Like you, the city is ready to leave 2020 behind. Despite the restrictions of COVID-19, pieces are in place for a productive and eventful 2021.
New Recreation Center, Senior Center & Theatre
The biggest event planned for 2021 is the opening of the new recreation center later in the year. “The facilities and new amenities will allow staff to provide expanded program offerings and will better meet the needs of our community," said Parks and Recreation Director Amanda Peterson.
Civic Center Master Plan
Plans are developing for the rest of the Civic Center site that include new commercial and residential development, along with a new city hall. “Our hope is the Civic Center, which is generally where City Hall and the current rec center are now, will have a true downtown feeling,” explained Economic Development Director Debbie Tuttle. “We envision it as the new heart of the city.”
That will keep Information Technology staff busy, as over the next few years they’ll work to keep the new facilities online, plugged-in and connected with the Maintenance & Operations Facility and Justice Center. “Staff in the recreation center will definitely see an improvement,” said IT Director Bob Lehr. “This will allow them to work more efficiently.”
Another development project is Karl’s Farm. “Watching the crews prepare the land for construction after many meetings and negotiations was great,” said Director of Planning and Development Brook Svoboda. Infrastructure improvements are in process now to serve current and new residents and businesses in the area.
Lift Station A and Force Main Replacement
Speaking of infrastructure, a massive project will begin near Jaycee Park and continue north to 124th Avenue and Claude Court. Lift Station A, which is the main wastewater pump for the city, and the connecting force main, which carries the wastewater to the city's treatment plant, are being replaced. “It’s a big – and much needed – improvement,” said Public Works Director Kent Kisselman.
One more major reconstruction project set to start in 2021 is 120th Avenue. Combined with traffic signal upgrades in 2021 and 2022, motorists should see less congestion in the future.
Providing Services to the Community Safely
The effects of COVID-19 will be felt long into the future, and though vaccine distribution has started, restrictions will likely be in place for the next few months. Events, parks, recreation, cultural and senior staff will continue to adjust services and programs to serve as many residents as possible while conforming to county and state mandates.
Financially, COVID-19 has led City Council to pass a conservative budget for 2021. “We will continue to monitor the situation,” said Director of Finance Jason Loveland. “Thanks to the forethought of previous councils, the city is in a much better place financially than many others throughout the country.”
Community & Inclusivity
In 2021, the Police Department will take their community-oriented philosophy of policing to the next level with the help of a new advisory board. Restructuring command staff and installing body and dash cameras are two additional endeavors. Police Chief Jim May shared, “We believe these changes will help strengthen our bond with the community and instill more trust, understanding and cooperation.”
Internally, the city will be adding a diversity, equity and inclusion framework for staff to complement the Diversity, Inclusivity, and Social Equity Board created by City Council in 2020. "I look forward to working with a new team on such an important endeavor," said Chief Diversity Officer and Human Resources Director Tamara Dixon, who joined the city on Nov. 30. "That the city has made this a priority is one of the reasons I wanted this position.”
Equity in the Courts
Inclusion and equity efforts have already started to be embraced in the city’s court system. “The city’s efforts are mirrored in Municipal Court,” shared Judge Amanda Bailhache. “We are looking for ways to address root causes in hopes of building our community and reducing recidivism.”
Planning for the Future
Strategic Plan Update
City Manager Heather Geyer and Assistant to the City Manager Rupa Venkatesh will continue to facilitate work on the city’s Strategic Plan, like the Homelessness Community Task Force. “It’s important that we continually assess our status on goals, and make sure we are still headed in the right direction,” said Geyer. “Part of strategic work is making course adjustments to best meet the needs of our community with available resources.”
Communications and Engagement Plan
In conjunction with the Strategic Plan, there is a new three-year Communications and Engagement Plan. "We need to make sure that everything from this Connection that you're reading to our Noel Northglenn event supports city goals and meets the needs of residents," said Diana Wilson, director of the department.
Towards the end of the year, the election includes four council positions. Reach out to City Clerk Johanna Small if you are interested in running! “We saw record-setting turnout from Northglenn voters in the 2020 Election,” said Small. “We look forward to seeing that participation continue as voters choose their local elected officials in 2021.”
There is a lot to look forward to in Northglenn!