Happy New Year in 2019! 2018 is now in our rearview mirror.
We all may have had difficult days, and now let’s look forward to healthier and happy times. Is your cup half full or half empty? Our attitudes make all the difference in how we see the world.
I asked a lady at the bank, “Where are you from?” She beamed as she said, “Durango!” She lived all over the world because of her work but has called Durango home for over 20 years.
It doesn’t matter if you just arrived in June or have been here for a lifetime. Durango captures hearts!
Looking back on 2018, there were city of Durango milestones that should be recognized.
Lake Nighthorse opened with family fishing, boating, sailing and paddle boarding opportunities.
The Durango library featured world-famous Carl Bernstein to sold-out crowds at the Literary Festival.
The airport runway A was funded by FAA money for a full reconstruction.
Fort Lewis College in partnership with the city had the grand opening of the Softball Complex.
The Durango Police Department welcomed Betty, the K9 police dog.
The 416 Fire dominated the summer news. During the fire, Gov. Hickenlooper told the world, “Durango is open for business.”
The Colorado Department of Local Affairs awarded $1 million to La Plata County for a new entrance to Durango, which will eliminate Farmington Hill in the near future.
The Santa Rita Sewer Plant construction is on time and on budget. New bear-proof containers are making a difference in bear/trash problems. Hickenlooper joined the mayor and Durango City Council for ground-breaking at Lumien II affordable apartments.
Numerous meetings dotted the council landscape during 2018. When ballot measure 2A did not pass, council sponsored listening sessions.
In 2019, I hope to see a growth in our local economy. The city of Durango is funded primarily by sales tax. Sales tax pays for the police, streets and all of the workers who make a difference in our lives every day.
As a resident, I know a second water-treatment plant is in my future. The staff is looking at possible sites for the new water plant to accommodate growth and to have a secure facility. The city water rights in Lake Nighthorse must be part of our future. In 2005, council laid the foundation for Durango’s water rights at the lake.
Drought is a way of life in the Southwest, and preparation is the key.
The current 65-year-old water plant has been tenderly cared for by our excellent staff. However, it is only one failure away from disaster.
The water rates pay for current projects that are being implemented all over town. Durango will be ready for the new water plant because of preparation by staff and council.
There has been discussion about a residential rate increase of 3 percent for sewer and water. This is what it looks like for residents: January winter rate for water base rate increases 47 cents on 3,000 gallons. Water consumption winter rate increases 28 cents. The winter sewer base rate on 3,000 gallons increases 56 cents. Sewer winter consumption on 3,000 gallons increases 94 cents. Summer water base rate increases 47 cents. Summer water consumption increases $2.41 on 15,000 gallons. Summer sewer base rate increases 56 cents. Summer sewer rate increases 94 cents on 3,000 gallons. Our trash rate is up 35 cents, and recycling is up 22 cents.
Durango has an excellent reputation across the state not only as a travel destination but also as being ahead of the curve in planning for the future. Historic Durango comes with challenges in housing, water and sewer pipes that freeze, thaw and burst. I tip my cap to the employees who are out plowing the streets and fixing broken pipes in frigid temperatures.
Happy New Year! Have a safe and healthy 2019.
Sweetie Marbury is mayor of Durango, a position rotating among members of City Council. Reach her at SweetieMarbury@DurangoGov.org.