Glenwood Airport back on the radar as City Council holds off on proposed storage improvements | PostIndependent.com

Glenwood Airport back on the radar as City Council holds off on proposed storage improvements

The Glenwood Springs Airport, as seen from the air
Kyle Mills/Post Independent file

City Council declined to approve storage improvements at the Glenwood Springs Airport until the property’s Scenario Planning Project concludes later this year.

The request from RAVCO was to place five, 8 by 40 foot storage containers on the airport property that each stood 8 ½ feet tall. The containers, commonly referred to as CONEX containers, would have housed aviation related equipment.

In a unanimous vote, however, Council voted to postpone any such decision until the Airport Property Scenario Planning Project consultant team led by Gruen Gruen + Associates with help from SGM Engineering and The Land Studio concludes, likely this fall.

“My tendency would be to put this off until after we have the results of that study,” Mayor Pro Tem Shelley Kaup said at Thursday’s Council meeting. “I would opt for the process that includes public input.”

Earlier this year, the consultant team provided the public with three potential scenarios for the airport property including “expanded aviation,” a “mixed-use village” or a “residential village.”

The expanded aviation option presented at the March, public meeting discussed modest enhancements to the airport’s current facilities.

The mixed-use village would convert approximately 75 percent of the property to residential use but would retain the helipad and fueling station, whereas the residential village proposed converting the property entirely into non-aviation uses.

“I think we just need to wait and see what we are doing with this airport study,” Councilor Charlie Willman commented. “I think it is premature to do anything else.”

Another issue includes the city’s long sought after South Bridge Project that carries with it an estimated price tag of $40 million.

The preferred South Bridge route would begin west of the Roaring Fork River at the intersection of Midland Avenue and Four Mile Road and ultimately connect to state Highway 82 just south of the Holy Cross Energy headquarters.

Along that route South Bridge would need to tunnel underneath the airport’s runway.

Correspondence between RAVCO and City Council stated “there is an acute lack of hangar and storage space available at the Glenwood Springs Airport.”

According to a City Council Staff Report, “Each owner which bases their plane, currently 69 total, at the airport pays the city $575 each year to lease/rent the space.”

“We have an airport that has been a part of this community for fifty plus years and it has engendered a lot of passion,” Mayor Jonathan Godes said in an interview Friday.

Godes explained that South Bridge and the need for more housing juxtaposed with the airport’s critical assistance to firefighting and the hospital’s lifesaving operations was a challenge.

“Balancing all of those competing issues and priorities is really tough and that is why we’ve undertaken and gotten a grant to do a study to see what are the different options and then present those different options to the community,” Godes said.

“At the end of the day, the community is going to make a decision on this airport.”

mabennett@postindependent.com


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