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Glenwood ponders parking problem

Paid parking in downtown Glenwood Springs could still be a while off. In a work session held before the Glenwood Springs City Council meeting Thursday, it was decided that more research should go into the potential effects of paid parking before it’s implemented. “It’s citizen involvement that we need,” Councilwoman Jean Martensen said. One of the concerns is that if paid parking is implemented, a ripple effect would cause people to find free parking in the surrounding neighborhoods. “It’s guaranteed anything we do downtown is going to cause a ripple effect,” Glenwood Springs police chief Terry Wilson said.Several downtown merchants were in attendance. They implored the council to do something because they are all losing customers because of a lack of available parking. The owner of Mountain Valley Textiles said many of her customers have ordered through the Internet because they can never find a space. The couple who owns the Daily Bread also spoke to the council about the parking problems. “A lot of people say they’d come in more often if there was someplace to park.”The consensus was that the way to find a solution is to get a group together to look carefully at the problem. “We need an ad-hoc committee to look at the problem and come back,” Mayor Don Vanderhoof said.The committee will be formed and report on their progress within the next several months. “If it’s going to take longer than that, I think the consensus is that we need a good plan, we don’t need a fast plan,” Councilman Dan Richardson said. In other business:-Most agreed with the wording of a resolution establishing a base year for the Downtown Development Authority’s tax increment financing system – as long as property taxes aren’t included. The resolution states that the DDA would get 50 percent of any municipal sales tax increments.Despite this, DDA director Bill Evans said he would like to come back with another resolution and try to convince council to adopt it. It will be looked at during their March 7 meeting. -An alternative location was discussed for Glenwood Springs Fire Station No. 2, the station now attached to City Hall. The plan was to rebuild the station in its current location, but after some talk of using that space to build a parking structure, the idea of building the new station behind the U.S. Forest Service building came up. “I would certainly like to look into another alternative,” Councilman Dan Richardson said. -City Council questioned whether the use of mag chloride – a chemical agent sprayed on roads to prevent snow from sticking – should be discontinued by the city. The chemical corrodes vehicles and makes a general mess, causing many to oppose its use. Members of the city’s staff were asked to look at alternatives to mag chloride and get back to council on what they find. -Councilman Dan Richardson again pushed his idea of funding Ride Glenwood Springs buses 100 percent, making it free to ride on them. The fares generated from riders comes to about $125,000 per year, or 25 percent of the system’s total cost. While most members of council, with the exception of Councilman Dave Merritt, were against the idea, they decided to schedule a work session on the subject for sometime in the future.


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