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Slumping economy helping Glenwood find ways to pay for projects

John Gardner
jgardner@postindependent.com
Post independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” City Engineer Mike McDill said that the current economic climate is actually a good thing for Glenwood to get at least one of its projects completed under budget and ahead of schedule.

According to a memo from McDill, the city was awarded two Transportation Enhancement grants in 2005 and 2008, totaling $300,000. In 2009, the city received another $300,000 Transportation Enhancement grant and $50,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Colorado Department of Transportation.

City council approved an intergovernmental agreement combining all the grants into one agreement at its May 21 meeting.



All of the funds are going to pay for the Devereux Road Pedestrian Bridge, which the city has also budgeted $1.6 million toward.

McDill said that initially he was worried the project would not be completed under the initial $1.6 million budget. However, with the additional $350,000 in enhancement funds, he’s confident that the city has enough to complete the project.



“Labor costs around here are down, and steel prices around the nation are down,” he said. “I don’t think there are a lot of people ordering pedestrian bridges right now, either.”

McDill indicated that the estimates for the project just one year ago came in around $2.3 million. Current project estimates are about $1.9 million. With the drop in cost and the additional $350,000 in enhancement grants, which the city was not expecting, the city could save about $600,000 from what it has budgeted for the project.

“I’m just shocked,” McDill told council members. “Because of our over match, the $1 million of which is over 20 percent of the project cost, any savings we get, that is our savings.”

“I’m pretty excited to get this out to bid,” he said.

Even Mayor Bruce Christensen, who has not been supportive of the project in the past, is coming around.

“I’ve never been a big fan of this bridge as most people know,” he said. “But you are getting the price down much closer to where I can become a fan.”

“I’m really excited to see the bids on this project,” McDill told city council. “It’s a great time to be bidding a project like this.”

City Council approved a motion authorizing Mayor Bruce Christensen to initiate an intergovernmental agreement to move the project forward at its May 21 meeting.

McDill said that the agreement is the last piece of the puzzle.

“Most of the state and federal reviews are done and ready to go,” McDill said. “The IGA getting signed, getting it to the state and getting it back is pretty much the critical pass at this point.”

With the IGA in place, the project could be completed by the end of 2009.

“The important thing is, by having that little bit of stimulus money in there, we move to the top of the review processes for all the state and federal review processes,” McDill said. “This means that we do have the means to get this bid, maybe even within the next month, as opposed to next year.”

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

jgardner@postindependent.com


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