Not permitted on grounds, says 1952 city resolution
Should dogs be allowed in the Boulder Cemetery? That is a question that will be taken up by the Boulder City Council at its May meeting.
The Boulder Cemetery, with its sweeping views of the Elkhorns to the east, the hills to the west and a bird’s eye perspective of the city, is a favorite spot for residents to walk their dogs.
However, a 1952 resolution establishing cemetery rules forbids dogs, as well as horses and livestock, from using the grounds, as it is “sacredly devoted to the interment of the human dead,” according to the resolution.
City Clerk Ellen Harne found the document when the city’s auditors, Strom & Associates, asked when the cemetery was established as part of its annual auditing process.
At the same time, the Boulder Cemetery Board has come up with a draft set of guidelines stating that dogs must be under the control of their owners, and that their waste be picked up.
This 1952 resolution may conflict with these new guidelines, said Cemetery Board member Pat Lewis at the April 19 City Council meeting.
The City Council went on to approve a resolution allowing the creation of more lots at the cemetery, based upon a survey completed by J Bar T.
“We think we know where everyone is located now,” said Boulder Mayor Rusty Giulio of the survey designed to locate the occupied grave sites.
Meanwhile, the City Council agreed to return a dog waste station to Veterans Park.
The park originally had two stations — one by the skate park and the other along Main Street, with the latter removed to make way for the kiosk.
The second station will be placed about five to 10 feet north of the kiosk, said Cheryl Haasakker with the Animal Shelter and Care Committee (AS&CC).
The city also agreed to continue buying the bags for the dog waste stations and emptying the cans, while the AS&CC will continue to keep the stations supplied, according to Haasakker.
•The City Council agreed to open the new public restrooms, located next to City Hall, on Mondays through Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on special occasions with a $50 cleaning deposit. If the organizers clean the bathroom, the deposit will be returned, otherwise it will be used to hire a contractor to do the work.
“We built the building, we need to use it,” said Giulio.
The restrooms, which cost $155,299, were paid for out of the $500,000 the city received from the state as compensation for the closing of the Montana Development Center.
• The City Council passed a resolution to distribute BarSAA funds of $35,926, with a 5% match from the city of $17,096. The funds will be used to pave Monroe and Washington streets and 1st and 2nd avenues in the city.
BaRSAA funds, or the Bridge and Road Safety and Accountability Act, provides funding to localities based on a formula that takes into account the fuel tax and the number of miles a locality has. In the case of Boulder, it’s 18,394 miles, according to Harne.
• The City Council tabled an item that would have paid $10 toward gym memberships for its police officers. The issue has been on the agenda for the past few months, with the idea that the officers would travel to gyms in Helena. The gym membership request had been made by Chief Joe Canzona.
Connie Grenz, who is a board member of the Boulder Fitness Center, has taken issue with this, stating that the police should be using the hometown gym rather than traveling out of the city.
The city’s insurance carrier had already advised the city not to allow the officers to use city vehicles to travel to and from the out-of-town gym.
The Boulder Fitness Center has recently closed because its former location, the Ammen Building, has been sold. The Center’s equipment is currently being stored in the former gym located in the Pietrasanta apartments. Grenz pointed out that the Center has a variety of equipment and is open to purchasing new pieces upon request. The Fitness Center is still seeking a permanent location.
•The Council is considering an update to its policy on past due utility accounts.
The current policy is “so convoluted” and doesn’t follow the city’s ordinance, said Harne.
Harne said the current practice is to send letters at 30, 60 and 90 days, but not shut the utility off until a lien is filed against a property. The utility in this case being water.
The proposed policy calls for a late payment notice to be sent to accounts 15 days past due and a final notice to disconnect at 25 days past due. At 35 days past due, the Boulder Police will serve the property with a door tag stating the service will be disconnected for lack of payment in four days unless paid by 9 a.m. the day of the scheduled disconnect.
The disconnect will cost $25, and it will cost another $25 to turn it back on, according to the proposed policy.
For those who have had service cut off, and continue to accrue a monthly base rate fee, will have a lien filed on the property, according to the proposed policy.
The policy will return to the City Council for consideration at its May meeting.
• The City Council agreed to set up a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) fund for an emergency services building. The fund would be for federal pandemic relief monies, to include the $127,299 the city is receiving through the CARES Act. A portion of those funds are being used to create video capability in City Hall for remote meetings.
The building would allow for storage for the city’s three emergency services departments, police, fire and ambulance, for items such as personal protective equipment.
Council member Michael “Bear” Taylor said the departments have plenty of PPE, but do need storage.
• Giulio also agreed to reopen the dump station on the south side of the new bathrooms behind City Hall until the Town Pump dump station is completed and temperatures permit. The dump station was closed last year during the construction of the public restrooms.