1 April 2009: “Shovel-ready” takes on new meaning in Clear Creek

‘Shovel-ready’ takes on new meaning in Clear Creek

In addition to the shovel-ready projects submitted for funding under President Obama’s stimulus package the Courant reported on last week, a number of others escaped notice.

In Georgetown, with the lake-front development gone with the wind, a plan to construct a pier is taking shape.

“That ship sitting in Georgetown’s LoDo has a purpose,” said one insider.

“Her name is QE III, lineage of the legendary QE’s, and will be re-commissioned as a gambling riverboat, ala those on the Mississippi River.

“We’re planning a world-class dock on Lake Georgetown that will allow us to take advantage of higher gambling stakes approved by voters last November.”

Responding to my query about its legality given the restrictions in the state’s constitution, he told me research completed for the historical society by a noted former University of Colorado professor shows clearly that in 1859, when the town got its territorial charter, the land now under the lake was deeded in perpetuity to local natives.

“Our board attorney has issued a legal opinion, based on the professor’s scholarly work, holding the body of water covering that land exempt from state governance.

“Also, one of our board’s ancestors was adopted into the tribe and married the chief. Blood quantum shows their living descendents having 1/64 of Indian blood, give or take a fraction.”

Construction of the pier should take no time according to the local engineer who also oversees maintenance of the train tracks and makes sure the train runs on time.

In the meantime, the barnacles are being scraped from her hull and a paddlewheel popped on. She will be regally towed by the town’s grader in a parade to her new mooring at the Port of Georgetown where the christening will take place

In Empire, the idea I suggested tongue-in-cheek at the high point of the imbroglio over trailer homes of constructing a truck route on the town’s right-of-way through the trailer park has found traction.

“It will result in some property condemnation,” observed one planner, “but will spawn an economic renewal that could unite the town and clean up the right-of-way mess.

“Once the bypass is constructed, there are plans to build a world-class truck stop, complete with a restaurant, motel, and adult entertainment palace.

“We’ll call the area SOFTY—South of Forty.”

“But what of the residents who will lose their homes?” I asked.

“Ah,” she replied, “that’s where NOFTY—North of Forty—comes in. The SOFTY bypass will be eastbound and the NOFTY westbound. We’ll construct upscale condos along it to house those displaced.”

“Would they be able to afford it?” I wondered.

“That’s part of stimulus funding as well,” she said. “If this is a true socialist republic, ordinary people should be able to sponge off the public trough like the rich do.”

“One other point I think you’ll be pleased with,” she added. “We’re planning on calling the bypasses the Fabyanic Memorial Bypasses in anticipation of you passing on, which, of course, we hope isn’t soon, although one board member implied you could drop dead for all he cared.”

Up at Eclipse, it’s about image make over.

“Marketing shows our Vail East moniker has struck a positive chord,” sang the CEO.

“We’re all about family now, the wholesome crowd, scrubbed, well-groomed, and polite. No pot-smoking, beer-guzzling, tobacco-chewing hippy shredders as our clientele anymore. We’re going totally Republican.”

That reminded me to ask about former president George W. Bush building his post-presidency trophy home there. His voice dropped and he revealed they discretely asked Bush to withdraw his plans.

“We want economic growth and to put people to work, not something most associate with Bush. Besides, our shovel-ready project to build latrines at our parking lot needs only Obama’s go ahead.”

“But,” I objected, “third only to Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney, Bush is still the face of the Republican Party.”

“You have to understand that contradictions and irony are facts of life,” he retorted. “What’s important is not what is, but, like Bill Clinton explained, what is is.”

On Floyd Hill, the secessionist movement is gaining steam with a cadre of residents determined to found the City and County of Floyd Hill.

“We got people and a wastewater plant in our backyard to handle their needs,” reported one of the conspirators. “What else do you need to make a community whole?

“It’s also a question of who we are as a people. Quite frankly, we cannot decide whether we identify more with Clear Creek riff-raff or Jeffco hoity-toity.

“We were relieved—excuse the pun—when the county passed on purchasing the wastewater treatment plant from the school district. With the stimulus funds, we can negotiate to relieve—there I go again—the district of that burden. Call it our civic duty.”

“What about drinking water?” I asked.

“Easy enough,” he winked. “Next we annex Idaho Springs.”

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