Looking ahead to challenges Windsor will face in the next 10 years
July 1, 2017
As Windsor Now celebrates 10 years in the community and looks ahead to being part of Windsor for the next 10 years, community leaders were asked what they feel will be the biggest challenges Windsor will face over the next 10 years.
The following are their responses:
Kelly Arnold, town manager for the town of Windsor:
"The Top 5 list reflects a community that comes and works together in a manner that is positive and forward-thinking towards continuing to build a strong, resilient community. The challenge is to continue this community relationship through good communication, clear directions and respectful decision-making."
Herb Brady, chief of the Windsor Severance Fire Rescue:
"Growth along with shifting demographics and revenue is and likely will continue to be our biggest challenges. Growth does not necessarily pay for itself, especially under Colorado law and how special districts are financed, which is nearly entirely from property taxes. Funding is usually at least two years behind, yet demands for service increase real time. Additionally, an aging population is a larger consumer of fire/EMS services, and reimbursement through Medicare and other programs is diminishing. New hazards emerge and medical technology changes at a regular pace. A modern day firefighter or EMT/paramedic has vastly more training requirements than just a few years ago, and like the challenges of growth, we are not seeing much additional revenue to pay for this training."
Sandy Brug, board member for Windsor- Severance Historical Society:
"I think that the biggest challenge that Windsor will face in the coming 10 years is growth. I'm particularly concerned about where we are going to get enough water to supply all of the new homes and businesses. Traffic is already horrid on Main Street during most of the day, and the other roads are becoming busier, as well. We will need to do quite a bit of work on the infrastructure, and none of that will come at a low price. Also, as Windsor continues to grow, the high cost of homes and other property will be a concern. Many people who have lived here their whole lives are being priced out of the market in Windsor, and the property values and resulting property taxes are skyrocketing. How we deal with that will be crucial."
Ron Clark, of the Windsor Rotary Club:
"1) Improving downtown retail area. 2) Transportation of large commercial vehicles through or around town."
Michal Connors, director of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce:
"Maintaining our identity with all the growth in Windsor and the surrounding six communities. There will be a point when Windsor is completely surrounded. You will not know where Windsor ends and another community begins. How do we keep our small town feel when major cities are just across the street?"
Tom Fasano, director of marketing and communications for United Way of Weld County:
"Affordable housing. Home prices in Windsor are higher than Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley, and continue to rise. A 'starter' home in Windsor goes for $275,000 to $290,000, and that's a 30- to 100-year-old home that needs a lot of renovation and improvements. If Windsor doesn't create more workforce or affordable housing/apartments, it will force younger families and those employed in town such as police officers, firefighters, school teachers, retail employees, etc., out of Windsor. The dream for a kid who grew up in Windsor and who wants to stay here may not be possible because of the high cost of housing."
Richard Klimek, chief of the Windsor Police Department.
"Growth and how do we meet that. From the police department's perspective, all those great blessings we've gotten from the community are also bringing with it all those service needs. And how do we meet those service needs at an adequate level? … Just how we reach out to our community in Windsor and how we meet those needs."
Dan Seegmiller, superintendent for Windsor- Severance Re-4 School District:
"Our biggest future challenge will be the smart management of growth that is and will continue to take place. This is an outstanding community in which to live and work, with a quality of life that is attractive to many. I believe we will continue to see a steady and at times accelerated rate of business and residential growth."