Monday, May 30, 2005

Rise of the Breckenridge Welcome Center

The new Breckenridge Welcome Center is is being build on Main Street right next to the Blue River Plaza. And it's being build inside a historic log cabin.

The log cabin was discovered when the town started tearing down the existing structure on the site and found the log cabin - surrounded and hidden by the existing structure. The renovated and restored building will replace the existing, smaller downtown information and activities center presently located in the Rounds building.

In addition to becoming the new information area, the Welcome Center will eventually offer centralized ticketing for a variety of performances year-round. It will also contain an interpretive center for Breckenridge's history. Exhibits will tell the story of Breckenridge's rich mining history and describe the lives of some of the colorful characters from the past. The cabin will be fully restored and will help describe the historic setting that makes Breckenridge unique.

The new center's anticipated opening is the end of 2005.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Summit County Teachers OK New Contract

Summit County teachers have agreed to a new three-year contract. It required substantial sacrifices from both teachers and district officials.

The new teacher-approved contract gives teachers, support staff and administrators, on average, a 3 percent raise over this year's salaries.

In order to achieve the 3 percent average salary increase, teachers agreed to implement a salary ceiling of $65,000.

Due to next year's tight budget and the possibility of changes in state funding in future years, negotiators on both sides have determined to come back to the table on a quarterly basis to renegotiate salary and benefits beyond the 2005-06 school year.

The school board will now vote on the contract.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Regional Plan for Interstate 70

This week representatives from 34 towns and counties belonging to the I-70 Mountain Corridor Coalition are meeting to try and come to a unanimous answer about improvements to the interstate roadway.

Each jurisdiction sent three-member delegations, including elected officials, community administrators, planners, engineers and business community representatives.

Billed as a search for consensus on a regional plan for the stretch of highway between C-470 in Denver and west to Glenwood Springs, the transportation pow-wow hopes to come up with a plan to ease the congestion in this corridor.

In the most optimistic vision, some planners and community activists sense an opportunity to get it right: to tackle the issue with a far-sighted perspective that will be judged kindly by history.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Summit County's Towns Chime in on the Widening of I-70

Interstate 70 from Denver to Vail has become so congested with traffic over the past 10 years, something has to be done. The question is what. The alternatives run the gamut: from a magnetically levitated monorail to boring more tunnels and making it a 6-lane highway.

Some of tha alternatives that have been proposed:

  • Six-lane highway between the Eisenhower Tunnel and Floyd Hill and through Down Canyon in Eagle County, with minimum travel speed of 55 mph. Cost $2.4 billion.

  • Six-lane highway, same as above, with the addition of tunnels to accommodate minimum speeds of 65 mph.

  • Dual Mode Bus in Guideway. Exclusive guideway for dual electric and diesel powered bus systems in the I-70 median eastbound from Silverthorne to the Eisenhower Tunnel and a bi-directional guideway from the tunnel to C-470 in Denver. Cost: $3.5 billion.

  • Six-lane highway and preserve space for future rail transit in the median. Cost: $2.8 billion.

The town of Silverthorne doesn't know which plan it supports as of yet. After a recent meeting of the town council, the only agreement was to try and reach an agreement at a future meeting.

Dillon is for six-laning.

Town Manager Jack Benson said, "part of the issue is (the council) felt the transit piece, and even the set aside for future transit, wasn't a practical alternative to the traveling culture."

Frisco has agreed to support several options. The no action and minimal action alternatives and the long-term solutions for 30-plus years will be advocated.

Breckenridge suports expanding I-70 to six lanes, while leaving room for some kind of mass transit down the road.

Concilmember J.B. Katz said, "We didn't want a mass transit plan to move forward first that could hurt the resorts in Summit county."

And the Summit County commissioners are still thinking about it all - they have not officially decided on what action they will support.