Clear Creek news briefs

Posted 5/5/21

Strousse Park evergreen removal The evergreen tree in Strousse Park, which has been a centerpiece at winter holiday celebrations, is dying and must be removed. Half the tree is dead already, but it …

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Clear Creek news briefs

Posted

Strousse Park evergreen removal

The evergreen tree in Strousse Park, which has been a centerpiece at winter holiday celebrations, is dying and must be removed.

Half the tree is dead already, but it won’t be removed until town staff has found a 20- to 24-foot tall replacement tree, Town Administrator Kent Brown told the Board of Selectmen at its April 27 meeting.

Additionally, the cottonwood tree on the south side of Strousse Park and the one at Library Park need to be removed as they’re dying as well, Brown described. He confirmed that the Strousse evergreen is dying from a type of beetle but was unsure about the other two.

The selectmen and staff wondered whether the library tree and Strousse evergreen could be removed at the same time, as the cottonwood won’t be removed until the Strousse Park refresh project, Brown said.

For the evergreen, Selectman Dienne Powell suggested finding someone in the county who’s removing their trees for fire mitigation and taking one of theirs, which would already be acclimated to mountain conditions.

She also recommended additional signage informing community members of the tree’s impending removal, saying, “If someone’s got cancer, you want to have to say goodbye to them.”

Brown said there was a sign up already, but it doesn’t have an exact date for the removal as the town is still trying to coordinate a replacement.

“We don’t want to leave (the spot) bare,” he said, adding that there might be a possibility for community members to take home parts of the old tree.

CDOT offers $1 million more
to Springs’ parking structure

Idaho Springs has paid Walker Consultants $10,200 to develop programming concept alternatives for the city’s proposed downtown parking structure.

During an April 26 work session, Mayor Mike Hillman said the city was scheduled receive the three concepts late last week or early this week.

Moreover, he stated that the Colorado Department of Transportation is willing to put an additional $1 million toward the project, totaling $3 million from the agency. The city and downtown business improvement district will have to match that, making a total $6 million for the project’s budget.

“If we’re not using the (CDOT) money, they need to use it elsewhere,” Hillman said. “… It’s a sign that CDOT is really supportive of putting a transit center in Idaho Springs.”

Now, the big question is: How many parking spots does the city gain at its long-planned spot behind Tommyknocker Brewery & Pub?

“If we’re only going to get 100 spots for $6 million, I don’t think (it’d be worth it),” Hillman said.

If each parking space is $40,000-$60,000, Hillman believed that wasn’t worth the effort; thus, the city needs to shoot for a $22,000-$28,000 range per space. He said the city would know more once Walker Consultants submits the three concepts.

Georgetown resumes utility shutoffs

After suspending utility shutoffs for nonpayment last spring, the Georgetown Board of Selectmen voted 4-1 to reinstate the policy at its April 27 meeting.

The board initially suspended it because of the pandemic, but staff said five to 10 repeat offenders, as they described them, are the only ones missing payments now.

“It’s not unusual people, and it hasn’t grown to a larger number at this point,” Town Administrator Kent Brown told the selectmen. “To get some response from customers, sometimes this is the method we have to go to.”

Brown and Town Treasurer Mary Sims emphasized that they always work with those who have hardships, whether that’s the need to pay in installments or referring customers to COVID-19 relief services.

Anyone who hasn’t paid after receiving their bills at the end of April will receive a notice 10 days before shutoff, Brown and Sims said. Thus, the first shutoffs — if any — wouldn’t be until mid-May.

“They know we’re not shutting off, so they don’t pay,” Sims said. “ … It’s time to reinstate (the shutoff policy).”

Selectman Dienne Powell voted against resuming shutoffs for nonpayment, saying she could see the decision backfiring and that the town should send human service representatives or the like first.

Selectman Jon Jennings disagreed, saying, “Reestablishing what we had is a good move, and we can refer them (to relief services) as needed.”

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