Transparency, streets and public safety focal points in Glenwood’s five-year strategic vision | PostIndependent.com

Transparency, streets and public safety focal points in Glenwood’s five-year strategic vision

An aerial view of south Glenwood Springs.
Kyle Mills / Post Independent

With seven elected officials representing nearly 10,000 residents, the Glenwood Springs City Council seeks suggestions from residents for the city’s 2020-2025 strategic vision.

After receiving comments from volunteer boards and commissions, city council identified five “essential” goals necessary to move the community forward.

Those goals include an efficient and responsive city government, preserving and improving infrastructure, protecting Glenwood’s quality of life, generating sustainable economic development and ensuring public safety.

The city “will prepare and maintain a five-year budget plan” that balances city expenditures and revenues in a responsive and transparent manner, according to the strategic plan.

“[Transparency] should apply to everything we do,” said Councilor Rick Voorhees. “You’re also talking about building trust, building dialogue so that it’s not a one-way city government but hopefully it’s a two-way city government.”

“We owe some public testimony, public hearings, public overview of where the money is, where the money is going and how that matches up with the city’s long-term goals,” added Voorhees.

In addition to transparency, developing and maintaining, “high quality infrastructure including city streets” was listed in the five-year strategic vision.

Glenwood Springs voters soundly rejected a proposed ¾-cent sales tax last April at the ballot box that would have funded millions in street repairs.

However, the issue of fixing the city’s streets remains a top priority.

Councilman Tony Hershey, who opposed the street tax, said he was pleased with the 2020 budget but had future budget concerns.

“We have almost $2.5 million in the budget for streets and then more from some other funds. So, this year actually we are in pretty good shape,” Hershey said about the 2020 budget. “I am concerned about the next budget. Where are we going to find additional funds for the streets? …Now, the streets on Red Mountain are not going to get fixed because instead all of this money is going to a boat ramp and a new bathroom.”

Recently, the Glenwood Springs City Council awarded Heyl Construction a $2.63 million contract to complete the Two Rivers Park Project. Part of the $2.63 million total included over $330,000 for a new restroom facility and in excess of $790,000 for a new boat ramp area.

Another issue at the forefront of the strategic vision document is public safety, especially the need to “improve mental health services, reduce substance abuse, reduce homelessness and establish a detox facility.”

The public comment period will last through Oct. 7 and residents may email their comments to City Manager Debra Figueroa at debra.figueroa@cogs.us.

“The five-year strategy is to help us organize and prioritize as we move forward as a council and work with the community,” said Councilor Paula Stepp. “I hope people take advantage of including their comments, so we know where they feel we should concentrate.

mabennett@postindependent.com


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