Week in Review
A renewed agreement between Xcel Energy and Denver water sparked heated reaction July 24 at a Colorado River Basin Roundtable meeting in Glenwood Springs.Under the agreement, Xcel would release part of the water it uses to run the Shoshone hydroelectric plant in Glenwood Canyon, enabling Denver to store more water from the Colorado River in upstream reservoirs.Xcel would not give up its senior right but would take less than it is entitled to, enough to run only one of two turbines, giving Denver a chance to fill its reservoirs during spring runoff. The call would be relaxed from March 21 to May 21.Denver in turn would compensate Xcel for the lost revenue and make some of its extra stored water available later in the year.
It’ll be expensive, but work on an unsafe roof at Glenwood Springs Elementary School will be complete by the start of classes. Construction crews at GSES discovered last week that the roof of the Bolitho Annex is unstable, and they are scrambling to get it fixed. The repairs will cost RFSD $260,000, which the school board passed on Friday, and will come out of the district’s capital reserve fund.
Gas workers and gas prices are contributing to continuing strong growth in business among Glenwood Springs lodging establishments this year.The city’s lodging tax revenues were up 26.6 percent in May over the previous year, bringing in $51,119. Year-to-date, they are up 21.6 percent and have generated $214,000 that is used to fund tourism promotion.Linda Stoltzfus, co-owner of America’s Best Value Inn in West Glenwood and lodging representative on the board of directors of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, said she believes at least some of the increase is resulting from employees in western Garfield County’s natural gas industry staying for extended periods in some Glenwood hotels. Those workers are combining with tourists to fill up many lodges, she said.
A performing arts venue, nature parks and walking and biking trails are some of the most unmet parks and recreation needs in Glenwood Springs, a survey has found.An amusement/admission/attraction tax would be the most preferable way to fund improvements to existing parks and recreation facilities and construction of new ones, city residents also say.Consultants sent surveys to 2,000 city households. Those who were surveyed identified some priorities for improving parks, such as walking trails, restrooms and shady areas. The performing arts venue topped the list of unmet facility needs, and art, dance, music and performing arts are seen as the biggest recreation program needs, according to the survey results.
A two-year-old divorce stands between Mick Birch and the good graces of United States immigration officials. Birch moved here with his now ex-wife in 2002 after she got homesick living with him in Darwin, Australia. The couple and his daughter, Natahlia, 12, moved halfway around the globe, applied for permanent residency status, and settled down in Glenwood Springs. Now Birch finds himself caught in an immigration system that he says has little sympathy for immigrants whose spouses divorce them before their permanent residency paperwork is processed.
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Former Carbondale trustee Katrina Byars said she wants to bring a voice of environmental sustainability to the commission, and believes her opponent has served long enough.