Glenwood City Council to take a closer look at A&I fund
South Bridge, South Midland and Sixth Street, all, jockeying for money
In 2016, Glenwood Springs voters renewed the city’s Acquisitions and Improvements (A&I) sales tax as well as a companion, bonding authority question.
At its regularly scheduled meeting, Thursday, city council hopes to solidify where to allocate those remaining bond funds.
“The voters approved this three years ago. And, at the time, we did not have a clear understanding of the costs or necessary scope of the projects that were listed,” Jonathan Godes, Glenwood Springs mayor, said. “There was an overwhelming desire from council to stick to what the voters in 2016 said when they approved this ballot language.”
In addition to the 30-year extension of the 1-cent A&I sales tax, voters also approved a $54 million bonding authority question in 2016.
Per the bonding authority’s ballot language, its intent was to finance “one or more” capital projects including: South Bridge, South Midland Avenue, the 27th Street Bridge, the Sixth Street corridor, a river walk and other infrastructure at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers.
“I would be very, very disappointed as a citizen if I thought that this money was going to be used for a purpose other than what was outlined,” Godes said.
The city has already issued $22.2 million in bonds to fund projects commencing in 2019.
The non-binding resolution for council consideration earmarks how to spend the remaining bond funds and revenue generated from the A&I tax.
Four of the resolution’s eight bullet points include South Bridge, which would provide an additional access between State Highway 82 and the west side of the Roaring Fork River in south Glenwood Springs.
Specifically, the resolution outlines reserving $20,000,000 in bonding capacity for South Bridge and spending $2.25 million for its completed design and necessary land acquisition.
The city would also tap $250,000 annually from its A&I sales tax revenue for the project.
“South Bridge is just a huge need of the city and we need to spend the money there,” Councilor Charlie Willman said.
Should the city not begin construction on South Bridge by 2025, it risks losing a $5 million congressional earmark for the project, too.
In addition to South Bridge, the reconstruction of Midland Avenue between 27th Street and Four Mile Road remains a top priority.
Current bond proceeds as well as a $7 million Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant will fund the project, likely to begin in 2020.
According to the resolution for council consideration, $1.75 million of the current bond proceeds will go toward the Sixth Street corridor.
“I think that is roughly what it is going to cost to do the Laurel to Pine streetscape,” Willman said. “We are not talking about doing something like Seventh Street, and the degree of amenities there.”
Additionally, roughly $7.8 million has already been allocated for the completion of the 27thStreet Bridge and $3.1 million for Two Rivers Park’s restoration.
“I think we have to, as a city, carry out the intent of the voters, which was to spend the money on these projects,” Willman said. “I think we are carrying out that intent by the way it is being expended.”
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