City Council delays riparian setback discussion, schedules COVID-19 meeting
With a recent spike in COVID-19 infection rates, Glenwood Springs City Council decided Thursday to host a special meeting next week for discussions addressing face coverings and additional protection options.
During the council’s regular meeting, a Rifle resident, who identified herself only as Dessa, told the council she was concerned about the current progress of the pandemic and asked them to consider a plan for reducing rising infection rates.
Mayor Jonathan Godes echoed the resident’s concerns, adding he would like the council to discuss face-covering enforcement options at a meeting Wednesday.
Godes explained some nearby communities have added teeth to their face covering ordinances, giving businesses the ability to tell customers they will suffer consequences if customers do not comply.
“I think that’s a potential avenue we would want to talk about,” he said.
Mayor Pro Tem Shelley Kaup said she would be interested in reviewing several communities’ protection policies to see what would best fit Glenwood.
“I would also like to have a forward thinking conversation about what we can do to help schools,” Kaup added.
On the topic of face coverings, Councilor Rick Voorhees said he wasn’t interested in “figuring out how to bring the hammer down” on non-compliant residents or businesses, but rather the best enforcement options for the city’s current mask ordinance.
Councilor Tony Hershey said the council’s time could be better spent.
“I really want to be talking more about saving the people money and fixing our streets,” Hershey said. “COVID-19 is an important issue, but there are other things we have to do, too.”
Due to a longer-than-expected pre-agenda conversation and in-depth presentation on the Bell Rippy development, the council voted to postpone the riparian setback conversation until the Aug. 6 regular session.
The riparian setback amendment to municipal code is intended to prevent the loss or removal of riparian vegetation and improve water quality by eliminating the application of hazardous chemicals in the proposed 35 foot setback zone.
“I apologize to all the people who called in and attended tonight for this topic,” Godes said. “We will make sure it’s the first item on the agenda at the next meeting.”
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Update at 9:45 p.m.: I-70 is open westbound at MM 114, West Glenwood. Eastbound remains closed at MM 105, New Castle, for an estimated 5-7 hours.