Glenwood voters approve selling MOC property during Tuesday special election | PostIndependent.com
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Glenwood voters approve selling MOC property during Tuesday special election

Volunteer election judge Kacee Stewart organizes ballots at the ballot drop-off location at Glenwood Springs City Hall on Tuesday morning.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Glenwood voters overwhelmingly approved authorizing the city to sell its municipal operations center in Tuesday’s special election.

Ballot Issue A, the only question on the ballot, asked voters to authorize the city to sell or otherwise convey its interest in the 19-acre property at 2307 Wulfsohn Road and the access road leading to it.

According to unofficial election results, which came in around 8 p.m., 1,019 residents supported Ballot Issue A whereas 454 did not.

The municipal operations center was constructed in 2002 and has required significant foundation and structural repairs over the years.

In 2014, the city spent nearly $2.5 million trying to stabilize the roughly 35,000-square-foot facility, but to little avail.

Citing employee safety, the city decided to move its Electric, Fleet, Parks, Streets and Special Works Activities Team departments out of the building last year.

Instead of pouring additional resources into the structurally ailing facility, the city wanted to sell the property, but needed voter approval to do so.

In the past, RFTA has expressed interest in purchasing the 19-acre MOC property and access road leading to it.

Last year, RFTA provided the city with a non-binding letter of interest that included $1.2 million for the property and $60,000 for the access road leading to it.

The city mailed out approximately 5,600 ballots to Glenwood Springs residents on March 23 for the special election.

In November, approximately 2,074 Glenwood voters participated in the regular election, which authorized a new tobacco tax.

Additionally, last April roughly 2,195 votes were cast when residents ultimately said no to a new street tax.

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the city strongly recommended that voters mail their ballots in to avoid in-person contact.

Residents could still drop off ballots inside the county courthouse or in the gray box outside of the courthouse along Eighth Street.

City hall was also open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday for residents to drop off ballots or get a replacement one.

“We got quite a lot dropped off, but we also got quite a lot mailed in,” Catherine Fletcher, Glenwood Springs city clerk, said. “It’s probably about 50/50.”

Because city hall has been shut down, a few city employees from various departments assisted in the ballot-counting process.

Ballot counters wore face coverings and gloves as they stacked envelopes, verified signatures and ran ballots through the counting machine in council chambers.

“Wearing a mask, wearing it for a whole day, all day, it’s a lot,” Fletcher said. “Nobody realizes until you have to do that.”

Kacee Stewart, who generally works in the police department as a records clerk, had been helping process ballots since last week.

“It’s different,” Stewart said. “It feels nice to be helping out with something like this.”

Executive Administrative Assistant Sara Weigel was also helping count ballots in addition to her usual, day-to-day responsibilities.

“I think it’s really important that we still have the election and have some sort of normalcy,” Weigel said. “And, make sure that everybody is able to vote and that right isn’t taken away.”

mabennett@postindependent.com


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