Ore-cart news box proposed for Old Town
A sketch plan for a public newspaper box in Old Colorado City that looks like an ore cart will be taken to the city to see if it meets specifications.
The Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District advisory committee agreed by consensus March 17 to the proposal by member Kathy Read.
She has an estimate from local metal sculptor Bear McLaughlin to build the box for $4,750. It would be 69 inches across and 32 inches high, with eight spaces that could hold up to 12 free newspapers. A spring-loaded door in front of each space would hold a display paper.
The top of the rack would be adorned with gold ore, while the unit itself would sit atop circular metal pieces made to look like ore cart wheels.
Working with City Parks liaison Danny Gieck, the committee would place the box either at the southwest corner of 26th Street and Colorado Avenue or on the south side of the avenue's 2400 block near the Colbrunn Court pedestrian crossing. Both places now have numerous privately placed newspaper racks of different sizes, styles, and states of disrepair, and for years committee members have pondered historic-style options to that.
Under law, newspaper publishers cannot be required to use government-provided boxes, but in downtown Colorado Springs, where such boxes now exist, the result has been a significant reduction in the privately supplied types, Read said.
Gieck said he will take the proposal to Sue Matz, the city's revocable permits officer. Committee members are not sure how the proposal will fare with her because its style is more artsy than the plain city boxes, its measurements a little different and it lacks the coin hardware apparatus required for non-free newspapers.
Read's thinking on the latter point was that the paid newspaper boxes are not the eyesores in Old Colorado City that the free-paper boxes are, and a box without those coin-collection issues would be less of a maintenance issue.
Read said the ore cart design is in keeping with a historic theme the district committee has been developing over the past three years. Four old ore carts from the Cripple Creek District have been obtained and placed (with gold ore) at different locations along the avenue between 24th and 27th streets.
The Maintenance District uses revenues from a dedicated property tax on Old Colorado City property owners to fund public improvements there.
Westside Pioneer article