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Letter: Imagine a great city

Several citizens (called Community on the Move) in the early 1980s sought voter approval for a sales tax to pay for improvements to enhance the quality of life for Glenwood citizens and to encourage tourists to come and visit. This tax was renewed in 1998 and as a result of the imagination of a few forward-thinking citizens.

Glenwood now has a thriving economy which supports, primarily through sales taxes, our city government. These improvements help draw more visitors every year. The Acquisition and Improvement Fund, created through this one penny sales tax, has led to everything from street trees and decorative streetlights in downtown to a vast bike and trail system, a new City Hall, the Community Center and a new raw water delivery system.

In addition this tax has been used to support the Glenwood Historical Society and the Glenwood Center for the Arts and many other worthwhile local organizations. This tax allows the city to keep real property taxes at a low level and allows the people who come to Glenwood to share the cost — 73 percent of the sales taxes in Glenwood are paid by the visiting public.

Now the current Community on the Move and citizens from throughout Glenwood are asking the voters to support and vote for ballot questions 2H and 2I. Approval of these two ballot issues will extend (not increase) this highly successful improvement program for another 30 years. It will allow the City Council to bond for approximately $53 million at historically low interest rates.

Why do I support this extension of the Acquisition and Improvement tax? Because it makes sense. This money will ensure the continuation of support for the Historic Society and the Center for the Arts — two very important groups that enhance the quality of the lives of all Glenwood residents. It will help fund construction of a sparkling entrance — a Gateway to Glenwood Springs — enhancing the new Sixth Street.

It will also be used to construct other bridge and road improvements to relieve congestion and enhance the safety of our citizens and our visiting public. It will be used to construct a riverwalk and other needed improvements at the confluence and either side of the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers. This will provide better river access and improved and increased parkland in these areas. These projects were determined by a highly respected survey of the registered voters in Glenwood Springs.

These funds can also be used to obtain matching grants to help complete the Seventh Street area under the new Grand Avenue bridge, which will allow for large public gatherings and activities as well as complete the improvements started by the DDA on the south side of Seventh Street. This will create a showpiece that will draw old and new visitors alike.

As past chair of the DDA and a long time resident of Glenwood Springs, I can imagine a greater Glenwood Springs that can become a reality through the extension of the Acquisition and Improvement Tax.

Charlie Willman
Glenwood Springs


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