GRAND LAKE — Moving in to 2014, Grand Lake is experiencing improved revenues and a pile of planned capital improvement projects. According to town manager David Hook, sales revenues for 2013 were the best the town has seen in 13 years. The numbers came in at an estimated $933,000 this year, compared to around $922,000 in 2012.
“I think we’re slowly climbing out of the recession,” Hook said. “Either more people are visiting town, or people in town are spending more, or both.”
Town officials are also projecting a small increase in property-tax revenue, budgeting just under $228,000 for 2014, compared with an estimated $221,000 received for 2013 and $213,000 received in 2012.
For 2014, town officials are looking to get the ball rolling with the recent Grand Lake Downtown Community Assessment, completed last March. They’ll be looking to fund some projects tying in with the report’s recommendations.
“We’re not going to try to do all of them in one year,” Hook said. “We’re trying to set the stage for being able to undergo a multi-year program.”
The town will start by funding a way-finding signs project, drainage improvements, and resurfacing and shoulder construction along Portal Road and Grand Avenue. The town is also looking at refinishing the flooring at the Community House, reconstructing boardwalks around Town Square Park, and doing some lakefront improvements. According to Hook, the work on the lakefront hasn’t yet been completely defined, but will probably be in the general vicinity of the volleyball courts.
More funding is budgeted for the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce as well, which the town pays to run the visitors center and tourism campaigns. Funds will also be allocated to remove beetle-kill trees at the Grand Lake Cemetery, to upgrade technology at town offices, to improve snowmobile trails and to add more public water fountains.
The town is also budgeting for a half-time code enforcement position. The town had a code enforcer before, but decided to eliminate the position by merging enforcement duties with the town planner’s job. After running the experiment for two years, town trustees decided a code enforcer was a necessary, separate role.
Leia Larsen can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603.