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Rifle right on target

RIFLE – The state of the city of Rifle is healthy.That’s the verdict according to a presentation made by Rifle Mayor Keith Lambert at the city’s first “State of the Community” luncheon Thursday afternoon at the Brickyard Square restaurant and put on by the Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce.About 75 people attended the sold-out event, which featured speakers from the city, county and future projections from local real estate professionals.Lambert outlined the city’s goals for 2006 as well as its accomplishments in 2005.”When I moved here 25 years ago, Rifle was considered a second-class community to a town 25 miles to the east,” Lambert started. ‘When I got elected to council I had two ideals: I wanted to be part of a community where you could live and work if you chose to do so. Or recreate here if you chose to do so. (Today) Rifle is second class to no other community in the state of Colorado.”Among the city’s achievements in 2005 were the passage of the 1-cent sales tax for parks and recreation; public improvements, including sewer lines downtown, a new water treatment pump station and street improvements; beginning paving of the Deerfield parking lot; traffic signal upgrades; a new recycling program; participation in the Roan Plateau Management Plan; preliminary work on the city’s comprehensive plan and business incentives plan; completion of a police department survey; and participation in the Rifle Centennial celebration.But the city still has big goals for this year, as well.”We have a lot to look forward to in 2006,” Lambert said.Those goals include:n Revamping the comprehensive plan. The update will be the first since 1998. The new plan will cover 2005-2025. Work on the plan began in 2005 and is expected to continue throughout 2006, with a final draft later this year.n Implementation of a business incentives plan. The plan, which has been worked on since last year, is expected to be adopted in 2006, outlining a variety of potential incentives to draw businesses to relocate or start up in Rifle.n New wastewater and water treatment facilities. Probably one of the most urgent on the city’s to-do list, plans for a new wastewater treatment facility are currently in the works to the tune of about $10 million.n Construction of roundabouts off the Interstate 70 interchange in Rifle are expected to get under way in March.n A new public works facility is being sought to replace the existing building in north Rifle. The city is considering the east UMTRA site for a new facility, with hopes to build it this year and have it operational by September or October.n Action Park (Skate Park) in the southeast portion of Metro Park on Railroad Avenue should break ground in February or March, with a completion date in May.n Downtown parking enforcement will begin around May with the hiring of a new parking enforcement officer. Tickets will be issued for those who violate the two-hour parking limits on downtown streets between East and West avenues and Second to Fifth streets.n Extension of trails along Rifle Creek up to 16th Street near City Market.n Parks and recreation improvements, including the Metro Pool, new playground equipment and signage.n Street improvements along Railroad Avenue, including new traffic lights.n Development of a master plan for the Garfield County Regional Airport.n A joint socioeconomic plan with Garfield County.n Completion of paving at the Deerfield parking lot.”There’s a lot of things happening that (city) staff is working on,” Lambert said. “The state of the city of Rifle is healthy.”


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