’m sure none of you did either,” City Attorney Rachel Morris told the City Council. “This underscores the nature of the pandemic. We are constantly seeing changes.”
Morris added that while the city’s situation has improved since the start of the pandemic, an extension was necessary because not only does a lot of uncertainty remain but extending the declaration would allow for emergency response efforts, including helping with future applications for emergency grant funding.
Councilmember John Marriott asked when does the city think this will end.
City Manager Mark Deven replied that if the city witnesses a reduction in COVID-19 cases and a wider distribution of the vaccine with business returning to normal in Jefferson and Adams counties as the March 31 date approaches that then would be the time to consider whether or not to renew the declaration.
“You look at something like this and there are so many unknowns to take us past a year of emergency declarations,” Marriott said. “We’ve renewed it every two months over the past year, but this hasn’t been just the city manager declaring himself in an emergency situation. I think we’ve had good checks and balances here. It’s very warranted to continue this for a little while longer.”
Marriott added that doing so would provide the city opportunities to manage coronavirus recovery funds should they become available and are needed.
2021 budget amended for signal replacement
City Council approved the first amendment to the 2021 operating budget in the amount of $950,000 for a pair of traffic signal replacements.
City Manager Mark Deven said that replacements were for traffic signals located at W. 58th Avenue and Independence Street and W. 86th Parkway and Kipling Street.
The project is being funded by a pair of grants that the city received. In February 2017, the city received $525,000 through the Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program and the Colorado Department of Transportation. Last March, the city was awarded $425,000 in additional funding to offset among other things construction costs and upgrade pedestrian infrastructure.
“This is a good example of our work with CDOT to improve safety,” Deven said.
Council approves cleanup ordinance for 2020 fiscal budget
City Council unanimously approved a final cleanup ordinance for $19.5 million to bring the 2020 fiscal year budget to a final total of approximately $302 million.
The adjustment was necessary to cover the increase in appropriation for nine funds, including the general fund, housing authority fund and capital improvement project fund.
In October 2019, City Council approved a 2020 budget for $235 million. A carryover ordinance last July increased that total by $47 million.
The ordinance would increase appropriation in nine funds, including approximately $11.4 million in the general fund. Of that $11.4 million, an increase of $9.7 million is related to the purchase of supplies and equipment related to COVID-19. A reimbursement of $9.45 million from CARES Act funding to Jefferson and Adams counties will cover most of that expense, while the remaining $300,000 will come out of reserves.
Bryan Archer, the director of finance for the City of Arvada, noted that while the added $19 million to the budget was “quite a large number,” $17 million of it came through grants or outside organizations.
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