VIDEO: NRCDC Public Presentation at the Salida SteamPlant, Part Two

View Part One

Following the lengthy presentation by Natural Resource Center Development Corporation (NRCDC) board members Dara MacDonald and Tim Glenn, the numerous audience at the Salida SteamPlant Events Center were invited to ask questions and offer comments. Their resulting comments and questions reflected both sides of the controversial NRCDC issue — with speakers expressing either support for, or opposition to, the proposed Natural Resource Center (NRC) on the Vandaveer Ranch property southeast of downtown Salida — and likewise, either support for, or opposition to, a current City Council ordinance that would gift some leased City-owned land on Sackett Avenue, beneath the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area headquarters, to the state of Colorado in exchange for a promise to someday build new Colorado Parks & Wildlife offices at the NRC location.

 

NRCDC board member Dara MacDonald, who also serves as Salida’s City administrator, closed the meeting by assuring the public, “I do buy in to the NRC and the commitment that’s been made by the City Council and commissioner [Tim] Glenn to further this mission.  I do think it will bring economic benefit to this community.  More people will stop [at the NRC] because they will have more of a reason to stop.  And they will spend their dollars here in Salida in a productive way for the community.

“Mistakes have been made.  This has been a very imperfect process. But we need to move forward.  We need to keep the longer vision, the bigger vision in mind, sometimes, as we go through this process. And we welcome people to participate.  Absolutely.  We can talk about this now, so let’s continue this dialogue as we move forward.

“I want to thank all of you for taking the time to be here tonight.  I understand your time is valuable.  If you have further questions, please use the comment sheets, send me an email, call me on the phone.  I’m happy to sit down with any of you and talk through these matters, and listen to your ideas about how to move forward.”

Questions remain in many minds about whether the City government is legally allowed to transfer the Sackett Avenue property without putting the matter to a vote of the citizens, despite a legal memo from City attorney Karl Hanlon.  The City Council has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed Sackett Avenue ordinance — Ordinance 2013-1 — at their Tuesday, February 5 meeting.

Bill Hudson

Bill Hudson spent a pleasant 18 months living in downtown Salida, during which time he did his best to understand the inhabitants and their motivations. He then escaped back to Pagosa Springs to resume his work at PagosaDailyPost.com