Finally, a snow day!
Finally, some measurable snow of an inch or more fell on the Valley on Wednesday. Just don’t expect much more, if any. The forecast ahead is back to dry and mostly sunny skies.
What did accumulate is helpful for the Valley creeks that feed off snowpack, what little snowpack there is in the high elevations. Snowpack in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, for example, has been on a decline since 1975 based on readings off La Veta Pass, according to the Colorado Climate Center which mapped the snowpack readings from La Veta Pass for AlamosaCitizen.com.
The Sangres saw a record-low year of snowpack in 2018 and were trending below normal again before Wednesday brought an inch or so to the Valley floor.
on Colorado drought conditions
This caught our eye, particularly in context to Douglas County’s current interest in exporting water from San Luis Valley.
From KOAA.com in Pueblo: Drought concerns are dampening the dreams of developers in Pueblo West. On Monday night, the Pueblo West Metro District Board of Directors voted to freeze applications for any new building or water tap permits, until a meeting on March 14. Board President Doug Proal says the pause will give the Water Team time to assess drought conditions and a potential new water source in Chaffee County.
Our take: Pueblo West is the latest community to put a halt to housing development due to lack of water or lack of water well permits. In May of 2021, the city of Fountain called a halt to housing development, again over a lack of access to water. Which begs the question: Will Douglas County get a handle on its growth, knowing it too does not have a water source to sustain and feed its growth, evidenced by its interest in Renewable Water Resources and its proposal to transport water from the Valley north into Colorado’s Front Range.
More parking for Downtown Alamosa
The city of Alamosa expects to add approximately 215 new parking spots in the downtown area through partnerships with Alamosa State Bank and Friday Health Plans. The city council on Wednesday authorized City Manager Heather Brooks to execute a lease agreement with Alamosa State Bank that will result in a redesign of the bank’s parking lot on Fourth Street and public access to 38 parking spaces after bank hours during the weekday and then on weekends. The city will maintain the parking lot under the lease agreement.
The city also is getting into a partnership with Friday Health to develop a new parking lot on Sixth Street. Friday Health continues to grow its downtown workforce and is planning construction of a new building at Sixth and San Juan. The parking lot project with the city will give public access to the parking spaces after hours and on weekends.
The city recently was awarded a $430,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs that will help pay for the parking lots. It also plans to use $100,000 of federal America Rescue Plan Funds (ARPA) to help with the downtown parking projects. Friday Health also has money in a new Sixth Street parking lot.
Summerfest on the Rio coming back
If all goes according to plan, Summerfest on the Rio will be back in 2022. Special permits were approved for the event, scheduled for June 3-4 at Cole Park.