CDBG to fund sidewalks in Vermijo’s 2300-2500 block

       The city unveiled a plan Feb. 10 to install sidewalks, curbs and gutters, as needed in front of 46 chiefly residential properties around the 2300 to 2500 blocks of Vermijo Avenue this year.
       The improvements would be made at no cost to residents under the Westside's share of federal Commun-ity Develop-ment Block Grant Pro-gram (CDBG) money, program development manager Brad Lovell told attendees at the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) meeting.
       He did not have exact dollar estimates, but said afterward the work should cost less than the $221,000 in Westside CDBG funds carried over from previous years. Unless other projects come along, the remaining leftover money - as well as the $125,000 allocated this year - will be set aside for as-yet-undetermined projects next year, Lovell said.
       After initially suggesting the Vermijo improvements at an OWN meeting last fall, he has since met with property owners and residents in that area to work out the details, Lovell said at the meeting. He hopes to bid the project out to a contracter in about a month, with work starting this spring.
       Most of the work will be on Vermijo; additionally, sidewalk, curb and gutter will be installed on the west side of 25th Street from Vermijo to the post office, and, depending on how low the bid comes in, sidewalk extensions may also go in on parts of 23rd and 24th streets, Lovell said.
       Because parts of the street will get torn up for the project, Colo-rado Springs Utilities plans to take advantage of that opportunity to replace city water mains and hydrants in conjunction with the work. The current lines, circa 1920 and older, are four inches in diameter and probably constricted by build-up over the years, according to a City Utilities representative. The new lines will be eight inches, which will mean increased water volume to the area, meeting attendees were told.
       No Vermijo residents at the meeting opposed the project, although one woman said she disliked city plans calling for a 5-foot sidewalk in front of her house, resulting in the loss of some treasured plants.
       The lower Westside (south of King and Uintah streets) is eligible for CDBG money as a designated “strategy area,” based on lower overall income levels. The program has been used over the years to bring sidewalks, curbs and gutters and occasionally larger-scale improvements to the area.

Westside Pioneer article