City goal session centers on budget, bypass, buses
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Finance, recreation and transportation were among the top subjects at City Council’s yearly goal-setting session on Friday.
“The absolute No. 1 issue we have to address is economics,” City Councilman Bruce Christensen said.
The eight-hour goal-setting session was held Friday at the Community Center.
On the financial front, City Council members expressed concern about the 12 percent plunge in November sales tax revenues and discussed ways to get the city back on an upswing.
Council is looking at trying to attract clean industries to the city and figuring out what gaps could be filled in the city’s retail shops.
Another darker subject discussed by council is assembling a “contingency hit list” of possible budget cuts that could be made if the city’s revenues continue to dive.
Steps toward the relocation of Highway 82 were also pegged as a possible goal for 2004.
“We’ve got to do something about the speed and the noise,” Christensen said of the traffic that speeds through downtown on Grand Avenue.
City Manager Mike Copp suggested that downtown should be shifted rather than moving the state highway.
“That’s a real paradigm shift, Mike,” Councilman Dave Merritt said to Copp about the suggestion.
Copp, who is retiring as city manager on April 30 after 20 years, said Council should look at making the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers the focal point of downtown, rather than Grand Avenue.
“Maybe the answer is to relocate downtown, maybe the answer is to relocate Highway 82, but I think we’ve lost focus on why we’re moving it,” Councilman Dan Richardson said.
Free bus rides from Ride Glenwood Springs was another idea discussed by council.
“In most resort towns, the buses are free,” Councilman Joe O’Donnell said.
The estimated cost of free Ride Glenwood buses would be $157,000 a year ” the amount riders now pay in fares.
Christensen suggested the possibility of providing free bus passes to hotels so tourists could use them.
Councilwoman Chris McGovern spoke out against the idea.
“I think we’re subsidizing buses at a very high cost,” she said.
The suggestions made Friday will be boiled down to about five or six main goals with sub-goals attached, then the list will be ratified sometime in mid-February, city clerk Robin Clemons said.
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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