Sarah Haas, Central City. After the completion of the final work session of next year’s budget, Council unanimously passed Resolution No. 17-30, adopting and appropriating the 2018 budget, adopting the Capital Improvement Plan, setting the Property Tax Mill Levy and approving the Central City BID Operating Plan and Budget.
With an increase in overall expenditures, the deficit budget allocates funds toward several “overdue” expenses including improvements to transportation infrastructure, renovations to the Belvidere Theater, the purchase of new vehicles for the Fire Department and Public Works, the replacement of the City’s 30 aged water pressure valves and the replacement of sidewalks, including the rickety concrete staircase off Eureka Street.
Upon the unanimous approval, Mayor Kathryn Heider offered congratulations and complements to Council and staff saying:
“This is the 5th budget season I’ve been through with Council and it’s so different than the first one. Five years ago, the City was taking out short term loans just to get through the beginning of the year. This year we have a robust budget addressing long-term improvements to the City. The difference in professionalism is notable — it’s like a different city!”
City Manager Daniel Miera updated Council on ongoing discussions with the Colorado Department of Transportation regarding improvements to I-70.
Having completed Eastbound shoulder lane improvements, the State is now moving to address the Westbound shoulder. The final design and funding plans are expected to be done in 2020, with the project to commence shortly thereafter. All improvements are being looked at with hopes of not impeding current traffic flow.
Miera also offered comments on the recently completed audit performed on Colorado’s three gaming cities (Central City, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek) regarding the cities’ use of State Historical Fund cash. While it is still unclear whether the spending by Black Hawk and Cripple Creek is aligned with the original intent of the Colorado Constitution and state statute, Central City received no complaints nor recommendations.
During Council Comments, Alderman Shirley Voorhies offered a jubilant report on another successful Tommyknocker event, during which 240 people marched down Main Street and placed handmade ornaments on the City’s Christmas tree.
Mayor Heider offered thanks to all of the people who helped to decorate Main Street for the holiday season saying, “I especially like the Christmas Bear at the front of City Hall.”
(Originally published in the December 14, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)