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FIRESTONE — The Carbon Valley Chamber of Commerce met Jan. 16 at the Saddleback Golf Club in town for the annual “State of the Chamber” luncheon.
The luncheon gives the chamber a chance to update members on the organization’s efforts to promote to businesses in the Carbon Valley area. But the chamber also invited representatives from each of the Tri-towns to present the current economic outlook from the municipal level.
Town Planner Bruce Nickerson spoke to the chamber about Firestone’s efforts to parlay the town’s rapid growth into improved services.
“Just like Frederick and Dacono, we experienced a lot of retail activity, and our residential permits are way up from last year,” Nickerson said. “But you know Firestone was the fastest-growing community in the 2010 Census in Colorado. That was great milestone for us; we felt that was a great accomplishment. But now it’s time to look at our economic development programs more as community development programs.”
Nickerson described Firestone’s approach to growth as one that values quality together with quantity.
“We don’t want to be necessarily the fastest — and with all due respect in Carbon Valley — we want to be the best,” Nickerson said. “That’s kind of a refocus for us.”
Without getting into the details, Nickerson mentioned that the town had turned away potential projects that didn’t fit with the town’s focus.
“We’ve had a couple of projects that have come along, and we said, ‘You know what? They’re not going to be the best projects for the community,’and we’ve had to take a little firmer stance,” Nickerson said. “So we’ve been doing a lot of work to try to reestablish our development regulations, but also ”
Nickerson emphasized that the regulations remain “very flexible,” but the focus is on the communitywide effects.
“We’ve had a lot of interest in multi-family development, which is a new thing for us,” Nickerson said.
He said that residents have called town hall asking for multi-family development so that extended families can live closer together.
“We have about 14 different development applications in right now,” Nickerson said. “And that’s a big change from last year. So, we’re calling it a ‘mild recovery,’ but none the less it’s a recovery.”
Nickerson said the Town of Firestone wanted to thank the community for the tax incentive program approved by voters for infrastructure repairs and improvements.
“We found that if we don’t take care of our streets, then they’re going to deteriorate faster than we would like them to,” Nickerson said.
Firestone spokeswoman Kristi Ritter followed Nickerson’s presentation, and she explained one of the more eagerly awaited infrastructure projects.
“Firestone Boulevard will be fully expanded in 2014 with construction starting probably this spring,” Ritter said. “So that will go to four full lanes between Birch and Cimarron [streets]. So that will fully relieve our congestion — and that sense of road rage in the community.”
Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.