Weather closes down WP construction season

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Frost in the ground has shut down construction of the new Woodland Hardware store at Woodland Station in the center of Woodland Park and delayed the opening of the Family Dollar and O'Reilly Auto Parts stores at Tamarac Center behind Gold Hill South.

Woodland Park Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Brian Fleer told the authority board at its Jan. 8 meeting that the city has finished its portion of the drainage work at the Tamarac site and that city Public Works Director William Alspach won an award for his infrastructure work from the American Public Works Association.

Fleer also told the board that Woodland Hardware Kelly Rodarmel co-owner said he doesn't expect the new store to open until January 2014. Family Dollar will likely open at the end of February and O'Reilly will open in mid-February.

Opening late will not affect the authority's tax revenue because all three stores have “payment in lieu of taxes” clauses in their contracts, said board President Dale Schnitker.

The authority board went into an executive session for negotiation purposes after the public portion of the meeting but Fleer said the board reconvened the public meeting after the session to approve an agreement with Robert and Carol Korsekwa allowing them to pursue a feasibility study by American Family Entertainment on building a facility they call Family Entertainment on Woodland Station Lot 3.

The facility would include a 12-lane bowling alley, other kinds of family entertainment and food service. The project is similar to the one they proposed for the land behind Walgreen's Pharmacy at Paradise Circle and Paradise Lodge Lane.

The agreement the board worked out with the Korsekwas will allow them to continue to move forward with their project as long as it looks good but will allow the board to seek other proposals if things fall through. This agreement format will be used for future projects, Fleer said.

The authority has its monthly board meetings in an empty office on the lower level of the Vectra Bank building but within the next few weeks that office will no longer be empty. It has been leased to an unnamed party and Fleer is seeking a different meeting place for its February meeting.

City Planning Director Sally Riley introduced Lisa Parnell as the city's new planner. Former planner Scott Woodford has moved with his family to Oregon. Parnell has a master's degree in urban planning and previously worked for the city as an administrative assistant.