~ by Bob Volpe ~
With the exception of swearing in the city’s new manager Darrin Tangeman, last week’s WP Council meeting was highlighted by procedural issues.
However, elected leaders and residents got an update on two sizzling hot topics: the prospects of turning residential areas of Woodland Park into open hunting and killing grounds for deer, and the possibility of a new dog park. But no action was taken on these subjects that have generated much debate in the community.
Tangeman began his tenure as city manager on September 17, replacing David Buttery’s long term as city boss. Prior to last week’s meeting, he briefly addressed local business leaders during a Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce After Hours gathering at the UCHealth Pikes Peak Regional Hospital.
The WP council meeting session began with a presentation proclaiming September 29 to October 7, 2018, as “Creek Week.” On October 6, everyone is invited to volunteer to clean up a section of Fountain Creek from behind Walmart to the Safeway. The event begins at 8 a.m. and snacks will be provided by Safeway.
During public comment, long-time developer Will Brown began chastising the mayor and Planning Director Sally Riley over a certain issue. However, Brown was quickly shut down by Mayor Neil Levy, who stated the meeting was not the place for this action. Levy then promised Brown that he could take up the issue with city staff at a later date. Brown then left the meeting.
Phil Layton, organizer of the cruise above the clouds, then gave a short synopsis of the success of the two-day Cruise event held in both Woodland Park and Cripple Creek.
Layton said the event raised $20,000 to give to various non-profits in the area. The city awarded the event $1,000 in the budget to help the festival with expenses. The return on investment for this event to the city and citizens was very worthwhile, according to Layton and city leaders. This festival has won the Best Special Event in the area for the last two years, according to the Best Of The High Country contest, hosted by TMJ News.
The only ordinances on initial posting, dealt with easements for sewer lines in the Reserve at Bridlewood subdivision. These two issues were followed by resolutions 832 and 833 to accept these easements. Both passed unanimously with little input from council.
The only ordinance before council that was up for public hearing was the approval of ordinance 1334, for a conditional use permit, for the Woodland Park Assisted Living Facility on Village Terrace, in Woodland Park. This is phase two of a two-building facility soon to begin construction. Phase one of the facility is now open and is accepting patients. Each building will house 21 beds for patients, and create approximately 25 full time jobs, according to the land owner, Eric Smith.
This measure also passed unanimously.
Potential Deer Killings Delayed
Several items of interest to the community will be taken up by council in the future, according to the mayor. One of these issues is the continuing saga of what to do about the deer population in the city.
Levy said he had a meeting with Parks and Wildlife Officer, Tim Kroenig, Councilperson Carrol Harvey, City Clerk, Suzanne Leclercq, and Woodland Park Chief of Police, Miles DeYoung. Following this meeting, it was decided that the issue would be put on the back burner until at least this time next year.
Kroenig wants to wait until another deer count can be done in February, and he is swamped with his duties during the current hunting season. After the deer count in February, council, and parks and wildlife will begin to hammer out a plan for next year. Levy did note that council will be taking up an ordinance to toughen penalties for people who feed the deer in the near future. The fine for feeding deer is now $150.
Another issue of interest to the community is the proposed dog park. The dog park proposal is the brain child of 16-year-old, Woodland Park High School junior, Bianca Bryant. She is undertaking this task for her girl scout Golden Award and hopes to get approval for the dog park so that, “dogs can have a place to be a dog.”
This issue has garnered a great deal of interest, both pro and con and according to Riley, it will come before council for an initial posting sometime in early November.