Rifle City Council wants CMC to stay in town
Rifle City Council members say they would like to see the Colorado Mountain College branch campus remain in the city, if at all possible, instead of moving to another municipality.Pam Arsenault, dean of the Rifle campus, informed council recently that the CMC board of trustees has instructed her to look into acquiring a new piece of property to relocate the existing campus on Railroad Avenue, which is old and not suitable for the college’s needs anymore.”They’ve asked me to go to all the municipalities from New Castle to Parachute/Battlement Mesa to ask about land donations for a new campus,” Arsenault said. “I’m here tonight to tell you what the process is before we start in earnest to build a new site. We’re asking if there is any interest on the part of a town or municipality to make a donation of land.”Councilman Alan Lambert said he would prefer to see the campus remain in Rifle.”I see CMC as a very important part of the community, and I think this would be a huge step backwards if we allow it to leave here,” Lambert said.City officials and staff have already met with members of the CMC board to discuss a new site.”We may come back to council with a couple of proposals to consider,” advised City Attorney Lee Leavenworth.Arsenault said some of the criteria for a desirable site would be visibility and accessibility from Interstate 70, as well as some nearby commercial development.”Our students come to class before and after work – they’re also looking for food and gas nearby,” she said.CMC has been offered a site south of Rifle and west of the Garfield County Airport by property owner Bob Howard.”Ten acres is nice, but 12 acres would be really, really nice,” Arsenault said, pointing out that there are plans for expansion to include a technical education building in the future.Arsenault said a report of potential land sites will be made to the CMC board of trustees in a meeting in February 2005, when a decision will be made.In other council business:The Centennial Executive Committee, which is overseeing the planning of the city’s 100th anniversary in 2005, was renamed Wednesday night to the “Centennial Oversight Committee” to better reflect the purpose and scope of the group. The Oversight Committee will be in charge of approving funding for the different activities and subcommittees which have been assigned.Council members also unanimously added two more members to the committee: City Manager John Hier and Planning Director Matt Sturgeon.”Basically, the (oversight) committee is charged with overseeing what is being presented to the city of Rifle and various organizations (that) are playing bit pieces in the entire celebration,” said Lambert.Hier and Sturgeon will act as staff advisors on the committee, which also includes city council members Lambert and Judy Builteman, as well as Tom Stuver from the Downtown Development Authority, Michael Langhorne from the Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce and Richard Morris, a chamber member and formerly on the board of directors.”The Oversight Committee was put together in addition to the regular Centennial Committee because the celebration has gotten so big, we needed a group to put it all together,” Lambert said. “All the groups were doing their own thing, and we just needed someone to oversee the money and keep everyone from stepping over each other. This is going to be a big deal, and there’s lots to do.”
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