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May: Fort Collins abuzz with spring changes

We’re enjoying our usual schizophrenic Colorado spring weather as I write this: warm and sunny one day, cool with rain or snow the next. It’s one of the great things about living here.

In keeping with the variable weather, this is a variable column touching on a lot of topics.

First, thank you to the people who ran for city council and congratulations to the four winners. While running for office was a chore, now their real work begins. A hearty thanks to our outgoing mayor, Karen Weitkunat. Over decades she served the community in many volunteer and public roles, including 12 years as an elected official. Her love of community and general sense of decency is evident to all who meet her.

Speaking of the mayor, it was a pleasure to join her and then mayor-elect Wade Troxell at the steel topping ceremony for Woodward’s corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility on April 8. It is a common tradition to sign the last steel beam of a building to mark an important milestone of its construction. More than 400 tons of steel will be used in the facilities on Woodward’s new Lincoln Avenue campus.

Good news items worth noting include the renewal of the two tax measures by city voters on April 7. Ballot Issue 1 for community capital improvements and Ballot Issue 2 for street maintenance passed by 80.53 percent and 84.53 percent, respectively. That is powerful affirmation that voters generally like the direction of the community.

The Foothills Mall area is abuzz with activity. Behind all the construction fences, traffic cones and dust a brand new mall is taking shape. The chaos of today will be a great new mall before the holidays.

Speaking of the mall, its former manager, Cynthia Eichler, has been hired as the new president of the convention and visitors bureau. She is a seasoned marketer and will do a good job for the community.

While Fort Collins residents remain divided on Colorado State University’s on-campus stadium, the financial markets are not. When the bonds to pay for the construction of the stadium went on the market, they sold out in short order and the university’s bond rating actually improved slightly.

Tolling as a means of paying for highway improvements is a viable option, but the Colorado Department of Transportation will need to convince the public. Polling recently done by the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance shows that 52 percent of Larimer and Weld County residents oppose paying for an additional lane on Interstate 25 via tolling.

Community colleges are a treasure, and we have a fine one in Front Range Community College. Recently the Little Bear Peak building opened on Larimer Campus. It houses the Automotive Technology, Manufacturing and Energy Technology and Welding Technology programs. Naturally, the ceremonial ribbon was cut with a welding torch!

There you are, a potpourri of topics to go with our potpourri of weather. Have a great spring!