South Midland fix could find way into city 2017 plan |

South Midland fix could find way into city 2017 plan

Glenwood Springs intends to spend some $12 million next year toward a variety of transportation and downtown redevelopment projects, but one big city street fix is conspicuously missing.

Design work to eventually rebuild south Midland Avenue from the 27th Street roundabout to the Four Mile Road intersection to city street standards is tentatively budgeted to take place in 2018, City Manager Debra Figueroa notes in her 2017 budget message to City Council.

That could change, however, she said.

“Staff will examine if this project can move forward in 2017 with budget savings from 2016,” Figueroa wrote. “It is a critical project for the future of the community. If possible, this project will be brought back for council consideration.”

The council, at a special meeting Tuesday night, approved an overall 2017 spending budget of $79.8 million. Included within that is an $18.9 million general fund, a $17.1 million electric fund, a $9.3 million water/sewer fund, a $4.2 million landfill fund, and a $3 million fleet services fund.

Also included are $15.2 million in capital projects funds and $10.9 million in special revenue funds.

The budget includes a significant amount of reserve spending and relies on potential grants to come through.

A lot of Glenwood Springs’ longer-range plans will also hinge on whether city voters approve the extension of the special 1-cent acquisitions and improvements sales tax that is on the ballot for the election that will conclude next Tuesday.

“The 2017 budget is not a status quo budget,” Figueroa also wrote. “It is an investment in the future of Glenwood Springs.”

The budget includes funding to pursue redevelopment of the Sixth and Seventh street corridors, as well as city-owned land near the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers.

“The budget also invests in long-term transportation upgrades by making progress on both South Bridge and the 27th Street bridge,” Figueroa said.

Reconstruction of the South Midland corridor has been at the top of the city’s priority list for some time, but for lack of funding to turn the former county road into a full-blown city street with a wider driving surface, curb, gutter and sidewalks.

The city tried at one point to obtain a major Garfield Federal Mineral Lease District grant to move the project forward, but it wasn’t quite shovel ready as required by that and other grant programs.

The largest transportation expenditure for next year will be $2.1 million toward land acquisition and further design work on the estimated $45 million South Bridge project, which would create a new southern link across the Roaring Fork River to Colorado 82.

Planning funds are also in the budget for the future redevelopment of the downtown areas, including $500,000 for demolition of the old sewer plant on Seventh Street.

The Sixth Street redevelopment that would take place once the new Grand Avenue bridge is built is budgeted for $100,000 in planning funds. That project in particular is very much dependent on passage of the A&I tax renewal.

Actual construction for the first phase of the Seventh Street redevelopment comes in at $2.4 million, including $1.4 million in grant funding. Word on one of those grants, a $1 million request for a state Energy Impact grant, won’t be known until later this year.

Another $500,000 is set aside to continue designing and engineering the Eighth Street connection, which will open later this week as a temporary Grand Avenue bridge detour route but which the city wants to make permanent.

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