Golden’s Past and Future

Tonight’s Golden Beer Talk topic is “Inflammation and Human Heath,” and tonight’s beer comes from Coors.  This event takes place the second Tuesday of every month at Windy Saddle Cafe (1110 Washington Avenue).  The doors open at 6 and the speaker starts at 6:35.  We’ll hope to see you there!

Golden before revitalization

In the 1980s, Golden was in sad shape. Half of the stores in the historic downtown were vacant and the City had deferred a lot of maintenance work on our streets and other infrastructure items, due to low revenues. Determined to revive the city, residents voted to establish an urban renewal authority to revitalize downtown and approved a 1% sales tax to be used for capital investment (such as street and water plant improvements).

Since that era, and because of those decisions, Golden has been revitalized with a vengence. We now have wonderful streets, award-winning parks, a golf course, a water park, several new bridges (both vehicular and pedestrian), a community center, sidewalks along Clear Creek where there used to be mud social trails. Downtown, instead of being deserted, is swarming with people.

Golden is cute as a button. Everyone wants to live here. Everyone wants to visit here. Our sales tax revenue is beyond enviable.

The City does an excellent job of seeking community input, and we have a Vision Plan, neighborhood plans, a parks master plan, and a Clear Creek master plan, all based on things the community values.

We said we want a community that is walkable and bikeable, so we’ve built miles of trails.

We said we value being active and healthy, so we’ve built parks, a community center, a golf course, a water park, and–most recently–a skateboard park.

We said we want a vibrant downtown, so we’ve spent millions to make it pretty, and to attract tourists.

We said we value the arts, so we formed a Public Arts Commission and they are commissioning pieces to place at the entryways to the city.

When we have a community input session, we all chime in to say what we want. More trails! More parks! A fine arts center! Better sidewalks! A bigger waterpark! A new city hall! More open space! Affordable housing! Light rail into downtown!

When we express those longings, we’re not looking at price tags. We’re not evaluating cost versus how badly we want all those things.

This Thursday, City Council is going to begin looking at that backlog of wishes and looking for ways to fund them. Should we increase our sales tax? Add a lodging fee?

Or is Golden nice enough as it is? Do we need still more amenities? Our 1% sales tax will continue to keep our infrastructure in great shape. Is the rest just gilding the lily?

Council will be considering these issues, and needless to say, we’ll have public input meetings so you can weigh in. Stay tuned for more!