County renews its interest in downtown Glenwood parcels
Garfield County commissioners are restating their interest in acquiring two city-owned parcels in downtown Glenwood Springs, the old library building at Ninth and Blake and the city’s portion of the current parking lot at Seventh and Colorado.
City voters in subsequent elections over the past two years have authorized the sale or transfer of the two properties. So far, the county is the only interested buyer.
Commissioner John Martin in particular has had an eye on the former library building for use as a senior center that could be home to a variety of programs for local senior citizens.
At a joint work session with Glenwood City Council last week, Martin noted that every other town in Garfield County besides Glenwood Springs has a senior center of some sort.
“I really feel that a senior center is the best use for that facility,” he said of the library building, which was replaced with the new Glenwood Springs Library at Eighth and Cooper in 2013.
Last year, City Council solicited proposals for use of the now city-owned building, either through a lease arrangement or by selling the property.
Garfield County’s senior center idea was among several proposals submitted to the city, which ranged from shared office and program space for multiple nonprofit organizations to a secondary Frontier Historical Museum location.
The city never acted on the proposals, and instead put the question to voters seeking permission to sell or otherwise convey the former library property and 8,500-square-foot building.
Council, at last week’s meeting with the commissioners, indicated it would be willing to consider an offer from the county to buy the library property, as well as the city-owned portion of the surface parking lot at Seventh Street and Colorado Avenue.
The county has already purchased private property on the east side of Colorado Avenue with an eye toward eventually building a multi-level parking structure to serve county government and courthouse functions, as well as public parking needs for the downtown area.
The city would like to put a condition on any sale of its property that it continue to be used for parking in some manner.
“It would be a great asset to have a parking structure on that side of Grand Avenue to match the one we built on the other side,” Councilman Stephen Bershenyi said.
Anything other than a surface parking lot for the foreseeable future is unlikely until the county can finance a parking structure, or partner with the city to do so. Until then, that area may also make sense for a staging area during the looming Grand Avenue bridge construction, Martin said.
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Colorado Highway 139 is closed between mile markers 12 to 39 both directions, Douglas Pass, due to a wildfire. The fire is putting off a lot of smoke, decreasing visibility.