Monday, April 1, 2013





JANUARY 28, 2013


The Silver Plume Board of Trustees met on Monday, January 28, 2013, at its regularly scheduled meeting at the Small Town Hall.  Mayor Lyssy called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.

The following roll was recorded:

Fred Lyssy                  present

Earl Ballard             present

Jeff Best         present 

Curt Osborne                present

Eben Mond                   present

Nicholas Regester         present

Scott Shafer                   excused


Others present:  Stormy Culp, Cuddy Donovan, Rosalie Bianco, Susan Hallet, Sarah Walen, Billy McCormick, George Downing, Tim McDonough and staff Jodi Candlin.



Ballard made a motion to approve the bills list.  Regester seconded, Best abstained and the motion passed.


Mayor Lyssy discussed the agenda items and let the board know that Rick Gaubatz has suggested the street and sidewalk ordinance needs more work and would like to review it and have input on it. The watershed ordinance was written by the town attorney and has technical and legal language.  R. Gaubatz has discussed that the town has a watershed ordinance from 1976 and this new ordinance would supersede it. 



Ballard made a motion to approve the agenda.  Osborne seconded and the motion passed unanimously.



Sarah Walen told the board that she is glad they are doing a watershed ordinance and thanked them for their hard work.  There was an 18-wheeler truck going to the pellet mill the previous week and was using the wrong route.  The truck driver went over the Woodward St. bridge and tried to turn left to go to the pellet mill and could not make the turn.  He almost hit her car and she said she could move her car but not her house.  Stormy Culp and Rosalie Bianco, pellet mill owner, addressed this and let her know that she was doing business with a few new vendors and they had gotten the incorrect


directions from Google.  This rarely happens as all her vendors are instructed to use the service road and not to enter town.  In addition, the mill calls them to remind them of the correct way to get to the mill.  They also are instructed to call the mill as they are getting close to the mill on I-70 and they are reminded of the correct route and instructed again not to go through town for any reason.   



Mayor Lyssy discussed the Twin Tunnels project and that more and more activity is happening.  This project will last for 18 months or so and blasting will begin in April.  At that time, the frontage road will be in use.  He asked J. Candlin to post the lane closure reports at the Post Office.  At the Mayor's and Board of County Commissioner's meeting, the road improvement tax that was approved some years ago may go on the ballot to ask for more time as there are still roads that need to be improved.  The Clear Creek County Youth Awards were discussed which are given to teens facing adversity and overcoming it in a positive way.  School counselors are usually the ones who identify these kids and recommend them for these awards.  The awards are pending now and the county and some of the municipalities are donating money for this program.  The town does not have money in the budget for this but Mayor Lyssy said there might be ways for the town to collect voluntary donations.



E. Ballard does not see any significant changes from last time.  The ordinance will protect the town's infrastructure by limiting the weight limits.  People can make improvements to their sidewalks and they are required to keep them clean of snow, dirt, gravel, unlicensed vehicles are prohibited from parking on the streets.  The ordinance is on the website.  There won't be any action on this agenda tonight per R. Gaubatz' proposed changes.  Rosalie Bianco discussed that the trucks that come to the pellet mill weight 80,000 pounds and this will impact the pellet mill.  Mayor Lyssy said the board does not have any answers tonight and this ordinance needs to be done that does not single out any businesses.  N. Regester talked about the sidewalk section and that there are not many and what is designated as a sidewalk.  He feels the definition of sidewalk needs to be better defined.  
The Watershed Ordinance is on the website and this constitutes the second reading of the ordinance.  There is no controversy associated with this ordinance and the board will vote for approval on the next agenda.  




Rosalie Bianco asked the board if signs could be put up to better direct semi trucks to the mill the proper route and that she would pay for them.  Mayor Lyssy believes the town adopted a uniform sign code and will speak to R. Gaubatz about this and what type of signs to install.  R. Bianco then discussed with the board that she is working on a plan to begin chipping off site and should start in February.  Her goal is to chip 100% off site but that may not always be possible due to unforeseen circumstances and right now plans on chipping 50% off site. The chips will come in a chipping truck, be dumped onto a conveyor belt, sent into the mill where they will be turned into pellets and packaged.  This will hopefully work better not only for the pellet mill but for the town as this will be a quieter and cleaner operation.  Logs and the chipper will still always need to be on site in case something happens to the off site chipping plan or unforeseen circumstances.  The chipper trucks will unload the chips in about 20 minutes onto the conveyor belt; this will not change the number of trucks that will still go to the pellet mill in response to a board member's question. The new conveyor for this chipping operation will not be completed until Feb 22 and then will have to be delivered. Until then, a smaller conveyor will be fed by a front end loader.  The blower will be removed from the chipper on site to further reduce noise and dust. The chips are being delivered from a sawmill in Parshall and other sites, and if the logging sites are large enough, chipping will occur there off site.  

R. Bianco discussed the decibel levels and that she measurers them from the street in front of  Eben Mond's house and behind his house on the public trail and the levels range from 65 db to 70 db.  When the chipper is off, the levels are the same due to the noise from the highway. Rosalie is making positive changes as quickly as she can to continue to better the relationship between the mill and the town.  She then discussed with the board a landscaping plan she has designed and showed them computer drawings.  They include walls, trees, mounds and chips for mulch.  She wants to beautify the pellet mill site and invited E. Mond to provide additional advice on irrigation since he was concerned about it.  Mayor Lyssy said the board is ok with the landscaping plan as long as it does not encroach onto town streets.  He would like to make a site visit to the pellet mill to better understand the landscaping plan which will occur later in the week with any board members willing to attend.  The landscaping wall will start at Darrel and Rebeka Whitney's house and R. Bianco is doing this project to beatify and benefit the town and to create a landscaped barrier for the same reason.  C. Osborne asked if chipping off site will be economically feasible for the mill and she said it would be as long as the moisture content is manageable.  Her goal is to reduce chipping on site to as little as possible because it is necessary to chip right up until 7:00 make production through the night possible.  Off site chipping would help to reduce that or eliminate it if possible.   

E. Mond let her know that the door that faces east on the pellet mill is not closed all of the time and wondered why.  R. Bianco said there is no reason and that she would make sure it is closed at night. R. Bianco would also like to create a mulch pile that would be available for town residents to use at no charge (not near the creek) using organic materials.  This mulch could be used to beautify yards, for flowers and trees.  She next discussed the possibility of installing a gate on Main St. where the industrial zone meets the residential zone.  This would make a clear distinction between the Industrial part of Silver Plume and the Residential part of Silver Plume. Mayor Lyssy said he was not in favor of this due to the fact that people will perceive they can't drive all the way through Main St.  Mayor Lyssy discussed that the pellet mill is storing pellets on Burleigh St. which is encroaching on town owned streets.  Per Rick Gaubatz, this encroachment has caused the town's HUTF (Highway Users Tax Funds) funds to be docked.  Burleigh Street runs directly in front of the front door of the mill, and pellets are stored there only to be loaded. There is no mechanism for complaints that the town receives about the pellet mill and the board would like to have an agreement with the pellet mill to address these sorts of items.  Mayor Lyssy's idea is to pull items from the minutes and write up an agreement for the benefit of both the mill and the town.  R. Bianco said she is willing to participate in working on an agreement and is willing to attend board meetings to address complaints.  Billy McCormick spoke to the board and R. Bianco about the industrial interface with the residential interface.  He is concerned about fires and explosions at the pellet mill and urged the board to look at the reality of what is at the east end of town.  He wants to make sure there is defensible fire space and that emergency vehicles can access all parts of the mill.  The board needs to think about the health and well being of the town.  He has never seen a lumber mill/pellet mill so close to a residential area and feels that the timber piles have no restriction to access and are an attractive hazard, especially to children.  R. Bianco addressed this and said the mill chose to install augers instead of air systems to move the material around the plant to minimize fire hazard.  The cyclones use small runs of air systems and Rosalie is looking into putting in blow out panels to be extra safe.  Logs are stored next to the creek; the logloader is moveable and is not in fire lanes per Kelly Babeon, Clear Creek Fire Chief.  The landscaping plan will also help in that it will prevent people from walking into the log and chipping area.  E. Mond discussed that she may want to landscape the back part of the property that is against the creek since people do fish in the creek.  C. Osborne discussed that R. Bianco has lots of good ideas and the most important to him are chipping off site, dust plumes and grinding until 9:45 p.m. which has a huge effect and impact on the west end of town.  R. Bianco would like the town and the pellet mill to communicate better; things happen and they shouldn't.  There have been negative videos posted on the internet about the Silver Plume pellet mill by a few people on the west end of town.  Although they are not affecting her business, she would like anyone who has a problem to contact her directly instead of posting a video. She has

provided her personal phone number.  She continues to work towards positive improvement like off site chipping, and direct communication would encourage more good things rather than creating animosity.   Mr. Osborne referred to the 2009 reviewed and approved minutes in which Ms. Bianco stated that there would be no noise and no dust emanating from the pellet mill.  Mr. Osborne asked why this promise hadn't been kept, and Ms. Bianco stated that the Board and Clerk obviously were mistaken in those minutes.  Mr. Ballard stated to Mr. Mond and Mr. Osborne that he had done a thorough visit of the west end and heard no noise and saw no dust.  Mr. Osborne reminded the board that this is exactly why residents need to continue documenting, with audio and video, what is happening at the west end.  Mayor Lyssy said there is an urgency to get this agreement started and R. Bianco said to let her know when he wants to start.  J. Best said that he can hear the blower motor at 2:00 a.m. and asked if there was a phone number he could call at the pellet mill; R. Bianco wants him to call her.  N. Regester asked if any kind of fire retardant could be used in the landscaping plan to prevent the spread of fire, perhaps cinderblocks.  E. Mond suggested sprinkler heads and pipes and a flexible pipe to the creek (which may or may not be allowed), berms, trees and indigenous plants and a watering plan. 



Sarah and Wilson Franklin sent a letter to the town regarding the use of the path behind Large Town Hall which they own.  The path is used as an emergency egress as well as an ADA path.  The Franklin's letter said the path is for sale for $15,000 and if the town does not purchase it, the path is no longer available for use.  The Franklin's also gave a deadline of February 15, 2013. Mayor Lyssy will write a letter to the Franklin's letting them know that the deadline does not give the town enough time for a resolution. 



N. Regester attended the Clear Creek Fire Authority meeting and reported that Kelly Babeon is moving into the Silver Plume Firehouse and will pay rent in the amount of $450 per month.  He does not know who the rent money is being paid to and the board discussed that is owes the Fire Authority $10,000 and wondered if this money could be applied to the debt that the town owes.  N. Regester also discussed that he was informed   

he could not vote because the town is not current with its payments.  The board discussed that since this is a new agreement, the town is not in arrears enough to not have a vote.  E. Mond discussed the air quality, dust and odor from the pellet mill.  The smell of pine is now consistent and he is concerned about what he and his wife may be inhaling.  He has done research on beetle kill and found that the blue stain they produce is fungus and wants to know if it's harmful to breathe in.  He also discussed that there is no buffer between the pellet mill and residences and wonders of the board is ok with what is occurring at the pellet mill.








Mayor Lyssy wrote a document about the different zoning in town, that a clear process and steps need to be outlined to make it more clear for applicants and the town.  The town attorney believes that the town only needs two boards, not the four there are now

because some duties may overlap.  The town is vulnerable with its current zoning ordinance and does not want any more lawsuits.  The zoning ordinance needs to be updated to protect the town, its residents, individuals, landowners and businesses.  George Downing is in favor of writing a new ordinance and is willing to be part of the process.  Mayor Lyssy has spoken to Rick Caldwell about this and he is willing to work on this as well. 



            APPROVAL OF MINUTES 1/14/13

Ballard made a motion to approve the minutes from January 14, 2013. Osborne seconded, Regester abstained and the motion passed.



The meeting adjourned at 10:12 p.m.


Respectfully submitted: 


Jodi Candlin, Town Clerk

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