Mayor's Year-end Report for
2003: A Year of Progress
Happy New Year! As we look forward to the promise of great things in 2004,
I would like to share achievements and reflections of the past year with you.
Despite the sluggish economy, Longmont made great progress in 2003, completing
many projects - including some that have been in the works for several years.
the City's most noticeable accomplishment in was the completion of the Highway
119/Ken Pratt Boulevard extension project. After years of planning, we filled
the "missing link" between Highway 287 and I-25. Construction began
in December 2001 and the road opened on December 2, 2003. Traffic congestion
in the downtown area has already declined dramatically and time savings are
obvious to commuters traveling across town. Thanks to the residents of Longmont
who support the transportation tax, we will be able to continue to reduce
congestion and keep the roads in good repair through proactive, multi-modal
City leaders continued to negotiate with RTD to include commuter rail service
that would extend to Longmont from Boulder and Denver's Union Station (using
the existing BNF tracks) under the RTD FasTracks proposal. The program will
require additional funding through a tax increase, therefore a vote of the
people, expected on this November's ballot. Passage of this program will improve
transportation options and provide congestion and pollution relief for Longmont
Transportation at the neighborhood level was considered as well - in May
2003 the City updated the Neighborhood Traffic Mitigation Plan. This plan
allows residents to be involved in identifying traffic problems in their neighborhood
and working with the City to resolve rather than assuming a one-size-fits-all
In 2004 we are looking forward to completing a multi-modal transportation
master plan as well as working with RTD on the assessment for the commuter
in August 2003, the update to the City's Comprehensive Land Use Plan was an
18-month-long process that involved literally hundreds of individuals and
community groups. The Plan strikes a balance between the many times competing
goals of quality of life, economic strength, efficient transportation and
other community concerns.
The Airport Master Plan was also updated this year. With its adoption, the
goal to provide efficient services for the flying public while continuing
to be a good neighbor to the surrounding neighborhoods is served. Strategies
to monitor and limit noise pollution were devised as well as hanger and runway
size were considered.
During 2004, planning will focus on a Citywide Strategic Planning Process
and Main Street Redevelopment.
the drought deepened in Colorado during 2002 and early 2003, the Water/Wastewater
Department continued implementation of the Drought Response Plan. City residents
have save enormous amounts of water that helped maintain City reservoir supplies
at near capacity. In addition, we continue to work on water conservation measures
and education programs that will continue into 2004.
The City's new Water Treatment Facility is another project that we broke
ground on this September but had been worked toward for many years. When completed
in 2006, the plant will treat 30 million gallons per day. The plant can be
expanded to a capacity that will meet our drinking water demands for the next
20 years. In 2004, the City's water planners will be completing an update
to our raw water master plan. This plan lays the foundation to ensure water
provision for Longmont's future needs as the City reaches full buildout.
a community we are all concerned with maintaining the quality of life and
enhancing neighborhoods in Longmont. One of the significant additions to our
park system in 2003 was the completion of the Lake McIntosh Master Plan. The
Plan proposes to preserve and enhance wildlife habitats, minimizes the development
of man-made structures, maintains views and provides passive recreation opportunities
such as non-motorized boating, fishing, walking/biking and picnicking that
are compatible with the site and surrounding neighborhoods. Truly a collaboration
between the City, the neighborhoods and interested residents, construction
of Phase 1 is scheduled for spring 2004.
The City also acquired land for three neighborhood parks and one community
park including the Fall River neighborhood park (east Longmont), Spring Valley
neighborhood park (east Longmont), Meadow Mountain neighborhood park (southwest
Longmont) and Sisters of St. Francis community park (south Longmont). In addition,
the City acquired 380 additional acres of open space toward the buffer around
RECREATION AND CULTURE
2003, the Longmont Recreation Center completed its first full year of operation
with annual attendance estimated at more than 330,000. The success of the
Center continues to exceed all expectations.
Roosevelt Park also continues to be improved and enhanced. With many programs
offered to older adults at the Senior Center, swimming for all ages Roosevelt
activity pool and winter skating at the Ice Pavilion, Roosevelt Park continues
to thrive with public activity.
The Longmont Museum and Cultural Center also continues to draw large crowds.
The Museum's nine exhibits this year included a Japanese print and sculpture
show and a Latin Jazz exhibit from the Smithsonian - it's only appearance
in Colorado and one of ten nation-wide.
Providing affordable housing continues to be a priority for the City. Through
various programs, including the Bilingual housing Fair, the Community Housing
program and the Down Payment Assistance Program, many families in our community
receive the help they need to meet the expense of housing. The goal in 2004
is to make these programs more accessible to greater numbers of people.
the help of a $100,000 neighborhood revitalization grant, the residents of
the Kensington neighborhood in east Longmont joined together to identify areas
of concern and opportunity for their neighborhood. But rather than relying
on government to tell them how to solve their issues, the residents have worked
together to identify possible strategies and solutions. One of the first results
is new lighting is being installed in some areas to improve safety and several
cleanup projects have been done. This project will continue in 2004.
Participants working with the Multi-Cultural Community Strategic Plan sponsored
several events in 2003 including the Festiva de las Culturas, the Dieciseis
de Septiembre celebration in the Kensington neighborhood and several business-related
topics in a seminar series for Latino business owners. The five-year plan
is to assist the City into becoming a multi-cultural, inclusive community
- proud to embrace, respect and celebrate each other. More outreach efforts
are planned for 2004.
POWER AND COMMUNICATIONS (LPC)
In its 91st year of operation, LPC is a community-owned, non-profit electric
and telecommunications utility that operates under the direction of City Council.
We are proud that LPC provides Longmont residents with very reliable service
and one of the lowest electrical rates in Colorado and the nation. Although
the Council did approve the first rate increase to some commercial and industrial
customers for the first time in ten years, we continue to be one of the lowest
cost providers in the state. In 2004 LPC will implement a plan to improve
circuit capacity in new neighborhoods, and reduce light pollution and improve
illumination in the City's street lights.
past summer brought an outbreak of West Nile Virus. Preparations began in
early spring with applications of larvicide to standing water in an attempt
to minimize the mosquito population to the greatest extent possible. Even
with these efforts, Longmont was forced to combat the virus-carrying mosquitoes
with chemical spray over six nights. The program was estimated to be over
90 percent effective and may have saved lives in the process. The City again
plans to take this proactive approach in the treatment of mosquitoes in spring
The Police Department conducted a community-wide workshop in November to
update its overall strategic plan. Specific strategies identified include
partnering with education and business institutions to enhance staff development,
increase forensic evidence capability and develop and implement a crime trend
forecasting program. To help implement these strategies the Police Department
is adding 3 additional patrol officers to the force in 2004.
PD also opened its newest substation at Stonehedge Place, an east side housing
complex. The collaboration between the neighborhood and the Police Department
signaled a new era in community policing efforts where citizens, businesses
and police work together to improve the quality of life where they live, work
The Fire Department selected a site at 1st and Martin for the new Training
Center, which includes a training tower, burn building and drafting pit (to
test water hoses and pumps). A designer will be selected in 2004 and it is
expected that the burn building will be completed by fall. The facility will
be used to train firefighters from Longmont and Boulder County.
As I look back on the past year, I can say that although we were forced to
continue budget cuts and decreased services in some areas, 2003 was a productive
and exciting year in many ways. I thank our 800-plus employees who rededicated
themselves to excellence in spite of lesser resources. I also congratulate
Longmont residents for the resourcefulness that they have shown in the face
of many challenges and for their successes this past year. This spirit of
collaboration, giving and patience, even in lean times, bodes well for our
future. I wish for each of you a happy and productive New Year.
Mayor Julia Pirnack