Guest opinion: The time for the city to act is now
Our town is at an important crossroads, literally and figuratively. We are at a point of great opportunity and momentum in the development of the city that we have not seen in a century. This is not only reflected in the Grand Avenue bridge and associated infrastructure investments by the state, but the investments being made in the town’s historical buildings, restaurants and retail stores.
Because of efforts over the last few years by the city in developing downtown streets, inviting public spaces and new public buildings, the city has built confidence and an environment of new opportunity for private investment that reflects a growing, stronger, healthier and safer downtown environment and atmosphere.
The bridge project provides momentum for these efforts and can be a large catalyst in a further improved and healthier Glenwood Springs — if the city takes the opportunity to respond and elects to commit important additional investment now.
It is important to understand who are the beneficiaries of a stronger, healthier and improved Glenwood Springs and who benefits from the investment needed to continue on this path.
It is first and foremost the residents of Glenwood Springs. Those who work hard to make the town their home, raise their families and take advantage of our valley every day. Every Glenwood resident benefits from a developed downtown with businesses, restaurants, coffee shops and retail outlets that each of us can enjoy in a safe and family friendly environment with well maintained streets and alleyways. This is the fabric of our town and brings us all together.
The owners and investors in revitalized downtown buildings and businesses also contribute and invest in this environment when they see the matching focus and investment by the city. The result is a multiplier effect of every dollar the city elects to spend on improving our environment, as each city dollar is multiplied by the additional private investment that follows.
The result is a stronger Glenwood Springs: more jobs, better incomes and an opportunity for residents to find good-paying long-term employment in their hometown.
The completion of the bridge is an opportunity for progress in building the long-term future of our town to continue. This requires the city to act right now to take advantage of and build on the state’s investment in the bridge and surrounding streets and alleyways. If the city does act, the residents of Glenwood Springs will be the primary beneficiaries.
But let’s not forget that Glenwood residents will also see enhanced revenues from visitors to the city, and it is Glenwood Springs that will realize a direct return on our investment that is long term.
The result will allow the city to continue to generate stable and growing tax returns that can be further invested in the cities infrastructure, roads, parks and public spaces for years, decades and even another century to come.
Scott Key is a Glenwood Springs resident and investor.