Police/courts building could be a great home for nonprofits

Heather McGregor, Managing Editor

The Glenwood Springs City Council has a great opportunity to do a good deed for nonprofit organizations in the community.

Its now-vacant police department and municipal courts building at 823 Blake Ave. would make an ideal purchase for a cadre of nonprofits.

The model for this idea is just up the road in Carbondale, where five nonprofit groups bought the old Town Hall in 1997, after the new Town Hall was built.

The old Town Hall brims with life as the home of KDNK public radio, the Roaring Fork Energy Center, Science Outreach Center, Solar Energy International and the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities.

The same could be true for the old police and courts building, which is ideally located on the fringe of downtown and right next door to the Glenwood Springs Branch Library.

The two-story brick building could accommodate at least four groups, if not more.

In Carbondale, the five groups paid the town the appraised value of the building – $287,000 – after getting first shot at the purchase before the building was listed with a real estate agent.

Earlier this month, Glenwood Springs officials offered the building to Garfield County in hopes of knocking $400,000 off the purchase price of the county shops property on School Street.

The county commissioners didn’t bite on the offer, passing up the chance for a nifty expansion of the library and the potential for rental office space.

Garfield County may not have this vision, but it is not out of reach for the city of Glenwood Springs. Nor would it be a hardship for the city to knock the price down.

An affordable mortgage for a handful of nonprofits that now pay rent will bring security to these organizations, and in turn, make sure their good works continue to make our community a great place to live.

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