Rifle to address issues tonight
Initial results of a parks and recreation survey, a recycling request by a local citizen and public hearings on a change in landscaping regulations and land use definitions will be addressed at the Rifle City Council’s regular meeting tonight.The council will also look at a proposal to offer business incentives and a request for $13,000 in funding from YouthZone at a workshop prior to the council meeting.The parks and recreation needs survey was sent out to residents last month, asking those who use the city’s parks and recreation facilities if they felt the needs of the community were being met.According to parks and recreation director, Aleks Briedis, as of Friday, 464 surveys have been returned out of 2,500 mailed out – a 19 percent return rate.Along with amenities, the survey also asked if residents would support a proposed 1-cent sales tax increase to assist in a merger between the city and the Rifle Metropolitan Park District. The sales tax increase question would go before voters in the September 2005 election.Briedis reports that 68 percent of the survey responses indicated they would support the 1-cent sales tax increase and 63 percent would vote in favor of a bond to expedite completion of parks and recreation in the community. Top amenties residents reported wanting were an indoor pool, fitness center, trails, playgrounds, Action (skate) park, gymnasium, outdoor amphitheater and a cultural arts theater.Programs desired include a farmer’s market, outdoor musical concerts, after-school program. cultural and arts program, summer camp, outdoor recreation programs and youth sports and tournaments programs.Council members will review the survey results and give city staff direction.• A private citizen is requesting information about recycling in the city of Rifle. Currently, the city does not offer residential recycling.• A second reading is scheduled to review and update the guidelines for city landscape regulations. The new regulations would affect landscaping of new multi-family, commercial, public/civic, light industrial and industrial development. Landscapes installed prior to the passage of the new ordinance would not be affected as long as the landscapes are properly maintained in conformance with other ordinances of the city.New land use regulations will also be reviewed at second reading that would more clearly define a variety of land use terms in the city’s municipal code.• In a workshop held prior to the city council meeting, council members will also discuss with city staff a proposed incentive plan to bring new businesses to Rifle in the central downtown district as well as other areas. Suggestions include a waiver of building permit fees, sales tax rebates, low-interest state loans and state community development grants. The proposal was initiated at the council’s strategic planning session held last spring.• At the same workshop, the council will listen to a presentation by YouthZone for a funding request of $13,000 to be included in the 2005 city budget. YouthZone reports that 170 Rifle youth went through the program last year and expects the same amount next year. The money is used to help fund services required by the court, such as individual assessments to determine the young person’s issues or problems.The workshop begins at 6 p.m. at Rifle City Hall, followed by the regular city council meeting at 7 p.m. Citizen comments and phone calls are encouraged for items not on the agenda by calling 625-6260 during the beginning of the meeting. The council meeting is also aired live on local cable access Channel 13.The workshop begins at 6 p.m. at Rifle City Hall, followed by the regular city council meeting at 7 p.m. Citizen comments and phone calls are encouraged for items not on the agenda by calling 625-6260 during the beginning of the meeting. The council meeting is also aired live on local cable access Channel 13.
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