This week, Ark Valley Voice is running a series of interviews with all Salida city council members and Mayor P.T. Wood, providing an overview of the state of the city. Lawton Eddy and Joe Jordan have contributed to the series of interviews.

Salida City Clerk Alisa Pappenfort (left) swears in new Ward 1 Salida City Councilwoman Jane Templeton. Templeton was appointed to council to replace Rusty Granzella, who resigned following his election to the Chaffee County Board of Commissioners (photo by Joe Stone).

The mayor and every city council member were asked the same five questions. What has gone well with the current city council? What has this city council accomplished? What are the city’s “works in progress”? What are the lessons learned and the changes or improvements that resulted? What are the shortcomings – what could be done better – and what are your hopes for the new council going forward?

Some responded to all questions. Others chose not to respond to one or more questions. Beginning Monday and continuing through Friday, Aug. 30, Ark Valley Voice is running the series. We have not edited the responses other than for grammatical or syntax errors.

Question 3: What are the “works in progress”?

Both Cheryl Brown- Kovacic and Mayor P.T. Wood provided a list of works in progress which follows. Many items were reiterated by other council members below.

Establishing responsibilities for elected treasurer.
Creating a vision for growth on Hwy 50.
Donation program for water and sewer utilities for families in need of assistance.
Agreements with Poncha Springs for utility and police support.
Grants for soaking pools and other improvements.
Grant for electric car charging stations.
Plan for the new fire department.
Grant for repairs of railroad caboose at end of F Street.
Intersection improvements at U.S. Highways 291/50.
More trails and open space purchases.
Donation program for water and sewer utilities for families in need of assistance.
Grants/plans for outdoor soaking pools.
Moving to 100 percent renewable electricity, saving the city nearly $500,000 over the next 20 years.
Additional access to open space and trails.
Blue Point 2.0 Film Festival Grant.
U.S. 291 plan.
Downtown parking study.
PROST master plan (Colorado Parks and Rec Open Space and Trails).
Water storage and use study.
Chapter 16, code rewrite.

Cheryl Brown-Kovacic:

CBK added one additional item to the list above — Hiring code/zoning review to create more consistent regulations regarding affordable housing.

Mayor P.T. Wood:

PTW added the following to the list above—
Workforce housing is a work in progress. We have directed staff to identify shovel-ready city-owned land to get some projects moving in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity and Chaffee Housing Trust. We’re looking at lease scenarios and other possibilities to make this happen.
We’re looking at how to incentivize the building of ADU’s to increase density and housing options where we don’t have lots to build on.
We’ve got Vandaveer back on track to begin real plans. We will have planning and citizen input process actively underway around the first of the year. Then we’ll put that plan together with the right way – to take the best advantage of the possibilities, with the right focus. We don’t want to do it wrong and have to redo it.

Dan Shore:

Affordable housing still needs lots of attention.
The parking study.
The [U.S.] Highway 50 study.
The recreation study.

Harald Kasp

We’re cautious with spending in anticipation of a possible recession and the impact that would have on sales tax revenue. We’re looking into the long-term versus the immediate year to year.
We’ve got a grant for a thorough analysis of building codes and zoning to streamline and add consistency.
The Highway 50 access plan, Future 50, and discussions with CDOT (Colorado Dept. of Transportation) are ongoing. The community is involved in the discussion.
Experts are looking at building code issues on the highway such as changes in setbacks, parking requirements, how the highway has to change in order for the speed to change.
We are working on a Parks and Recreation Master Plan and looking at the whole picture, not just this park, or that playground. Council provided funding to seed the process of this planning.

Mike Bowers:

Affordable housing is at the top of the list. We’re trying to get something going with Chaffee County Housing Trust and Habitat For Humanity to provide housing on city land. But we can’t give the land away.
We’re working on lights at the basketball field.
There is of real interest in a new skate park, and we’re working with the rec department on this.

Justin Critelli:

We want to keep housing at the forefront and not get off on tangents.
It is a work in progress to keep our relationships with the staff strong. There are very competent department heads which makes our jobs easier. It’s a joy to have a question and also to have an administrator or attorney who is present with an answer.

Jane Templeton:

The Parks Rec Open Space Trails plan is underway.
We are conduction a Parking Study and the Future 50 Study.
There is an RFP out for a Communications Plan. We are seeking expert assistance to create a comprehensive and cohesive communication plan for letting citizens know what we’re doing. What we’re working on and what help we need from them.
We’re bringing in a professional financial advisor for long term planning.
Vandaveer is a work in progress. We are doing the necessary information gathering to assess infrastructure needs, so it’s not done haphazardly.