Grand Avenue banner not in grand location, say Glenwood Springs city staffers | PostIndependent.com

Grand Avenue banner not in grand location, say Glenwood Springs city staffers

The banner that hangs across Grand Avenue at 11th Street may soon be taken down due to safety concerns for the city's installation crews.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

The city of Glenwood Springs has hung a banner advertising nonprofit, community events over the intersection of Grand Avenue and 11th Street for years. However, that banner may very well come down in the near future, possibly for good.

Generated from the city’s Electric Utility Fund and costing nearly $27,900 per year, keeping the Grand Avenue banner program going has become expensive. While the nonprofits enjoy the advertisement program for free, the city still gets the bill and subsequently those costs do not get recovered.

Although money concerns generally ride shotgun with Glenwood Springs City Council, public safety — particularly for city employees — will sit front and center at this discussion table.

“Anytime that we are putting city employees at risk on a very busy Grand Avenue/Highway 82, I am concerned.” Glenwood Springs City Councilor Jonathan Godes told the Post Independent in advance of a City Council discussion of the matter at tonight’s regular meeting.

“I still don’t know how to reconcile the danger to life, limb and property that occurs while you are shutting down two lanes of Highway 82,” Godes said.

According to a staff report, city vehicles utilized for the Grand Avenue banner installation have been struck by other vehicles traveling down Glenwood’s main drag. And with traffic not expected to die down anytime soon, continuing the tradition seems too dangerous, staff advised.

For tonight’s agenda, city staff will present council with some potential alternatives: an LED monument sign in Sayre Park, an alternative location for the banner, or the discontinuation of advertising nonprofit events altogether.

“The [Parks and Recreation] Board did not think that Sayre Park was the best place for the sign,” Glenwood Springs Marketing and Events Coordinator Pat Miller said of the Parks and Recreation Board’s recommendation against placing an LED sign in the park, which hosts, among other community events, Glenwood Springs’ annual Strawberry Days Festival.

“There is a lot of foot traffic but the board did not think an advertisement sign fit in with the feel of the park,” Miller said.

The LED sign proposed would stand roughly 4 to 5 feet tall, so that drivers passing through and pedestrians walking by could easily view it. The structure would carry with it a price tag between $8,200 and $11,743. Being controlled offsite, though, the option would require minimal staff time once put into place.

Another possibility staff has looked into includes roughly the same setup as on Grand, but in a different, safer location. The two sites staff identified as fitting the criteria include Seventh or Sixth Street; two areas undergoing redevelopment following completion of the new Grand Avenue Bridge.

Contingent upon engineering, this option would run somewhere in the neighborhood of $35,000-$50,000. As with the current Grand Avenue banner, it would mandate staff time to change it out accordingly.

Although unlikely, the last option is that the city could stop offer a public space to advertise nonprofit events altogether.

For the remainder of 2018, city staff will continue putting the Grand Avenue banner up, pending a council decision.

“The city has provided a great service to local nonprofits by providing free banner advertising across Grand Avenue for many years,” said Angie Anderson, president and CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. “However, it’s understandable that other options are being evaluated, especially considering the safety of employees and the cost that is currently being absorbed by the city.”

The regular Glenwood Springs City Council meeting begins at 6 p.m. tonight at City Hall, 101 W. Eighth St.


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