Airport report: 100 pages, no clear flight plan

Greg MassPost Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Six months and nine meetings after the formation of the Airport Ad Hoc Committee, there is still “no clear consensus” on what to do with the Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport.This discord will be at the heart of a 100-page report given to the Glenwood Springs City Council at their regular meeting Thursday. “This report consists of two reports,” wrote Councilman Dave Merritt, council representative for the Ad Hoc Airport Committee, “one prepared by the proponents of maintaining the use of the airport and one prepared by the group advocating that the airport be closed and used for alternative uses.”Community Development Department director Andrew McGregor said although no concrete decision was made on the fate of the 64-acre airport, the process brought to light valuable knowledge about the airport and surrounding land.”I don’t think at all it was a waste,” McGregor said. The committee was formed in August 2002 by City Council, charged with finding the highest and best use for the airport land. In January, the committee announced three options for the land: affordable housing, a high school site or remaining an airport.McGregor said one problem the committee faced was its strongly opinionated membership. Pilots, school board members, developers and others joined the committee to defend the use each felt would be best. “I think they had a really difficult decision,” McGregor said. “The group had special interests that were pitted against one another.”McGregor said other decisions hinge on what the city will do with the airport, including a choice on how to align the city’s proposed southern route. “It’s a challenging prospect,” he said. “I think council needs to make a decision to at least make some headway on the road alignment.” Council is considering three alignments for a new road and bridge connecting Airport Road with Highway 82, a project known as the south bridge. The Airport Ad Hoc Committee’s report will be presented to council as agenda item No. 12 during council’s regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall. Also on the agenda, council will:-Be updated on the city’s lighting ordinance, sewer plant study and road improvements for 2003. -Consider an agreement to help fund the Colorado West Recovery Center for detoxification services. -Consider a complaint by Paul and Candy Brachle regarding an insurance claim denial.-Consider a bid for trash removal. -Consider a variance request for a single-family home within the Hillside Preservation Overlay Zone at 707 Silver Oak Drive. -Hear a concept presentation on a 22,500-square-foot office building at 1605 Grand Ave. -Hear a concept presentation for a new fire station No. 2, the downtown fire station. -Hear a concept presentation for annexation, zoning and development of 33 townhouses on 5.5 acres north and west of Overlin Drive.-Consider a resolution requesting help from 3rd District Congressman Scott McInnis in securing federal funds to build a south bridge. -Consider resolutions and ordinances approving the technical aspects of Red Feather Ridge, then put the whole decision out for a vote of city residents. -Hear the annual report from the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.

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