BY FREDA MIKLIN – GOVERNMENTAL REPORTER
The City of Greenwood Village spent $15.2 million on capital projects in 2018, $18 million in 2019, $19.8 million in 2020, and expects to spend $10.8 million in 2021.
For at least the past six years, the GV city council has had an item on the agenda of its meeting on the first Monday in June to “solicit input from citizens” for the city’s capital improvement program over the next five years. On June 7, 2021, the city council meeting agenda provided a time for citizens to testify about what capital improvements they would like to see built during the years 2022 through 2027. Five years ago, on June 6, 2016, the city council meeting agenda provided a time for citizens to testify about what capital improvements they would like to see built during the years 2017 through 2022, etc. The agenda item was worded the same way on the council agendas for the years between those meetings that were held on June 5, 2017, June 4, 2018, June 3, 2019, and June 1, 2020.
Not one citizen has appeared at any of the six city council meetings held on that first Monday in June from 2016 through 2021 to offer even one suggestion or make one request for any capital improvement project in any part of the city.
Once, on June 5, 2017, one resident, who was told about the meeting and encouraged to appear by her city council representative in GV district one, came to request that the council consider a traffic calming strategy for her street. That request was eventually approved as a traffic project.
The staff report included with the June 3, 2019 city council agenda item requesting input for capital improvements described the capital improvement program (CIP) this way: “The CIP plans the physical development and maintenance of the community over the short and long term. The projects typically include public improvements to GV infrastructure and assets such as drainage ways, traffic devices, transportation and streets, and to other long-lived fixed assets such as public buildings and recreational facilities. Each CIP project requires a GV staff project manager to oversee the project from initial planning to design and construction. As a part of the process, new projects are identified through various means, including public hearings and (a city website called) Village Voices, GV boards and commissions, staff assessment, and city council direction.”
That June 3, 2019 staff report included a four-page attachment containing the suggestions citizens had made on the Village Voices website. Those suggestions were to be compiled, reviewed, and assessed for feasibility based on fiscal impacts and community goals, then presented to the city council for its consideration, according to the staff report. The requests placed on Village Voices included:
A resident suggested some strategically placed street lights in the Greenwood Hills neighborhood at selected intersections for the safety of children walking to school in the morning and residents walking dogs in the evening, both of which were often difficult for motorists to see.
Two other residents of the Greenwood Hills neighborhood asked that a pedestrian and motorist-activated traffic light be installed at the intersection of Orchard Road and Orchard Drive for safety reasons.
A resident suggested the city find “a safer way to cross the intersection of Belleview and University (for) kids on bikes” so that they could “ride to school and to friends’ homes.”
A resident requested “bike lanes along Orchard and under I-25 from DTC to Quebec.”
None of these suggested capital improvement projects were added to the CIP for 2020 or 2021, each of which includes the five years to follow.
The Villager asked five longtime GV residents from different parts of the city whether they were aware of the opportunity to provide input to the CIP and they all said that they were not.