State of the City
As we enter 2014, the City of Arvada finds itself in excellent shape from an organizational and financial standpoint and poised to work with our community on significant and transformational projects that will shape Arvada’s future.
Our resources continue to show the positive impacts of an improving economy. Preparation of the 2014 budget update continued our commitment to long range financial planning and creating a balanced budget. Developing long range-financial plans encompasses many different elements, including ten-year planning for all major funds to view costs within a longer framework, a ten-year Capital Improvement Plan that identifies projects, funding sources and any associated operating costs and the allocation of all resources in a manner that reflects the community’s strategic priorities.
Defining the community’s strategic priorities required the City Council and staff to commit to developing a plan that identified four major priority areas:
- Growth and Economic Development;
- Vibrant Community and Neighborhoods; and
- Organization and Service Effectiveness
In the Growth and Economic Development priority area, work will continue in Olde Town with new projects to prepare for the coming of the Gold Line in 2016. A new 152 unit apartment building will be built on the east side of McIlvoy Park that creates more housing opportunities near a transit station that links Arvada to the greater metro area. Additional “mixed use” development (housing, retail and office) is being planned for the current park & Ride area below Grandview Avenue. City investment will be leveraged to help these projects through the development of a parking structure that will meet the increased parking demand generated by the Gold Line.
A significant transformation is underway in the area formerly known as the Triangle Area, now renamed Ralston Creek. This is the area to the east of Independence and W. 58th where a new Walmart will be built that will revitalize the shopping center to the north and west along with new development.
In northwest Arvada residential development continues to progress within Candelas and Leyden Rock. Arvada remains committed to the construction of the Jefferson Parkway in an effort to attract retail, office and manufacturing opportunities and create additional jobs for our residents.
Work will also continue in the Infrastructure priority area through improvements in our utilities systems, streets and parks. In August 2013, the City Council approved an agreement to help finance expansion of the Gross Reservoir in cooperation with Denver Water, enabling Arvada to have the water necessary for current service demands and to support future growth.
The need to constantly reinvest in public infrastructure was demonstrated in September when Colorado received historic rainfall which resulted in flooding throughout many Arvada neighborhoods. Property damage was limited primarily because improvements completed during the previous ten years were able to convey the water downstream within planned floodplains that protected homes and businesses. One of these projects is the improvements along Ralston Creek near Garrison Street that removed 90 properties from the floodplain.
Vibrant Community and Neighborhoods will be addressed through a community centered update to the City’s comprehensive plan. This update will identify community issues impacting future land use throughout Arvada while preparing the community for the inevitable growth that will occur throughout the Front Range over the next 20 years.
During 2014, the Memorial Park neighborhood near City Hall and the Columbine neighborhood in southeast Arvada will see improvements to neighborhood parks, new trail connections and improved methods of communication that were developed in collaboration with area residents.
In early 2014, two police community stations will open within neighborhood settings in the northeast and west sections of the City. One of these stations will serve Lake Arbor area residents from the corner of W. 81st Avenue and Vance Street. The second station will serve West Wood area residents from Kendrick Drive near W. 64th Avenue. The new stations are the foundation of a new initiative the Police Department has implemented called Sector Based Policing. This initiative assigns command staff and officers to specific geographic areas in order to work closely with neighborhood resident to address public safety issues.
Finally, Organizational and Service Effectiveness will be addressed through the City’s commitment to the FOCUS initiative which will fully integrate the City Council’s strategic plan with the work of Arvada employees within a performance based budget. This concept will require all departments to include performance measures which will be reviewed throughout the year to make sure that the work being accomplished truly is the community’s highest priorities.