Castle Rock’s State of Town highlights landmark year

Mayor Jason Gray says 2021 is better than 2020

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In a different format this year, the Castle Rock 2021 State of the Town event featured some of Mayor Jason Gray speaking about the town’s accomplishments and a lot of videos promoting what has happened and what is still to come.

In opening the Oct. 7 event at Phillip S. Miller Park, Gray said there were not a lot of good things happening in 2020, but in 2021, progress was made.

In recognizing the town’s continued accomplishments, Gray said none of it could have happened without having a dedicated town staff.

Gray said Castle Rock continues to receive national recognition as one of the top places to live in America. Individual staff members have also received national recognition, Gray said. Both Fire Chief Norris Croom and Police Chief Jack Cauley have been named to national boards and received national awards, Gray said.

Gray said the town’s Parks and Recreation Department has also been recognized for excellence at the national level.

Instead of speaking the entire time, Gray showed several videos throughout the night to display the town’s accomplishments in 2021, plans for 2022 and growth as the town celebrates its 140th year.

In presenting some 2021 highlights, Gray, via video, said the town continues to work on road improvements with the roundabout on Wilcox Street, the restoration of Meadows Boulevard and making upgrades to aging water and wastewater systems throughout the town.

Gray said one of the major highlights from 2021 was a “landmark” year in water. For the first time this summer, the town started using reusable water.

Gray said investing in a strong water future continues to be the town’s priority.

In a continued focus on parks and recreation, Gray said construction on Cobblestone Park is underway from land donated from the Metzler estate. The first phase will be completed in 2022.

Gray highlighted the increase in parking options downtown in 2021. With the construction of the parking garage tied to the Encore development, the town got 300 public parking spaces next to Town Hall.

With the added parking, Gray said as pandemic restrictions were lifted, the town had a great event season with concerts in the park, drive-in movies and a variety of community events that were sold out and well attended.

In looking at 2022, Gray said a lot of focus will be on the election results on Nov. 2. The town is asking voters to approve four separate tax measures aimed at creating new revenue streams to pay for more police and fire personnel, fund the growing need for the $75 million Crystal Valley interchange reconstruction at Interstate 25, purchase more open space and increase resources for the Parks and Recreation Department.

In the 30-minute presentation, Gray said what happens in 2022 will depend a lot on the election results.

Gray said parks will also continue to be a focus in 2022, with plans to make improvements to some of the town’s aging parks.

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