Safety, infrastructure, community focuses of Arvada State of the City address

Mayor Marc Williams gave the address April 19

Posted 4/22/19

On the morning the train horns silenced, Arvada Mayor Marc Williams stood at the podium to give the annual State of the City address. The long-awaited quiet zone in Arvada along the Regional …

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Safety, infrastructure, community focuses of Arvada State of the City address

Mayor Marc Williams gave the address April 19

Posted

On the morning the train horns silenced, Arvada Mayor Marc Williams stood at the podium to give the annual State of the City address.

The long-awaited quiet zone in Arvada along the Regional Transportation District's G Line went into effect April 19.

The line will go into service April 26 and will be free to ride for the first two weeks. The opening of the long-awaited commuter rail was one of the highlights celebrated April 19 at the State of the City breakfast hosted by the Arvada Chamber of Commerce.

Other celebrations include the additions of trail segments and neighborhood park renovations completed in 2018. The renovations of West Woods Golf Club and the Fitzmorris Recreation Center — a join project with Apex Parks and Recreation District and Jeffco schools — were also highlighted.

In 2019, the city will continue its mission to improve neighborhoods with the renovation of Rainbow East Park and by replacing Meyers Pool — another partnership with Apex and the school district.

On May 4 the city will celebrate the hundred anniversary of McIlvoy Park.

This year, the city will also embark of road projects that were approved by voters with the 3F bond extension last November. Projects include the widening of Ralston Road and improvements to W. 72nd Ave. The regional Jefferson Parkway project is also of importance to the city, Williams said.

“It's important to our community to be able to get that regional traffic off our local streets,” Williams said of the parkway project. “We look forward to getting that moving forward.”

This year, the city will also take on the contentious issues of homelessness, waste hauling and housing.

Homelessness has become and issue talked about frequently in the city of Arvada. Williams said that in 2005, the Arvada Police department received 118 calls related to homelessness. By 2017 that number increased to 1,132. In 2018, it almost doubled with 2,037 calls to the police on this topic.

“It's a significant challenge,” Williams said. “We are certainly not alone. We see it throughout the metro area in fact, we see it throughout the country.”

Williams said that solving the issue of homelessness is a priority.

“We have all put too much time energy and resources into our neighborhoods, our parks, our trails, our entrance ways and even Olde Town Arvada to have certain individuals make it an unpleasant place to visit,” Williams said. “I want Arvada to be safe and inviting for individuals and families.”

When it comes to safety, Williams said while Arvada continues to have one of the lowest crime rates for a city of its size — 4,200 made by the Arvada Police Department in 2018 — crime is an issue that can't be ignored. In this, he referenced recent events including a threat against metro area schools, and a chemical bomb attack against a police officer.

“Those kinds of dangers are out here, even in Arvada,” Williams said.

Next month, the Whisper Creek Community Police Station is scheduled to open serving northwest Arvada, also known as the Delta sector.

When it comes to housing, Williams acknowledged a need to improve access to quality housing which is affordable to a broad range of income levels. He said future work force, senior living and micro housing projects may be happening in the near future.

The issue of waste hauling has become a hot topic with some residents calling for a single hauler option in hopes of reducing costs, wear and tear on the roads and provide more options for recycling.

Williams said council will be making a decision on trash hauling in 2019. Options include council deciding to mandate single hauling; keep it the same; or put it out to the community as a vote.

“We recognize that there are challenges ahead to achieving our shared vision for Arvada,” Williams said in closing. “We have to work collaboratively. We want to address the challenges of homelessness in our community. We want to continue to smartly manage growth so it enhances the quality of life. And we have to continually monitor and watch what's going on with the economy locally, regionally and nationally so we can be nimble and maintain the financial situation we're in.

“I hope that you can see — and I do — that we're continuing to move forward with the city's mission to dream big and deliver because it is so very important. We want to continue to listen to all of you. We want your input. We want to be able to keep Arvada the special place it is and make it even better.”

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