At its Tuesday meeting, the Craig City Council:
• Heard a presentation from Grand Futures Prevention Coalition about the dangers and abundance of underage drinking. Matt Beckett, Grand Futures director in Moffat County, asked the Council to consider a social host ordinance, which would punish property owners for underage drinking on their property, except in the cases of trespassing and when the owner can prove he or she was out of town or otherwise not involved.
• Denied passing a motion to approve a special events liquor license for The Memorial Hospital at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig for Dec. 15. No one from either group appeared, and the motion died for lack of a second.
• Tabled approving a hotel and restaurant liquor license for El Ranchero Restaurant, at 337 W. Victory Way, until a Spanish/English interpreter could be brought to Council.
• Awarded a bid to All Around Recreation, LLC, for the purchase and installation of playground equipment at East Park. Parks and Recreation Department Director Dave Pike told Council that purchasing the equipment in fall netted the city a substantial discount from the vendor.
• Approved a request to allow the Craig Water Department to sole source backwash pond No. 3 cleaning.
• Approved implementing revised penalty assessments for traffic offenses and infractions.
• Heard introduction of Ordinance No. 985, which would raise collection fees on residential and commercial trash collection.
• Heard introduction of Ordinance No. 986, which would raise water and sewer rates.
• Heard introduction of Ordinance No. 987, which would adopt the 2009 city budget. The Council questioned a $20,000 allocation to the Craig Police Department for purchase of a motorcycle. Police Chief Walt Vanatta said he would provide the council with more information at the next meeting about the potential purchase. Councilman Gene Bilodeau also asked City Manager Jim Ferree whether the budget has enough safeguards in case the Craig economy were to "catch up with the rest of the country." Ferree said it does.
• Heard a speedy September financial report form City Finance Director Bruce Nelson, who took the podium after 10:30 p.m. He told Council that city sales tax collection is up, "which is nice, considering the economy." He also said that the water fund was "good," the wastewater and solid waste funds were "OK" and the medical fund was "excellent." Nelson said the city's year-to-date report was "pretty much on track."
The Craig City Council plans to consider tying the amount of insurance bonds required of outside vendors to the amount of city sales tax the event is expected to generate.
At Tuesday night's Council meeting, City Manager Jim Ferree told councilmembers that while the city required only a $300 bond for the recent Grand Valley Auto parking lot sale at Centennial Mall, the city's exposure was about $21,000.
He said that the Council could change the ordinance to make it such that the bonds required of outside vendors would vary with the size of the event.
"We might be able to change that wording a little bit," Ferree said.
Craig Mayor Don Jones said that it was only an issue with the larger vendors' sales.
"It's not the vegetables selling on blankets," he said. "It's the cars and tools. :"
The discussion was prompted by irregularities in the collection of city sales tax at the Grand Valley Auto sale, which were discovered by the Colorado Department of Revenue during an audit of the sale.
After a question from Councilmember Bill Johnston, Ferree told the Council that the city is not heavily involved in collecting the city sales tax generated at outside vendors' sales, or in enforcing collection.
"We depend on the Department of Revenue," Ferree said Tuesday night. "They're our tax collectors.
He said current language in the ordinance governing such sales about enforcement is primarily about reserving the right to do so as needed.