Traffic, infrastructure the focus of many at Coffee with the Mayor event | MyWindsorNow.com

Traffic, infrastructure the focus of many at Coffee with the Mayor event

Emily Wenger
ewenger@mywindsornow.com

More than 30 area residents filled a meeting room at the Windsor Community Recreation Center Saturday morning for this month's Coffee with the Mayor event. Parks, Recreation and Culture Department Director Eric Lucas joined the first half of the meeting, with town, county and state representatives answering questions during the second half.

Transportation infrastructure has been a topic presented by residents across the state, but especially in northern Colorado, said House Rep. Perry Buck at Saturday's Coffee with the Mayor event.

Windsor Mayor Kristie Melendez holds the gatherings once a month, but for the July event she was joined by Rep. Buck, Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams and Weld County Clerk and Recorder Carly Koppes. More than 30 area residents attended the event, which was held at the Windsor Community Recreation Center, and asked questions of their representatives. Several town board members were present as well, and commented the attendance was the most they have seen at a Coffee with the Mayor event in Windsor.

Buck said as she travels to different communities and hears residents' concerns, traffic has been at the forefront of conversations "more than anything I've ever seen."

While Buck said she thinks the state should, for the most part, stay out of local government, transportation and education are the main instances when state government should be heavily involved.

"The monies should be prioritized for transportation, and it hasn't been," she said after Saturday's event.

Conway also said the Colorado Department of Transportation is underfunded, but he said he has hopes that Buck will work at the state level to introduce another TRANs bond bill, like the one that died in the Colorado House in 2015.

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"Transportation is a key concern and issue," Melendez agreed. "Not only from a local perspective but we're getting more calls on a weekly basis about traffic on our roads and congestion in our corridors and roads in town."

In response to questioning, Conway said a light rail line will be incrementally built on I-25, in addition to other improvements the road should see in future years, if the funding is made available.

Melendez encouraged residents to tell their representatives that transportation is important to them.

"The bottom line is we've got $1.3 billion to deal with to address long-time needs, (but we) have a $6-8 billion unfunded hole," Conway said.

Water

Windsor Mayor Kristie Melendez hosts monthly Coffee with the Mayor events, and one man at Saturday’s event, who was identified by other attendees as Wendell Bradley of Windsor, entered wearing a Guy Fawkes mask.

The mask has become a common anti-government symbol, and Bradley wore the mask for much of the meeting.

He handed out a paper with information about an alleged misuse of water rights by the town of Windsor. He accused the town of selling water to the oil and gas industry.

The allegations sparked an argument toward the end of the event, which after several minutes ended as Melendez denied his claims.