EDITOR’S DESK: A task force for No Man’s Land
It is good to see Colorado Springs City Council making some strides - well, maybe we should call them baby steps - toward addressing the public infrastructure
problems along West Colorado Avenue. The area nicknamed “No Man's Land” has been neglected way too long, and maybe this new, multi-government task force
will provide direction that could cause the appropriate elected bodies to think harder about doing something before too many more years go by.
At the very least, the appointment of a task force could help alleviate the bad rap the area's private property ownership has been getting, thanks to Manitou Springs' recent effort to find blighted conditions there. Of course, the property owners were told, finding blight was nothing personal; it was just a formality to qualify Manitou for an urban renewal authority. But several property owners in that older-motel area have made it clear that being called blighted doesn't exactly help their business images. The reason I say the task force might help in that regard is that Colorado Springs, in conjunction with El Paso County, is (so far) focusing just on the public shortfalls... unlike Manitou, which looked at both public and private. And there are definitely plenty of shortfalls - an estimated $2.6 million for sidewalks, curb, gutter and better drainage for a street segment that's not even a mile long. So clearly a lot of the "blight" has been negelct by the public sector.
In any case, we'll try to keep tabs on this task force as it moves forward. (And, hopefully, forward is the direction it will move.)