Anti-COPs group to have their say before City Council |

Anti-COPs group to have their say before City Council

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – More than 500 signatures registering disapproval of City Council’s golf course funding method were turned in to city clerk Robin Clemons Thursday evening, a political group said Thursday.As a result, City Council will place the group, Citizens for Responsible City Spending, on the Aug. 7 City Council agenda to make its argument. Members of the group have been collecting signatures for a petition that requests a public vote on the city’s proposed funding method for a golf course and other recreational amenities. The petition is informal, so Clemons is not required to verify, or even count, the signatures. Specifically, CRCS is opposed to City Council’s planned use of certificates of participation to build the golf course, a kayak park and to partially fund a swimming pool. Many municipalities have used COPs to borrow millions of dollars without legally going into debt, thereby skipping the need for a public vote that would be required under Colorado’s TABOR Act.In all, the city plans to borrow $12.3 million. A bond debt schedule shows the city will pay $6.3 million in interest during the 20-year payback period.CRCS member Nancy Stevens, who is blind, used Braille to read a prepared statement to council at its regular meeting Thursday at City Hall. Stevens said many who signed the petition expressed the opinion that it’s unfair of City Council to approve such a large loan without approval from voters. She said any use of COPs should be for “need-to-have” items, not “nice-to-have” amenities. “City Council members are responsible for running the city and paying bills. This decision should be left to the city (voters),” she said. Stevens said the group wants a ballot initiative or council referendum to be placed on the Nov. 4 ballot. In other business, City Council: -Adopted a long-range transportation plan. The plan, produced by city transportation manager Melissa Laeser, prioritizes transportation projects in and around the city. It includes highways, bicycle and pedestrian routes, as well as transportation infrastructure improvements. -Approved a major development permit and some variances for a planned 21,472-square-foot office building at the Van Rand Center. -Approved the extension of approvals to construct a hotel at Lot 5 of Two Rivers Plaza until Oct. 10, 2005. -Approved the construction of four tennis courts at the Community Center. Construction for three of the courts will begin this year and construction on the fourth court will begin in 2004 to allow room for aquatic center construction staging. -Approved amendments to the annexation and development agreement between the city and Glenwood Meadows developers. The amendment includes a provision granting the city ownership of land that’s proposed to become a golf course earlier than originally scheduled. -Approved an ordinance that will bar City Council members from voting when they serve on on quasi-judicial boards. The ordinance affects the Liquor Licensing Board, the Building and Contractor’s Licensing Board, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Adjustment and Appeals. Although City Council members won’t be able to vote, they will remain on the boards in a liaison capacity. Contact Greg Mass: 945-8515, ext.

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