Salida Celebrates Change and Success in 2011

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 2011.

In addition to the routine maintenance of streets, parks and facilities that the Public Works department undertakes every day, a rebuild of west Sackett was completed in 2011.  This brings the City to a total of just over 19 miles of street overlays, chip seal and rebuilds since 2006.  Public Works also managed to apply 8,700 pounds of crack seal to streets this year.

Efforts continue to replace street signs to comply with current Federal regulations.  In 2011, public works replaced regulatory signs (stop signs, yield signs, etc.) and plans to replace all street name signs throughout the City in 2012.

Over a million dollars is budgeted for street improvements in 2012 including completion of East Sackett and North C Streets, Phase II of the Hwy 50 streetscape project and engineering for a rebuild of H Street planned for construction in 2013.  The Milk Run Trail will be constructed in early 2012 extending the Monarch Spur Trail to Starbuck Dairy Subdivision, Wal Mart and Highway 50.

The City continues to explore the hot springs source in Poncha Springs.  In 2011, the City used grant funding to conduct a thermo gradient study.  Results of the study were positive enough that the City is pursuing magnetotelluric testing of the site in early 2012.  Read more about this project and study results at under Projects.

The hot soaking pools were reopened this fall after many years of inactivity.  With the new insulated line, incoming water temperatures are ranging from 113 – 118 degrees, more than 12 – 15 degrees warmer than in recent years.  These improvements, paid for largely with grant funding from the State of Colorado, have improved the pool for citizens and visitors.

Other improvements at the pool this year include two remodeled, ADA compliant restrooms, seven destratification fans to reduce condensation, an airlock entry to control air temperatures at the front door and bringing the parking lot up to ADA standards.  In addition, Salida Recreation welcomed Maggie Murdoch in 2011 as the Recreation Coordinator.

A new liner was installed at the water galleries reservoir this year.  New chlorination equipment was installed in the system and the backwash pond was cleaned in 2011.  These improvements help to secure the quality of our drinking water and stop water loss that has been occurring in recent years.

The big news in wastewater this year is the construction of the new treatment facility currently underway.  The project, awarded to Moltz Construction, is funded through a combination of state and federal grants and a low-interest loan from the USDA.  The project will continue through 2012 with completion expected in early 2013.

The Salida Fire Department continued providing their regular high level of service in 2011.  Through November of this year, the department had responded to over 1,000 EMS and fire calls in and around the City and was deployed to seven wildland fires in 2011.  Staff put in 1,132 hours of training and maintaining certifications.

The City expects to place an order for a new rescue engine in 2012.  A grant is pending which would fund most of the expense of the new engine if awarded.

Salida police have been very effective in 2011 maintaining a clearance rate of around 90%.  When faced with an unusual case of a bank robbery in downtown, the police acted swiftly to respond and resolved the case the same day without further incident.

This year has seen many staff changes both at City Hall and several other departments.  The City has embraced this change and been fortunate to select talented individuals to fill open positions.  New faces and fresh enthusiasm are helping to invigorate the organization as we continue to evolve into a leaner, more efficient organization.

I hope you join us in our enthusiasm for this City and in wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

Dara MacDonald, Interim City Administrator