Tracker: A unified look for Edwards |

Tracker: A unified look for Edwards

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

Who they talked to: Community development planners Keith Montag and Cliff Simonton, and ECOBuild Specialist Adam Palmer

What they talked about: Planners talked about design guidelines to improve downtown Edwards and give direction to future development in both Edwards and the rest of the county.

One study, compiled from a workshop of planners and landscape architects last year, suggested ways to “tie the community together,” Simonton said. The study focused on improvements to public centers and roads, such as matching street signs and light posts.

Another suggestion was to make the intersection of U.S. Highway 6 and Edwards Spur Road more pedestrian friendly and slow down traffic.

“We want a sense of arrival and encourage people to walk or ride their bikes in there,” Simonton said.

Commissioners also discussed proposed urban design guidelines for Edwards, which would address the architecture, look and uses of future development in the business district.

The guidelines do not require a specific architectural theme, but it does encourage buildings to blend in with a “mountain setting,” be energy efficient and pedestrian friendly.

Commissioners said they want to apply similar guidelines to other parts of the county, like future development in Wolcott and Eagle-Vail.

What’s next? The design guidelines will become part of the Edwards Community Plan, and they go before the planning commission and under public review in the next few weeks.

How they voted: All in favor

What it means: The commissioners approved about $13.7 million in additional spending and transferring of funds between the county’s different accounts.

New expenses included $2.8 million to build the county’s new recycling facility in Wolcott, and $4.5 million toward the Stratton Flats affordable housing project.

Also, $19,000 went toward hiring Global Spectrum, an events and venue advertising company, to market the county fairgrounds.

The Sheriff’s Office wants to build a law enforcement training facility in the county. It would include a race track, practice tower for firefighters and helicopter facility. Local officers could train there and outside law enforcement would pay to come. Another $20,000 went toward hiring a consulting company to study the economic feasibility of the project.

For road and bridge improvements, $500,000 was spent to do design and start replacement of the Colorado River Bridge.

Some spending was from state and federal grant money. About $150,000 of state grant money was spent to fill several positions for the Nurse Family Partnership program, and early childhood program where nurses visit with first-time expecting and new mothers.

Also, more than $4.3 million in federal grants were used toward the airport’s runway extension program.

Finance director John Lewis said the county is looking good on it’s supplemental budget, or money set aside for expenses not in the original budget.

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