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July 4th Weekend Council Update
Community Events, Clear Creek crowding and Grant Terry trail paving, a lodging tax, protecting our youth and more…
Happy Independence Day
I hope many of you are finding ways to get out and about this summer or enjoy a peaceful weekend here in Golden.Golden Community Event Highlights
Golden Lions Club again hosts the annual July 4th Celebration in Lions Park on Sunday at 1pm, with Golden’s fireworks display usually around 9:30pm.
Please note that all personal fireworks are illegal in Golden city limits.
Foothills Art Center presents ArtsWeek Golden starting July 8th. A concert by Wildermiss Thursday night (Free, RSVP required) kicks it off with a Juried Art Festival Saturday and Sunday downtown. Yay Art!
Colorado State Senator Tammy Story will host a Golden Town Hall along with Representative Monica Duran (Golden) and JeffCo Commissioner Andy Kerr, July 13th, from 6-7pm in Parfet Park. Bring a chair!
Golden Police Virtual Safety Academy continues monthly! All are welcome to join.Golden City Council meetings July 13, 20, 27th in-person and live stream.
Hot Topics Include:
. New Golden residential waste services contract (with recycling & composting)
. City Strategic Action Plan progress update by City Manager
. Lodging Tax discussion – what should it help pay for?
. Mobile Home park re-zoning to support affordable housing
. Marijuana Excise Tax – should Golden introduce Recreational pot shops?
. Golden Zoning Code rewrite – Draft 2 has been released! Discussion with Planning Commission, share your thoughts.
. City 2nd Quarter financial updateWith July 4th upon us, many are thinking about safeguarding our independence of spirit. I see this reflected in the strong community spirit that drives Golden – within our government, our citizens, our residents and our volunteers.
May you and your family enjoy celebrating and have a peaceful Independence Day weekend.Stay safe and leave fireworks to the pros,
Bill Fisher, RN
Ward 4 City Councilor
Clear Creek Safety & Paving
Summer crowding, safety, and paving part of Grant Terry trail
With warmer weather and bigger crowds, the Clear Creek summer season is upon us. Thanks to all of you who provided feedback from my last newsletter.
At a recent City Council meeting, we received a “thumbs up” to increase oversight and management of the Creek for crowding and safety. Staff will be preparing what this looks like and how City Council, the Parks & Rec & Museum Board, and residents can stay involved.
Safety update: The City has now added a water safety flag system (Red-Yellow-Green) to help visitors using the water stay safer depending on water conditions.
Grant Terry Trail (GTT)
A paving project is underway along Clear Creek just west of Golden by Jeffco Open Space through most of July. I’ve received several questions and comments about this process. This is a Jefferson County Open Space project (not Golden).
Apparently, the original path parallel to US6 is no longer being constructed, hence the desire to improve GTT. The project will result in the loss/change of about 1/3 of a mile of the Grant Terry Trail as soft surface only, but trail users are gaining 1.5 miles of soft-surface only Flume Trail and Welch Ditch trail (where bikes will be prohibited).
I and other City Councilors have requested that Golden and JCOS hold a public tour and discussion to help everyone understand the changes and decision process. FAQ and more details at my website.
Grant Terry Trail paving project update
Lodging Tax discussion
Did you know Golden is one of just a few cities in the U.S. without a lodging tax? Hard to believe, but it’s true!
A lodging tax is a nearly-universal way to ask visitors to fairly and equitably contribute to what brings them to Golden in the first place.
Tourists are drawn here because of our world-class amenities and scenic environment, culturally rich downtown and historic neighborhoods, trails and parks, museums and beautiful Clear Creek. . . all paid for by Golden residents.
It’s a matter of fairness. We pay lodging taxes in other cities, but visitors to Golden do not return the favor.
Who pays a lodging tax? The lodging industry? No. Golden residents? No. Only tourists pay for overnight rentals to help support the services they use and enjoy.
The City is proposing funds generated by a lodging tax be used to offset significant impacts of tourism and help our local businesses remain competitive, with the remainder put in a dedicated Golden Fund.
Other ideas include enhancing our community through workforce housing and affordable living solutions, universal broadband internet access, sustainability, parks and open space, improved food security, public transit options and more.
If Council forwards this for a citywide vote, you get to decide this November whether a lodging tax will improve our financial security and the health, welfare, and safety of Golden.
I share additional thoughts in the July edition of the Golden Informer. Take the opportunity to learn more and share your thoughts with us!
Guiding Golden: Lodging Tax Discussion
Protecting our Youth
City Council is undertaking various initiatives to improve the health and welfare of our children. Councilor JJ Trout and I have introduced a Health Beverages Initiative to support parents wanting to provide healthier guidance and options for kids when eating out.
Did you know an 8 oz ‘child-size’ soda has about 6 teaspoons of sugar? This is the total added sugar the American Heart Association recommends kids consume in an entire day. In fact, the average child in the U.S. consumes over 30 gallons of sugary drinks every year – enough to fill a bathtub. Whoa!
This program may ask restaurants offering Kids’ Meals to package them with water, non-sugary sparkling water, or milk. This would not prevent parents from ordering other drinks (e.g. soda, juice, chocolate milk).
Look for this to come back to Council this summer or fall. Support or have questions about this? Please share your thoughts with City Council!
Learn more about hidden sugar
Some community members are working with Jefferson County Public Health to consider ways to protect our youth from flavored vaping nicotine products
In 2019 Golden City Council took steps to protect youth by raising the age to purchase to 21 for all tobacco and nicotine products. Continuing that conversation around flavored nicotine products is an important next step.
Help shape the future of tobacco prevention in Golden
Monday, July 19th from 12 – 1pm. Zoom Meeting
Please join the Jefferson County Public Health Tobacco Prevention Initiative onJuly 19th from 12 – 1pm for a continued community dialogue about opportunities to strengthen tobacco prevention efforts in Golden.
We invite you to share your story, provide input about the direction of tobacco prevention initiatives in Golden, and discuss ways we can work together over the next several months.
If you are not able to join the meeting but would still like to provide feedback, feel free to touch base with me or contact Kelsey Campbell at email@example.com.
To receive the Zoom information, please RSVP using this link.
RTD Service Changes – Golden public comment needed!
RTD is proposing continued reduced services for Golden area residents.As the region begins to recover from COVID-19, RTD is proposing service changes.
Unfortunately, Golden is not in line for any service enhancements in the new draft proposal. For example, the GS line between Boulder and Golden and on to NREL is a priority to many here in Golden, but is not currently planned for reinstatement.
We also face continued reduced frequency on the RTD West Line Light Rail.
Now is the time to be heard! The final virtual public comment session is July 7th.
Learn more, and log in to attend the meeting to have your voice heard on July 7th at noon.
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
Everyone 12 and up is now able to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine. There are many same-day walk-in clinics and vaccination sites available and appointments if you’d like to schedule one!
State of Colorado: Where to get vaccinated
JeffCo Public Health: COVID-19 case count and vaccine info
Vaccine Spotter: www.vaccinespotter.org/CO/
JeffCo Public Health Vaccine Clinic information
Mobility Issues? Check here for Denver regional resources.
State of CO voice hotline: 1-877-268-2926, staffed 24hrs a day.
And thanks to everyone in Golden for staying safe! Wear masks if you are not vaccinated, continue physical distancing, and wash your hands.
Feedback?Email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.WilliamFisher.com for regular updates and to communicate your thoughts, ideas and concerns.Copyright (C) 2021 Bill Fisher for Golden Ward 4. All rights reserved.Update Preferences
JeffCo Open Space is set to start paving a section of Grant Terry Trail north of Clear Creek. Here’s what to know…
(UPDATE July 2, 2021: I and other City Councilors have requested that Golden and JCOS hold a public tour and discussion to help everyone understand the changes and decision process. Stay Tuned…)
Residents of Golden have recently noticed an electronic signboard along Clear Creek near the 6th Avenue bridge (west side of Golden as it goes into the canyon). It states the Grant Terry Trail will be closed for about a month for a paving project.
This is a Jefferson County Open Space project (not a City of Golden project).
This will result in the loss of about 1/3 of a mile of the Grant Terry Trail as soft surface only, but trail users are gaining 1.5 miles of soft-surface only Flume Trail, and Welch Ditch trail (where bikes will be prohibited).
The Peaks 2 Plains project has been under construction for a couple of years. The final part apparently includes an ADA-accessible paved surface from the edge of Golden to the pedestrian bridge across the creek west of Golden as well as to the new “Gateway of Clear Creek Canyon Park” trailhead / parking lot up on 6th as it enters the canyon.
The original Project Map (above left button) shows the north side of Grant Terry Trail as “existing” (small black hash lines) and does not indicate it is part of the project’s construction scope. The Project Map was updated on 6/23/21 to clarify the alignment changes…
Grant Terry Trail portions in gray to be paved with an adjacent soft-surface trail. Portions in red will remain as the existing soft surface trail with no paving.
I asked City Staff if they would provide additional information related to questions from residents about this project, and need for paving. Here are the responses.
Q: When was this discussed and how?
A: As part of the Peak to Plains project Jefferson County conducted public outreach and it went before the Golden PRAM board (Parks, Recreation & Museums) at both the May and June PRAM meetings during the director’s report. There were not many questions, and no concerns. PRAM gave positive feedback to it and agreed that it was appropriate to move forward. There was support voiced for soft surface trails adjacent to the paved path which is an included element in the project. The typical practice is if there are concerns it would go on the next agenda and because there were not any it did not move forward to that stage. See below for the minutes from the May conversation:
Peaks to Plains – The City owns 2000’ of trail on the west side of 6th Ave. Jeffco is putting in concrete for Peaks to Plains. We did not schedule concrete on the 2000’because of the hydrology in the area; the lines pop up. There is debate about putting a concrete trail on top to see if it would hold it down. Public Works and Utilities have been reluctant to put concrete on the trail. Jeffco and Golden had a meeting to discuss the possibility of putting concrete on that portion of the trail. Jeffco is willing to create an IGA together to pay for it and mitigate/fix issues if they arise. They would also include a soft surface trail alongside if it fits. Craig thinks it makes sense for continuity. Rod explained the concrete will provide continuity as well as making it multi-mobile.
Q: What is the happening with the Grant Terry Trail?
A: The portion of the GTT that connects the Clear Creek Trail and the US6 Regional Trail to the Peaks to Plains (P2P) trail is being improved. A 10’ trail and 5’ soft surface path will be constructed to connect the Clear Creek Trail and US 6 Regional Trail to the P2P trail. The trail width will remain the same, no additional disturbance to the area will occur during construction or afterward. A portion of the existing trail will remain natural surface for runners and those with orthopedic issues or who prefer that type of surface. The natural surface trail width will vary, and the concrete trail will be 10 feet wide. The new concrete trail will also be stained for a more natural appearance and to match the P2P Trail.
Q: Why does the trail need to change?
A: The expected use of the trail will change it drastically and if left in its current state will be an issue to maintain with the large increase in traffic and uses and ability to provide accommodation. With the construction of the P2P gateway section, the Grant Terry Trail is no longer a dead end trail connecting to a handful of recreational trails on Lookout Mountain. It is now connecting the Clear Creek Trail and US 6 Regional Trail to the Peaks to Plains trail.
Q: What are the benefits of a concrete path?
A: With this new connection and consultation with our ADA consultants, there are new standards for the section of the trail between US 6 and the Jefferson County pedestrian bridge. Once this happens, we either need to upgrade the section to meet the standards or add that trail to our ADA Transition Plan and commit to the upgrades in the future. The concrete surface will endure the increased use that will occur as more segments of the P2P Trail are completed. This durable, year-round surface will help address seasonal flooding and muddy conditions, as well as help stabilize the City of Golden main water line below the trail surface.
Q: Will the entire trail be paved?
A: No. Only the section between the US 6 Bridge and the Jeffco pedestrian bridge will be improved. The section between the pedestrian bridge and the Church Ditch headgate will remain a soft surface as will the Church Ditch Trail.
Q: What are the advantages of doing it now?
A: JCOS has enough contingency left in the P2P gateway section that they have offered to make the needed improvements to the entire section at no cost to the city. If we wait, the cost of the improvements could fall to the city and have to be budgeted in the Capital Improvement Program. The current cost of these improvements is $250-300,000.
Q: Why weren’t these improvement included in the original P2P plan?
A: There are a couple reasons. Golden had raised concerns about increased maintenance costs for the raw water line that runs under GTT. Since the original plan included a paved path that ran parallel to US6 west of the bridge up to the parking area, JCOS did not include improvements to the GTT. This does not change that it is now a multi-use path that will eventually need to be improved. The path parallel to US6 is no longer being constructed making the need to improve GTT more apparent. As mentioned above, JCOS has adequate budget to complete these improvements and has offered to make them as part of the P2P project.
Q: I hear that the soft path may only be two feet wide. How wide will it be?
A: The goal is a five foot soft path adjacent to the concrete trail. In some areas, large trees limit the space for a soft trail and a decision was made to preserve the trees and the tree canopy and have portions of the soft trail narrower, but always at least two feet. Additionally, there are plans to add an offshoot section of trail that would be entirely soft surface near this area that is approximately the same length.
Construction is slated to start Monday, June 28th. It’s unclear whether this may change. What is clear is that more traffic is coming to the Grant Terry Trail area.
I am encouraging JCOS and the City of Golden staff to provide additional communication regarding the updates to the project’s paved concrete section on the north side of Grant Terry Trail. I think it would also be beneficial to understand how much traffic (pedestrian, cars, bikes, etc.) is forecast to come with completion of this project.
If you would like to reach out to respectfully share your thoughts, and to learn more and have additional questions about the project answered, here are a few resources:
Jefferson County Director of the Parks and Open Space Division
Deputy City Manager, City of Golden
Deputy Director Public Works, City of Golden
City of Golden Mayor & Council Members
And you are always welcome to reach out to me, I represent Golden Ward 4.