Salida Celebrates Success in 2010

The citizens of Salida have much to celebrate this holiday season. Despite the sluggish economy the City has continued to provide a high level of basic services and to complete a number of exciting projects and improvements around the City in 2010. City staff would like to take a few moments to list some of these projects and remind citizens that this community is still moving forward in a positive direction.

If you have been to the pool this year you can’t help but notice the improvements to that facility. The locker rooms were reopened after a much needed face-lift in 2009 and the water temperature flowing into the facility in 2010 is an average of 10 degrees warmer than previous years. These improvements, paid for largely with grant funding from the State of Colorado, have improved the pool for citizens and visitors. In addition, we have reduced operating costs by using the hotter water and reducing heating costs in the facility. Look for more improvements in 2011 including replacement of more of the hot water line and the return of hot baths!

In addition to the routine maintenance of streets, parks and facilities that the Public Works department undertakes every day, they oversaw a project to overlay an additional 1.5 miles of streets in 2010. This brings the City to a total of just less than 17 miles of street overlays, chip seal and rebuilds since 2006 and the difference is noticeable throughout town. Public Works also managed to apply 8,700 pounds of crack seal to streets this year in an effort to maintain streets in good condition.

There were three sewer line upgrades this year that were installed to improve service and replace aging infrastructure. Similarly the water line in Dodge Street was looped to improve service to customers in that area.

The streetscape improvements along US Highway 50 were completed in February with the installation of streetlights along the corridor. That project was funded primarily with Federal dollars and an additional grant has been awarded to extend those improvements in 2012.

The water galleries storage tank received a new roof in 2010 and a new lining will be installed in 2011. These improvements help to secure the quality of our drinking water and stop water loss that has been occurring in recent years.

City Hall, Salida Police, Chaffee County Health and Human Services and a number of other agencies moved into their new home in the Touber Building in March of 2010. This project enables the citizens to maintain the historic hospital as a community building for the future. This move allowed for much-needed offices for the City and County to continue to provide services in an effective manner and maintains a downtown location convenient for most citizens. This project received substantial grant funding through the State of Colorado.

In addition to the major interior remodel of the Touber Building, the City was awarded a grant from the State Historical Fund for rehabilitation of the exterior of the original hospital building. Those improvements are currently underway and should breathe renewed life into the 1900 structure.

With the relocation of City Hall, the Salida Fire Department was able to move into the old City Hall offices along E Street. This move provided much needed administrative and training space for the department.

We are happy to report that all city staff are up to date on emergency management training under the National Incident Management System. With this training and the new emergency operations center at the Touber Building, we are better prepared than ever to manage any situations that may arise. Equipment, computers and furniture in the operations center were provided entirely through grant funding in 2010.

We also had a productive year on the outdoor and recreation front. With help from community organizations including the Arkansas River Trust two new features were added to the whitewater park in 2010. In addition, a new climbing wall and access trail were installed in Riverside Park and public bathrooms were installed along the boatramp. Slowpoke the turtle (bronze sculpture) now resides in Riverside Park courtesy of Alan and Ginger Jones.

Again with the support of several local organizations and Chaffee County, the City was able to purchase 26–acres of open space along CR 177 and overlooking downtown. Both the whitewater park improvements and the open space purchase were made possible through grant funding from Great Outdoors Colorado.

The City was able to provide financial support in 2010 to Salida Mountain Trails for their ongoing work to create and improve the trail network surrounding Salida. The City also partnered with Salida Mountain Trails to create the Home Run Pump Track for bicyclists in Marvin Park.

All of the staff at the City would like to express our sincere thanks to the City Council for awarding year-end employee bonuses. This one-time award is the equivalent amount of the employee raises which were eliminated from the budget earlier in 2010 when the City was anticipating a deeper reduction of sales tax revenue than actually occurred. The mutual appreciation between staff, City Council and the citizens of Salida help all of us to build a better community.

Thank you for the opportunity to work for such a great community. I hope you join us in our enthusiasm for this City and in wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!