Pressure Builds over Pressure Washing Project for Downtown

City receives the snub from CDOT for clean-up help

~ by Bob Volpe ~

The issue of how to best pay for the pressure washing of public benches, lamp posts, medians, sidewalks, and private property storefronts in Woodland Park’s main downtown core hit center stage again at last week’s city council meeting.

Mayor Neil Levy began the discussion on the continuing saga of to wash, or not to wash, with one main question: “How shall we proceed?”

City Manager David Buttery presented an update from a meeting between the city and CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation), which occurred on June 29 at city hall. The issue of responsibility for the clean-up of road grime deposits on the main street area was center stage at that meeting. Buttery said, “It dominated the majority of the two hour meeting. CDOT is not desirous of assisting the city in any cleanup along the highway. They have convinced me, it is our responsibility. What they have agreed to do is help us with traffic control, should we have a concerted effort for cleanup.”

It seems CDOT does not have to abide by the Clean Water Act, because any cleaning they do only involves dry sweeping. Buttery finished with a dire conclusion, saying, “I don’t think we’re going to get any help from CDOT except for maybe less salt/sand in winter time and more mag-chloride, which also introduces other issues.”

Buttery made a commitment to have city equipment perform more frequent sweeping operations during winter months, when there is no snow accumulation, in an effort to address the buildup of debris. He said he has had a meeting with some business owners over how to move forward on the issue, but confessed they are now only in the brainstorming phase. He said, “We do agree there is responsibility enough across the entire specter of private and public to work together to do that.”

He reiterated his position that he is willing to help pay for the pressure washing this year if council so desires. He said, “I’ve never objected to that. It’s just the source of the funding.”

Tanner Coy, treasurer of the DDA, addressed the council on this issue. He said, “My request (for funds) is still out there.” Coy thanked Buttery for the recent meeting. He went on, “I ask that you consider, whatever support, when we have a solution in place that we can bring back to you.”

There will be other meetings to bring this issue to the next step, according to city officials. Buttery said, “We’re looking more to the future than to the past. There is still something we can do now, but we’re looking more to the future and I have committed to working with the lead person on that.”

After the meeting, Coy offered a description of the scope of the cleaning process as it was done in the past. He said, “The project has changed so much. It used to be pressure washing sidewalks, curbs, gutters, and all the medians from Country Lodge to McDonalds twice per year. Last year the project was pressure wash from Vectra Bank to Tweeds, both sides of the highway without the medians once a year.
This year the project is sweep.”

The DDA is still considering purchasing an industrial pressure washing machine. The goal of that purchase would be that both public and private entities would have access to that machinery to clean as needed. The possible purchase of the machine will be a major focus at the next DDA meeting, scheduled for July 11.