City to charge for park permits
People planning to hold shindigs at Glenwood Springs parks soon will be able to reserve a shelter – but it won’t be free. In an effort to boost revenues and avoid conflicts at local parks, the City Council voted Thursday to approve the implementation of user fees to reserve park pavilions for exclusive use. “We believe that park use should be available at no cost, but when patrons request exclusive use, we should collect a user fee to defray administrative and maintenance costs,” Parks and Recreation Department director Dan Rodgerson wrote in a memo to City Council. General unscheduled park and pavilion use will still be free. The fees are part of an overall plan to make the department’s programs and facilities more cost effective. “The city spends nearly $500,000 each year for park maintenance and does not recover any fees for shelter rentals, field rentals or large special events,” Rodgerson wrote. As an example of possible conflicts, Rodgerson wrote that according to the current ordinance, if a vagrant was sitting in a shelter, he could stay there even if the group wishing to use the shelter has a permit. Also, if another group was using the shelter, it’s been tough luck for the group coming in later. “Nearly every other neighboring municipality charges for the exclusive use of shelters,” Rodgerson wrote. “More and more, our parks are being used by nonresidents simply because we do not charge for facility use.”Similar to the Community Center, city residents pay less than nonresidents. The price for reserving a shelter for four hours is:For residents and nonprofits, small shelters will cost $20 and large shelters will cost $30. For businesses and nonresidents, a small shelter will cost $30 and a large shelter will cost $40. In addition, the city charges $100 for all rentals for a cleaning deposit, which is returned if the shelter is tidied. Reservations can be made up to eight months in advance and groups of 75 people or more must obtain a special event permit. In other business:-Council approved the second reading of an ordinance annexing Glenwood Meadows into the city, and another rezoning the land.-Council approved the emergency procurement of $476,000 for a pedestrian underpass beneath West Midland Avenue to serve the Community Center, as well as an additional $42,000 for a hard-surface trail to the Community Center from the underpass. It will be built by Gould Construction. Half of the underpass cost will be reimbursed to the city by Meadows developers. Although it’s an emergency procurement, the project remains within its original budget, city engineer Larry Thompson said. -Council approved four variances for the major development of an office building on Gilstrap Court. The building, designed to look somewhat like an Oriental restaurant, will be built between the Quality Inn and the new home of Elk Mountain Motors. Craig Helm is the applicant for this three-story building. The variances included a height variance, at-grade improvements within the river setback, a design variance from the eight-foot sidewalk and a variance so the designer doesn’t have to put in a planting island every eight parking spaces. -Council approved holding a special election to vacate a portion of the Palmer Avenue and 19th Street rights of way. The street vacations are part of a plan to expand Valley View Hospital. The date of the special election has not yet been determined.
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