July 19, 2018

City Council Adopts 2011 Priorities

On Thursday night City Council formally adopted priorities for 2011.  This is generally a continuation of the priorities we established last year, but it’s worth formally identifying them to help us stay focused and help keep the community informed about what we are focused on.

We adopted five major priorities:

1) Protecting the city’s financial health and sustaining the community’s economic vitality.

2) Supporting and strengthening our neighborhoods (“The Year of the Neighborhood”), including implementing our new neighborhood grant program, completing pending neighborhood plans, and considering all of the policy recommendations in the adopted ones.

3) Maintaining our aggressive efforts to keep the beltway out of Golden and working to protect Golden from the impacts of growing regional through the Golden Plan or similar improvements.

4) Updating the Comprehensive Plan and revamping/updating the land use process to give neighborhoods a stronger voice in shaping their own future and to make the process less adversarial and combative.

5) Revisiting and updating the city’s long-term streets plan.

Other 2011 priorities include:

1) Making sure Golden is ready for light rail in 2013, including our own community bus.

2) Adopting a preliminary strategic transportation plan (in advance of preparing a thorough one in 2012).

3) Finalize our new performance evaluation system for the city and city manager, including performance metrics

4) Review and update the long-term plans for the city’s major recreational facilities.

5) Update the city’s economic development tools, structures, and strategies. This may extend into 2012.

6) Support the Quiznos Pro Challenge Professional Bicycle Race.

And some additional 2011 projects:

1) CSM Master Plan (although the timing is up to Colorado School of Mines).

2) Clear Creek Master Plan.

3) Evaluate and consider sewer/waterline insurance. DONE – Council decided to educate community members about the value of having this insurance but not to enter into a special agreement with any specific insurance providers.

4) Consider adjusting the cost of special use permits for chickens. DONE – Council reduced the special use permit fee for keeping up to six hens.

5) Evaluate and potentially update the strategy for managing amplified outdoor music.

6) Evaluate and consider updating traffic fine schedule.

7) Evaluate and consider updating leash laws.

8) Initiate long-term city financial health evaluation.

9) Evaluate and update medical marijuana regulations.

10) Update noise mitigation priorities.

11) Complete the City of Golden web site revamp.

12) Further development, testing, and training on the new Emergency Operations Plan (primarily staff).

13) Plan for major software updates (finance, planning, police, fire, courts) (primarily

14) Major public works projects: South Reservoir and office building reconstruction (primarily staff).

15) East Downtown Vision and Plan (potentially).

Road Construction Update: Six Projects Around Golden

We’ve got at least six active road construction projects underway around Golden! Councilor Marcia Claxton wrote a nice update on the Ulysses Street project and Councilor Marjorie Sloan posted updates on four other projects: 19th and Jackson, 19th and U.S. 6, the wildlife crossing on U.S. 6, and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad crossing on 44th. We’ve got one more that just started as well on Washington at 6th. We’ll be widening the sidewalks, adding a bike lane, and extending the curbs. We need to do upgrade all of Washington north of Highway 58 – it has terrible sidewalks (where it has them at all) and challenging pedestrians crossings – but it may take some years before we’ve got the funding to do it all. City Council felt it was important to at least start the work, and we had enough funding for this small but important piece, so it’s now underway. One lane of traffic in each direction should be open on Washington Avenue at all times.

Standing on Washington Ave. looking south at 6th St. and the Highway 58 bridge.

Summer Street Projects Underway

12th Street looking east last week.

If you were downtown last week, you may have noticed the 12th St. project (between Washington and Ford). Projects like these are always a hassle, especially for the businesses on those streets, but the payoff – a street in great shape – is worth the trouble. In this case, we expected the contractor to have to remove a bunch of old concrete and other material probably left behind from the old interurban railroad, but it turned out we were able to leave it in place, dramatically shortening the length of the project. The bad news is that the contractor failed to achieve adequate asphalt compaction of much of the north half of the road, so they’ll need to come back in the fall (after our summer events season) and redo it at no additional cost to taxpayers.

The bridge over Tucker Gulch is moving along well but is also a significant hassle for residents in that part of town. What was intended to be a simple bridge repair project turned into a major reconstruction project when we found more serious problems with the bridge structure than we expected. We’ve had plenty of thoughtful suggestions about how to manage traffic and closures on the bridge, but unfortunately the very best option we’ve been able to come up with is the one we are employing now: allowing only westbound traffic on the bridge. Everything else either creates a huge safety hazard or even more disruption to neighborhood residents. The good news is that they are making good progress and expect to be done within a few weeks, and even though the detour for eastbound folks is a hassle it only adds about four minutes to the drive. The bridge was built in 1966, and once this project is complete we should get another fifty years of life out of it.

2010 Street Improvement Program: The List

Every year, the city invests a significant amount of money in repairing streets and rebuilding ones that have failed altogether. In fact, one of our budgeting principles is to invest heavily in maintaining what we have, which will save the taxpayers over the long-term and prevent the city from needing voters to approve major bond issues just to do normal street maintenance and upkeep (which many cities have to do).

Over the past twenty years we’ve made great progress catching up on a huge backlog of street repair needs: In 1989, 60% of the city’s streets were in “poor” or “failed” condition. As of 2008, as we reported in our Community Accountability Report, we had brought that number down to 11%. Over the next few years – depending on the economy – we’ll keep bringing that number down.

Every year we adopt a “Street Improvement Program,” and a few weeks ago City Council took this step for 2010, identifying the streets we expect to do major work on this spring and summer. Here is that list. The “wild card” tag indicates that this is the first street we’ll do if we have any funds remaining after finishing the others. There is always the chance that we’ll see a street collapse unexpectedly – this is the time of year when that happens (because of poor initial construction and a tough freeze-thaw winter) – so we may have to adjust during the summer, but this is the plan for now.

12th Street Project in Downtown Golden

In response to a query by a downtown business owner about the upcoming 12th Street project, staff wrote this explanation:

First yes the project on 12th will need to remove the entire street. It can not be resurfaced because we cannot simply mill the existing asphalt and repave because the underlying support is not just asphalt, but concrete and there are old steel rails left from the 1950’s trolley and the milling machine can’t mill steel or concrete. We also can’t just overlay with a thin (2′) asphalt mat because the cross slope will become to great, and just 2″ of new asphalt will not bridge the existing structural deficiencies. So yes we need to remove all of the junk under the asphalt.

The good news is the project will not be nearly as intrusive as you have suggested. There will be concrete work, but the street will remain open, and only minimal street parking will be affected. When the street is removed traffic will only be blocked for part of a day, and paving will take less than one day. The project should only take about two to three weeks, and 12th street will be open except for a day or two.

Street Sweeping vs. Snow Plowing

During our last snow storm, a Golden resident sent me an email asking why we had our street sweepers out before we had finished snow plowing.  The answer, from our public works department:

The city is obligated, as all cities in the region are, to the Regional Air Quality Council’s street sweeping/sanding program.  Under this program,  fine dust pollution (called PM 10), which comprised the largest part of the old “Denver Brown Cloud” has been dramatically reduced by changing deicing procedures in the region.  Most cities began fighting PM 10 with enhanced street sweeping after sanding to reduce the dust.  Over time materials used for deicing have changed from sand and salt mixes to other products that do not create the dust.  Golden has changed to a product called ice slicer which is a mixture of sodium, magnesium and potassium chloride.  This product dissolves as it melts the snow and ice and is not a problem for PM 10.  The problem is that the temperature ranges that slicer will melt ice range from freezing to about 18 to 20 degrees.  When it is colder than that there is no product that will melt the ice, and the old sand salt mixture is used because the sand will provide improved traction on the icy roadways and as the sun comes out and weather warms will enhance melt through albedo reduction.  That brings us back to the sweepers being out.  They are removing the sand we spread during last weeks cold weather to avoid the PM 10 air pollution problem.  In the past before we used the ice slicer it was common to have the plows out sanding over night, and sweepers out later that day picking up the sand.  You can download the city’s “Snow and Ice Plan” if you’d like to learn more.

Jacob's Golden Update: Sales and Use Tax Update

Jacob’s Golden Update: July 13, 2009

1. Some Tough Choices Ahead: Sales and Use Tax Update
2. Courts Reject Councilor Weaver’s Lawsuit Against Golden (Again)
3. The New Beltway Proposal: Still a Really Bad Deal
4. Golden Vision 2030 Block Parties Coming Up:  Heritage Road West, Heritage Road East, and Golden Hills/Golden Heights Neighborhoods
5. Golden’s Community Garden Cuts Ribbon and Makes the Denver Post
6. The Junior Arch
7. Emergency Road Repair At Heritage Road and Colfax Under Way
8. Meet Our New State Representative (Representative Max Tyler)
9. Leadership Golden Applications Due 8/1/09
10. The Colorado Municipal League Conference
11. Blog Roundup
12. Other Upcoming Events
13. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, July 16

**********
[Read more…]

Jacob’s Golden Update: Sales and Use Tax Update

Jacob’s Golden Update: July 13, 2009

1. Some Tough Choices Ahead: Sales and Use Tax Update
2. Courts Reject Councilor Weaver’s Lawsuit Against Golden (Again)
3. The New Beltway Proposal: Still a Really Bad Deal
4. Golden Vision 2030 Block Parties Coming Up:  Heritage Road West, Heritage Road East, and Golden Hills/Golden Heights Neighborhoods
5. Golden’s Community Garden Cuts Ribbon and Makes the Denver Post
6. The Junior Arch
7. Emergency Road Repair At Heritage Road and Colfax Under Way
8. Meet Our New State Representative (Representative Max Tyler)
9. Leadership Golden Applications Due 8/1/09
10. The Colorado Municipal League Conference
11. Blog Roundup
12. Other Upcoming Events
13. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, July 16

**********
[Read more…]