Town Administrator's Weekly Update
2019 in review

Town Administrator          January 6-10, 2020

2019 In Review
In the past year, and with the leadership and guidance of the Board of Trustees, Town staff, volunteers and engaged residents and business leaders have accomplished great things in Erie! A few of the more notable accomplishments include:

Wise Farm Purchase
The Town of Erie purchased 169 acres of treasured agricultural land, located at the southwest corner of Jasper Road and 119th Street, known as the Wise Homestead. The Wise Homestead dates back to 1869, but today represents the largest open space purchase in the Town’s history!

Nine Mile Development
In June the Erie Board of Trustees, the Town of Erie Urban Renewal Authority, and the Lafayette City Council approved an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) for the Nine Mile property at the southeast corner of State Highway 287 and Arapahoe Road. The IGA resolved a previously intractable dispute in a way that allows Erie and Lafayette to now work together as partners to foster commercial development on both sides SH 287 and to equally benefit from the tax revenue generated by new businesses there.  Following approval of the IGA, the Town’s development partner, Evergreen Devco Inc., secured a commitment from Lowe’s to locate at the site. Construction has begun and Evergreen is targeting a Winter 2020/Spring 2021 opening.

Town Center Master Plan
Building on work done through an Urban Land Institute Technical Advisory Panel, which the Town hosted in July, the Town selected DPZ CoDesign to conduct a detailed market analysis and help the Town conduct a week-long exercise involving hundreds of Town residents and five developers/property owners to create the Town Center Master Plan. The Board of Trustees approved the Plan “in principle” during its last meeting of the year, and now staff is working with DPZ to prepare the regulations to implement the Plan. The Master Plan generated strong support from those who participated in developing it, and now is generating significant interest among developers wanting to execute the Plan.
Erie Commons Metro District
The Board approved multiple actions that make the Erie Commons site much more competitive with other development sites and address longstanding barriers to properly developing and maintaining commercial property in Erie Commons. Among other things, this action will facilitate a significant reduction in the mill levy applicable to commercial development in Erie Commons, and at the same time generate tax increment financing (TIF) revenue to help support significant public infrastructure improvements in Old Town Erie. 

Downtown Parking and Traffic Study
The Town completed a parking inventory, utilization and traffic study for Old Town that provides a customized strategy to ensure there is adequate parking to support business development, improve parking for significant events, and making Old Town even more pedestrian friendly and walkable.

Erie Parkway Bridge
Construction began in early January, and was completed in late fall. The 87-foot wide by 270-foot long bridge connects the east and west sides of Town and serves 12,000 vehicles a day.

North Water Reclamation Facility
In March, Public Works finalized the 20-year wastewater plant master plan and conceptual design for plant expansion. In April, the Board of Trustees adopted the North Water Reclamation Facility Master Plan which lays the road map for the facility for the next 20 years.

Sustainability Master Plan Actions
Consistent with the Town’s community survey results, the Board of Trustees approved funding to pursue the Town’s first-ever Sustainability Master Plan. In tandem to creating the plan the Town also:
  • Leased an electric vehicle (EV) to replace a traditional vehicle that had come to the end of its useful life. Staff estimates this EV will save Erie tax payers about $7,000.
  • Was awarded $71,000 in grant funding for seven new EV charging stations
  • Implemented green dumpsters to minimize waste going to the landfill in the Parks Department. Horticultural cutbacks are also now composted.
  • Was awarded an Environmental Leadership Program Bronze Award by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for its sustainability actions
Erie Parkway/I-25 Land Purchase
The Town purchased and annexed 255 acres of land at Erie Parkway and I-25, allowing the Town to promote a master planned mixed-use employment center with community retail, entertainment uses, hospitality and diverse residential offerings.

Town Employee Survey
The Town engaged an independent firm to conduct a survey of all Town employees because it’s important to (1) Listen to and learn from staff throughout the organization, (2) Measure problems and progress, (3) Identify specific areas on which to focus, (4) Identify things to celebrate, and (5) Make the Town an even better place to work! According to the Employers Council, any score above 3.75 reflects a very positive work environment. The Town’s score was 3.95. Wow! Based on the survey responses, we have taken several actions to improve benefits and the working environment to make things even better.

Serene Park Grand Opening
the Town celebrated the grand opening of Serene Park in the Colliers Hill neighborhood. The park includes more than 7 acres with shelters, BBQ grills, walking paths, fitness equipment and more!

The items above include just a few of the more than 40 issues on the Town’s 2019 Work Plan. We either completed or made significant progress on almost all of the 2019 Work Plan issues, and during the Board’s January 24 meeting I will provide my 4th quarter/year end status report on each of those projects/issues. I want to thank the Board of Trustees, the talented, dedicated and passionate professional staff, the volunteers who stretch the Town’s ability to get great things done, and the hundreds of engaged residents and business leaders in Town who all contributed to a very successful 2019. Thank you!
Town Administrator Weekly Update
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