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Council to consider details of parking, fire station plans

Part of the downtown puzzle could be put together Thursday when the details of a parking structure, a parking lot and two fire stations will be hashed out. The question of where to build a downtown parking structure has been discussed frequently by the Glenwood Springs City Council in recent months. Out of those discussions, the city retained Doug Porterfield’s DPA Architectural Group to put together a conceptual design and report showing the feasibility of a parking structure at the current site of the Glenwood Springs City Hall at Eighth Street and Cooper Avenue. The space of the property would allow for one double-loaded aisle of parking per floor, for a total of 71 parking spaces, the report said. The estimated cost for the three-story building would be about $2.24 million, or about $31,500 per space. An alternative five-story design was also proposed. This design would require a special review approval because of its height, but would provide 123 spaces. The alternative parking structure is estimated to cost about $3.7 million, or about $30,000 per space, the report said. All cost estimates are based on 2002 dollars and are expected to rise about 12 percent for each year the project is delayed. They also are based on “non-problematic soil conditions,” the report said. In the comments section of a memorandum sent to city manager Mike Copp, Community Development director Andrew McGregor pointed out that the cost per space is greatly influenced by the size of the site and that the economy of scale cannot be achieved on such a small site. McGregor also mentioned that locating a parking structure on the site might be premature in advance of the Downtown Development Authority’s parking management plan and the confluence area management plan. Lastly, McGregor wrote that tearing down and rebuilding Fire Station No. 2, then locating a new surface parking lot at the site would meet the goals of the Downtown Plan and would work for the fire department. “If asked, I’d probably tell them it would probably be better used as a firehouse and a surface parking lot,” McGregor said on Tuesday. The site could hold a surface lot that would provide approximately 45 to 50 spaces, as well as the new station. The current City Hall property is one of two possible spaces for the fire station. The other possibility is the Ninth Street and Cooper Avenue parking lot behind the U.S. Forest Service building. South fire stationOn the subject of fire stations, fire chief Mike Piper will inform City Council about his progress on land negotiations for a new Fire Station No. 3 at lot 40 of Four Mile Ranch. “We’re basically sending out (requests for proposal),” Piper said. “We’re in negotiations to purchase a lot at Four Mile Ranch.”According to a memo written to City Council by assistant city attorney Karl Hanlon, the Glenwood Springs Rural Fire Protection District received a counteroffer by Four Mile Ranch, saying it would sell the property for $175,000, to which the district board authorized execution of a purchase contract pending the provision of that information to council. “It’s a little smaller than Station No. 1,” Piper said, adding that would be about 4,000 to 5,000 square feet.The station would be designed in a “mountain contemporary” style to keep it in line with any residences that might be built there. “It looks like a big house,” Piper said. The station, already funded by a 2001 bond passed by voters, is expected to cost around $800,000. It could be built and operational by late winter of 2003, Piper said. Wye parking lotCity engineer Larry Thompson will appear before council to request a major development permit for a 48,970-square-foot, 116-space municipal parking lot at the former location of the city’s municipal operations center in the railroad wye. In its March 26 meeting, the Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission narrowly voted in favor of recommending approval of the permit to council by a vote of 4-3. The lot will provide parking for an estimated 60 to 65 city staffers, as well as spaces for the public. Also on Thursday’s agenda:-Proclamations will be made for honoring the Glenwood Springs Mock Trial Team, Tree City USA Day, Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month, Friends of the Community Center Week, Top Brass Week and National Crime Victims’ Week. -An update on street projects will be given. -The council will further discuss the possible construction of a bridge crossing the Roaring Fork River.-Council will consider an ordinance canceling its July 4 regular meeting. The council’s regular meeting will be held in Council Chambers at City Hall, 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.


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