Mesa Springs association tightening belt

       Seeking ways to stay active now that city funding is running out, members of the Mesa Springs Community Association are looking for a no-fee location for their meetings, a cheaper way to publish their newsletter and other cost savings.
       However, six-year president George Gravenstein and Vice President Steve Schwartz could find no volunteers to take their places, despite an appeal from the president that he is close to getting “burned out” by the job.
       The discussion came up at the Oct. 14 meeting of the association membership, following a guest informational talk by Martin Herrerra, community relations officer for the Colorado Springs Police Department.
       The money issue is looming because this is Mesa Springs' last year as a city-identified neighborhood strategy area (NSA). The result will be no more federal funding (through the city) for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) projects or $3,000 a year to help the association publish a newsletter, rent space for meetings and hold an annual picnic.
       Gravenstein summarized these concerns in the association's October 2008 newsletter, mailed out to about 400 homes, which strongly requested they attend the meeting.
       About 30 people came.
       Gravenstein announced that only those who signed up at the meeting are now on the list to receive newsletters in the future. A move to e-mail communications may also be considered.
       If a free or less costly meeting-location alternative cannot be found - the current cost to use the Pike Elementary library is $150 a year - Jan. 13 may be the final association get-together, Gravenstein predicts in the association's October '08 newsletter.
       The association provides advocacy for an area of older homes west of I-25 between Uintah and Fillmore streets. Current issues for the area include the potential loss of Pike as an elementary, the future southward extension of Centennial Boulevard and occasional crime issues.
       Mesa Springs had been a CDBG neighbood for about 20 years, receiving several hundred thousand dollars of public improvements - chiefly curb, gutter and sidewalks. The CDBG delisting was announced by city officials over a year ago, saying they believed that most of the needed improvements have been accomplished. 2008 is the transition year.

Westside Pioneer article