October 25, 2012 A Colorado Community Media Publication ourarvadanews.com Jefferson County, Colorado • Volume 8, Issue 22 New police substations funded New positions among funded projects for budget By Sara Van Cleve firstname.lastname@example.org Arvada artist Cheryl St. John poses with a painting of a western view from her home Oct. 16. Photo by Andy Carpenean Painting goes national Artist’s work chosen for display in U.S. Capitol with People’s Tree By Sara Van Cleve email@example.com F or the first time in 12 years, the Capitol Christmas Tree displayed in Washington, D.C., will come from Colorado. The tree, which is coming from the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest near Meeker, isn’t the only piece traveling across the nation to represent Colorado’s natural beauty though. A painting by Arvada resident Cheryl St. John won the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree National Art Competition and will be displayed with the tree, often called the “People’s Tree.” The painting is a 16-inch-by-20-inch piece titled “Awaiting Spring.” “It’s the best thing to happen to me,” St. John said. “I’ve won a lot of awards, but this one means a lot to me.” St. John has won dozens of awards, is featured in several galleries and has been published in art magazines since she turned her lifelong hobby of painting into a career in 1996. “Awaiting Spring” features a snowy Colorado landscape St. John painted from a smaller on-sight painting she did at Capitol Creek near Aspen in January. “It’s funny, it was near Capitol Creek and now it’s going to the Capitol with the Christmas Tree,” she said. “I love that area. It’s such a beautiful spot. I feel really honored.” The Christmas tree will be cut Nov. 2 and then the tree and St. John’s painting will be taken to Meeker for a community celebration. “Awaiting Spring,”created by Cheryl St. John of Arvada, won the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree National Art Competition and will tour the U.S. with the White House’s Christmas tree, also from Colorado, before finding its permanent home in a gallery at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of Cheryl St. John The tree and the artwork will then go on a 22-city whistle stop tour of the U.S. before Speaker of the House John Boehner accepts both at the Capitol in early December. Boehner will recognize “Awaiting Spring” during the ceremony. Once the tree is lit, St. John’s painting will be on display for one year in the office of the Tim Tidwell, the chief of the Forest Service, before finding its permanent home in Capitol Christmas Tree collection at the Capitol. “That’s the best part of the whole thing,” St. John said about her painting’s permanent display. Being a fourth-generation Colorado native, St. John said it means a lot to her to be able to represent Colorado. “Part of what is amazing also is having the tree come from Colorado; it’s special to me, being a fourth-generation native,” she said. “To win something like this, being from Colorado, means more. It means a lot to my family.” St. John said she has always loved the outdoors and prefers to paint on location, such as in Aspen or Crested Butte, one of her favorite areas to paint, whether it be in the summer or winter. St. John is hosting a print signing from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at Grizzly Creek Framing, 5545 Olde Wadsworth Blvd. Large prints, greeting cards and other items featuring “Awaiting Spring” will be on sale during the event and St. John will donate a portion of the proceeds to an environmental charity. Arvada City Council approved a $230.6 million budget for 2013-14, which includes building two new police substations and creating 2.7 new jobs. The budget was unanimously passed during council’s regular meeting on Monday. Part of the approved budget included appropriation of $18,766,500 for the capital improvement plan, which was increased by $14,908,000 for 2013-14. The CIP will be used to pay for Arvada’s longterm infrastructure needs. CIP projects include creating and revitalizing parks; improving Arvada Center entities such as the kitchen, lighting and safety and security equipment; building an Olde Town parking structure and constructing two new police substations. The substations, which will total $8 million, will be built on the east and west sides of Arvada to better police the city through decentralized policing. “We aren’t just issuing bonds or anything for 14.9 million,” said District Four Councilman Bob Dyer. “This is $14.9 million that has been in reserve and designated; it’s money we have, we’re just using it in ways we haven’t anticipated before.” Finance Director Victoria Runkle echoed Dyer’s statement by saying there is no debt service with the CIP. “The goals with the 2013 budget were to continue to take care of our current operations facilities, build on what we already have and build on our future generations. We believe $230,578,00 meet all those priorities,” Runkle said. Funds were also appropriated to create 2.7 new employee positions. The positions include a parking enforcement position, a mobile technology specialist, a part-time accounting technician for the Arvada Center and a part-time community communications coordinator. The budget also created two new police officer positions that are not funded; the positions will mean there are two new officers going through the academy as others prepare to retire so the police force stays fully staffed. This biannual budget marks the first one where Arvada has used the 10-year model for the budget process, a model proposed by City Manager Mark Deven. “This whole process generated excellent discussion among staff, among the City Council and staff and we’ll continue to review, refine and update our assumptions,” Deven said. “It gives us a great foundation for the future.” Printed on recycled newsprint. Please recycle this copy.