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The city of Salida is one of four communities selected by Community Builders to receive a spring 2018 community technical assistance award.

“We are thrilled to announce the selection of four new communities to receive assistance through our Community Assistance program,” the nonprofit announced. “Projects selected in our spring 2018 assistance cycle emphasize different priorities, but each have a common end-goal: To make the community better for the people that live there.”

Salida’s project is to develop a new vision for the U.S. Highway 50 corridor. The award described the project as “capturing Salida’s unique character and creating a better walking and biking environment for residents and visitors.”

Salida Mayor P.T. Wood and Councilwoman Cheryl Brown-Kovacic along with city staff worked on the application. Wood was quick to say that the community owes special thanks to Community Development Manager Glen Van Nimwegen for finalizing a strong city application.

“The important thing is that highway 50 has never had a real plan,” said Wood. “It’s a mishmash that doesn’t make a lot of sense right now. But this corridor is going to be an important part of the future where people can live and work. We did a 2008 street plan with the Colorado Department of Transportation, but there was never a thoughtful development plan from the city. We want people when they drive in on 50 to relate it more to how people see our downtown area. This award can help us get there.”

The nonprofit Community Builders, which has offices in Glenwood Springs and Boseman, Mont., focuses on communities in the western United States. It’s mission is to help people create successful, prosperous communities through training, information and assistance. It expresses its vision in a single phrase: “Envisioning an American West of great places and prosperous communities.” It typically provides financial awards to communities for training, research, webinars and technical assistance.

The organization’s statement accompanying its spring 2018 awards said it believes strongly in the principle of community driven solutions, and that each of the four projects involve significant and meaningful public engagement to shape project outcomes.

Other communities receiving technical awards include Colorado’s Pagosa Springs and Grand Junction as well as Pocatello, Idaho.