DDA Mulls Reviving Plans for Woodland Station Development

Board Seeks Major Loan to Pay Off Expenses

~ by Bob Volpe ~

Faced with growing expenses and legal fees, the Woodland Park Downtown Development Authority Board (DDA) is seeking a $1 million loan to get a better handle on their financial situation.

In addition, the board wants to review an overall plan for their anchor development area, Woodland Station. According to a previous plan, this area could serve as a prime spot for hosting major festivals and special events. 

At their regular montly meeting last week, the board unveiled details of its plans for a down-bond loan with Vectra Bank, in the amount of $1 million, to pay down existing and future expenses. DDA Treasurer Tanner Coy enlightened the board with the latest particulars in securing the loan. The only update was a change in some of the language to the documents. The issue headed to city council for approval at their September 6 meeting (see city council story). This plan had been previously introduced at the council’s initial reading (of ordinances and resolutions) stage.

The board last week also discussed an offer from Kewit Construction, who will be improving Park Street. Kewit asked that the DDA to allow them to store their heavy equipment and materials on Woodland Station property while the Park Street improvements are under construction. In return, Kewit will provide, free of charge, drainage improvements, stabilization of areas, and remove scrap concrete that is currently on Woodland Station.

DDA Board Member, Al Born asked if Kewit would be responsible, should a fuel or oil leak take place while the equipment is stored on the property. Coy stated he believes Kewit’s liability insurance would cover such an incident, but promised to discuss the issue with Kewit.

DDA Board Member Elijah Murphy mentioned that there is some usable granite left on the site from an old headstone marker that he, and the Main Street Board members, believe would make excellent markers for historic sites in town. The granite could be etched by the artist who created the Eric Dickson Memorial sculpture and installed as informative markers at these sites.

Woodland Station Development Review

Photo by CR Chambers

The overall subject of what to do with Woodland Station again reared its head again last week.

The board came to a consensus to revive and update a 2016 use plan for the land. This was greeted with enthusiasm since the Saddle Club site off Hwy. 24, which hosted events like the Rock Gem and Mineral show, can no longer be held in that area. The Saddle Club property is now the future home of a self-storage unit facility.

As a result, the Woodland Station site could serve as a prime spot for special events, according to DDA leaders.

The 2016 plan states Woodland Station can by used to host events such as: the Rock Gem and Mineral show, Farmer’s Market, Vino and Notes, Beer Garden, Oktoberfest, and other key festivals.

Mayor Pro Tem Val Carr, who was in attendance, questioned the financial obstacles that such a plan would need to overcome. Carr suggested the board consider getting a handle on the costs associated with any beautification and improvements of the land. The board agreed that getting estimates on the planned improvements is a good idea.

Murphy suggested that when offers like Kewit proposed come up, the board should take advantage of them in an effort to make the most out of the DDA’s money.