DDA: $50,000 expert the ticket to studyparking | PostIndependent.com

DDA: $50,000 expert the ticket to studyparking

Glenwood Springs Downtown Development Authority administrators are seeking the preliminary approval of $50,000 to hire a consultant to look at paid parking in the city. The request will be made to the Glenwood Springs City Council on Thursday night at its regular meeting. According to a letter written by DDA director Bill Evans to the council, the DDA recently spearheaded a task force to look at the ramifications of implementing paid parking in the downtown sector. The task force recommended hiring an experienced professional consultant to design a strategic paid parking plan. “This would allow the task force to produce a professional and useful product and avoid both delays and the overburdening of city staff,” Evans wrote. The money could come from the General Improvement District, DDA tax increment funds and the city’s general fund. In a council work session on paid parking, it was generally agreed that paid parking will need to be done in a comprehensive manner because if it is just done in the immediate downtown area, adjoining neighborhoods would be adversely affected. “It was obvious to me that there’s a domino effect or a ripple effect, so you can’t really do this thing piecemeal,” Evans said on Monday. “I recommended to our board that we try to get in the forefront of this thing.”Evans stressed that the request is just for preliminary approval. The next step would be to write up a request for qualifications and a request for proposal. “I hope that’s a high number,” Evans said of the $50,000 figure. Even if paid parking is recommended by a consultant, it most likely would not be implemented for at least a year, Community Development Director Andrew McGregor said. “One of the issues with paid parking is you need to provide people with some alternative,” McGregor said. “It’s kind of one piece of a puzzle.”Evans said he would like all affected people and groups to stay engaged in the process. “We want to make it very inclusive of all involved,” he said. Council will also consider approving a resolution that would set the base year for the DDA’s tax increment financing plan.Tax increment financing, or TIF, is a system of generating money to pay for projects by using a portion of sales and property tax dollars. Once 2001 is designated as the base year for the TIF, any growth in city sales and property taxes after that year will be allocated to the DDA to pay for ventures such as the construction of a new parking structure or other downtown improvement projects.The resolution that will be on the table Thursday calls for 50 percent of the downtown core’s sales tax growth, as well as property taxes. The financing would be reviewed every two years and could be adjusted by City Council. Also on City Council’s agenda:-A conceptual review of an annexation and zoning request for a mixed use project at the old West Glenwood golf driving range will be given.The property owner proposes to develop 92 modular home sites, nine multi-family buildings with a total of 34 units, a convenience store and a mini-storage complex with 200 to 400 units on the 38-acre property. “It’s just a very conceptual notion at this point,” McGregor said. “Obviously it would have to go through annexation.”The property, however, might not even be eligible for annexation because it is not clear if there is an appropriate path of annexation connecting it to the rest of the city. Also, the property is not included within the city’s urban development boundary.-Council will be updated on the ad hoc commission formed to study the best use for the city’s current airport land.-Council will consider a grant giving the city right of first refusal on Garfield County’s road and bridge shop. City leaders want the property so they can use it to shift the alignment of Highway 82 sometime in the future. Garfield County commissioners were planning to charge the city a nonrefundable $30,000 fee for the right, but after some convincing by city leaders, they said they would drop the fee. -Council will consider whether to use Victim’s Assistance Law Enforcement, or VALE, funds for police use. -The award of a contract for design services for the south Glenwood Springs roundabout and bridge will be considered. -A work session on the planning for the confluence area will be held at 5 p.m. in City Hall Thursday, before council’s regular meeting at 6:30 p.m.

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