At Tuesday night’s Winter Park Town Council meeting, a total of five special event permits were approved.

On March 24th, Eagle Wind Sound and Uptripping are hosting a Celebration for this year’s Grammy award winning artist, PJ Olsson, and a fundraiser for the Remi Olsson Memorial Scholarship Fund will also be held, benefitting local middle and high school musicians through recording scholarships.

March 30th, Winter Park Resort opens with the first of four Spring Bash + Splash events with TheBigWonderful Beerfest and live music by Woodshed Red and The Lil’ Smokies.

April 6th brings Life’s A Beach weekend features a Luau on the Sunspot deck, an on-snow Spikeball Tournament, a Fire Performance and live music with Jerry Diaz & Hanna’s Reef.

The Wild West Weekend arrives on April 13th. Events include a Cornhole Tourney, High Noon Duel, a mechanical bull, line dancing at the Village Plaza stage and live music by Buckstein.

The final weekend of the Winter Park season brings an 80’s Retro party with a costume contest and live music by the Goonies on April 20th, and the Spring Splash pond skim event on Sunday, April 21.

Council next approved several Resolutions. Resolution 1677 grants an easement to Mountain Park Electric (MPE) to facilitate burying electric lines and vaults within town owned right of way from Volario’s across the pedestrian bridge to the Arrow Development. Community Development Director, James Shockey explained, “this is part of the overhead line removal project. MPE has to bury the overhead line and run it to a transformer located on the Arrow property”.  Shockey added that MPE has advised the town that, by July 1st, all power lines will be removed from Rosie’s Way to Rendezvous Way.

Resolution 1678 approves a contract for services to create the Downtown Plan. Shockey told the council they had received a total of 6 proposals, the selection committee interviewed 3 firms, and made the recommendation to award the contract to Denver-based Design Workshop, Inc.  for an amount not to exceed $81,795. “We care hoping to get it down to $75,000”, said Shockey, which is closer to the initial budget amount. He told them, “If approved tonight, we will also submit a grant to DOLA requesting $25,000 for this project tomorrow morning”.

Resolution 1679 is a Commercial Enhancement grant reduction for Village Center Condominiums (VCC). Last fall, council awarded VCC $85,000 to expand the deck, add integrated seating a fire pit and landscaping. The VCC HOA has since scaled back the project to focus on the area in front of The Peak Brewery, reducing the grant amount to $48,937.40.

Resolution 1680 amends the Personnel Handbook by disbanding the personnel committee and remove all references thereto. Town Manager Keith Riesberg told council the responsibilities would be assigned to the town manager or human resources, wherever it makes most sense. “This ensures consistency and removes potential legal challenges”, said Riesberg.

The resolutions were all approved unanimously with all council members present.

Winter Park & Fraser Chamber Updates

For Community Partner updates, Winter Park & Fraser Chamber Director, Catherine Ross, told council they are “staying super busy” with visitors that are finding their way to the Information Center and planning for summer.

Ross told council they have had some challenges in securing musical artists for summer events, but have announced that country artist Dustin Lynch will headline Country in the Park on Saturday, August 31, which is also Labor Day weekend. Ross added that JazzFest is selling very well and the Blues From the Top Festival has a great line-up. The Chamber will be running a full-page ad in Westword advertising Winter Park as a “mecca for music and adventure” with the goal of pushing overnight stays.

She said that the staff at the Chamber are in transition and announcements will soon be made on new staff members as well as changes in roles and responsibilities.

They are also looking for a presenting sponsor for the 4th of July fireworks celebration. Interested parties should contact the Chamber to discuss the proposition in further detail.

John Catt Memorial Plaque

Town Manager Riesberg gave an update on the status of the memorial for John Catt, which had been approved by council last summer. The memorial plaque will be placed on the exterior of the curved wall in the Rendezvous Room so that it will be visible to the public. The installation and dedication will be held this summer, possibly at the Thursday night concert just prior to Blues from the Top, or that Saturday morning, depending upon when it is ready.

Transit Advisory Committee Report

Councilman Charles Banks gave council an update on Monday’s Transit Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting. He told them there had been many challenges this year with some of the aging bus fleet. Several buses have been down for repairs and they have been using the unwrapped white buses, which do not have gps tracking, meaning The Lift Rider app users cannot see the bus as it travels the route. They have also had issues with ice on the undercarriage of the buses which has caused problems with hydraulic lines.

TAC member and First Transit Manager, Mike Fudge, identified a company in SE Colorado that will fully refurbish buses. Fudge submitted a proposal recommending 9 buses in the fleet be sent down for repairs ranging in cost from $30-70,000 each, depending on what level of work needs to be done. Riesberg told council, “We are evaluating the proposal and may be coming back with recommendations at a future meeting”.

“On April 1, the routes change to hourly, so they will be able to take some buses out of circulation for repairs at that time”, said Councilman Banks.

Banks told council that ridership is up 5% from November – February, totalling over 324,000 riders for the season so far. “That’s a good number, and Transit Manager, Michael Koch, is projecting 500,000 by end of season”.

The summer routes for the Black Line and Regional Commuter Line have been selected and approved. The Black Line will run one-way, north to south through Grand Park in Fraser, which is the same as last summer’s route. Based upon feedback received at the Open Houses held March 11th in Granby and March 12th in Winter Park, the Regional Commuter Line will begin service in Granby with a loop starting at 6:30 am, another loop at 1 pm, and a continuous loop starting at 5 pm, finishing the night in Granby at 11:27 pm.

“If someone wants to submit a service change request for next winter, the requests are due by April 1”, said Banks. Several requests have come in for additions to Old Town Fraser, Rendezvous and possibly Devil’s Thumb Ranch.

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