BY FREDA MIKLIN
Greenwood Village maintains a five-year plan for capital improvement projects so that funding and staffing are available when needed. At city council’s July 2 study session held at city hall, Jeremy Hanak, public works director, reviewed the current five-year project list, focusing on items recently inserted into the list for 2019 and those whose status have changed, in addition to answering city council’s questions.
Newly added for 2019 are six projects at city hall, comprised of roof repairs, parking lot security walls and lights, and interior remodel work, with a total cost of $1 million.
Changes to previously approved projects included pushing back the Huntington Caley Master Plan Final Implementation from 2020 to 2021 and the Village Greens North Park Phase V from 2021 to 2022. Neither of those changes drew any comment from any city council members.
Rakowsky speaks against Belleview Avenue median beautification
Council member Anne Ingebretsen asked about a $2.5 million project approved by the former city council to “improve the aesthetic condition of the Belleview medians from University Boulevard (east) to Interstate 25 to include cleanup, irrigation, electrical and landscaping,” scheduled for next year.
Residents of the western part of the city, primarily in district one, have long expressed concern about the poor appearance of the medians in that area of Belleview. For many years, the pat answer was that Belleview is a state highway and only the south side is in GV, the north side being in Cherry Hills Village (CHV). Since both the state and CHV have not budgeted funds to improve its appearance, GV would not do so either. That changed last summer when city council concluded that if GV didn’t make the improvements, the medians, which impact many GV residents, would just continue to deteriorate, and that is exactly what has happened.
In an unusual move that surprised many in the room, Mayor Ron Rakowsky gave his opinion before hearing from council members. He said, “I am not in favor of this project… It’s a state highway, so it’s ultimately CDOT’s (Colorado Department of Transportation) responsibility, which they will ignore. Cherry Hills is in the process of building a new city hall. They just built a new public works building… This is not high on my list because it’s a policy that I don’t believe in taking care of other people’s lawns, or medians.”
Everyone who has been involved in this discussion through the years agrees that CDOT will not address this problem. Though the mayor and some GV council members expressed skepticism about CHV’s ability to provide funds for this effort, a review of some financial facts lends support to CHV’s position.
As reported previously in The Villager, CHV’s renovation of its city hall and relocation of its public works department to a previous auto salvage yard at 2101 W. Quincy Avenue in the city of Sheridan, are being paid for entirely with borrowed money. The city is not using any current resources to fund these projects. Their 2018 budget states that CHV’s anticipated revenues from taxes, fees and fines in 2018 totals $6.5 million. That compares with total 2018 budgeted revenues for Greenwood Village from those same sources, plus investment earnings, of $48.8 million.
Council member Dave Bullock pointed out that weeds in the median are 3 feet tall and look horrendous, with which Ingebretsen agreed. Bullock made the case that Belleview is the major thoroughfare through the west part of GV and the median’s appearance reflects poorly on the city. He said, “The medians on the east side of I-25 and the west side of I-25 are diametrically different, and I believe there needs to be some equity between those two.” Rakowsky pushed back, saying that, “there is a metropolitan district that is involved with the medians east of I-25.”
City manager John Jackson reported that he had discussed the matter with CHV and that, though they could not afford to help pay for the improvements, CHV would commit to helping with ongoing maintenance if they’re built.
It was decided that GV would immediately move to kill the weeds in the Belleview medians using current resources and revisit the $2.5 million capital expenditure planned for 2019.
Jerry Presley, who represents district one, which includes Belleview from Holly west to the city’s edge at Clarkson, was present but did not say anything during the 25-minute discussion by city council about the Belleview medians.
GVAHC members Alberta “Bert” Buckman and Jim Sidinger, scholarship recipient Isacc Shin, Mayor Ron Rakowsky, GVAHC member Sandy Carson, and Cherry Creek High School fine arts director Dave Stallings display Isaac’s scholarship check.
GVAHC members Alberta “Bert” Buckman and Jim Sidinger, scholarship recipient Hanna Dotson, Mayor Ron Rakowsky, GVAHC member Sandy Carson, and Grandview High School activities director Alison Beard display Hanna’s scholarship check. Photos by Freda Miklin
GV Arts & Humanities Council uses its own funds to award $7,000 in scholarships to college-bound artists and their schools
Using money it raised on its own, with no contribution from the city’s coffers, the GV Arts and Humanities Council awarded scholarships to two worthy recent high school graduates who have demonstrated a passion for the arts and who plan to continue their education in that field.
Hanna Dotson graduated from Grandview High School in May. She performed and worked on 23 theatrical productions in the past seven years and will pursue a bachelor of fine arts degree at Millikin University this fall.
Isaac Shin recently graduated from Cherry Creek High School. He began drawing at a young age. Shin says he is dedicated to pulling the covers off issues and exposing the natural beauty that exists in the world. He will also pursue a degree in fine arts this fall at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Hanna and Isaac received $3,000 each to help fund their higher education. The GVAHC also awarded $500 to each of their high schools’ arts department to enhance their art education programs.
Minor change to new residential development at 5900-6002 East Belleview Avenue approved
In a unanimous vote, city council approved a minor modification to the planned unit development for 10 single-family homes on 9.55 acres on the south side of Belleview just east of Greenwood Community Church, allowing the project to move forward.
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