The Saratoga Sun -

Riverside clearing space

Preschool enrollment to increase


Riverside Town Council met Thursday for its monthly meeting where tree removal in the park dominated discussion.

Last month, the council voted to remove trees that posed a hazard from the town park. After consulting with a tree removal contractor, the town decided on removing 28 trees from the park. The trees to be removed are dead or diseased, and falling branches pose a threat to park users.

While one member of the council was dismayed at the number of trees that were to be removed and how not all of them looked diseased, mayor Leroy Stephenson noted that it can be difficult to gauge the health of cottonwood trees with the naked eye. “You can stand there and look at a cottonwood and you can’t tell what kind of shape it’s in,” Stephenson said.

The town will spend $9,000 plus dump fees to have the trees cut down and hauled away. Once the project is complete, the city can begin looking at plans for planting new trees to replace the ones being removed.

The council was addressed by Deb Cunningham, the teacher and director of the Encampment Preschool. The school’s enrollment was 20 this year, and the school added a new group for toddlers, aged 18 months to 3-years-old, with classes held on Friday, Cunningham said. Cunningham expected next year’s enrollment to increase by 10 students, and said the new toddler group would be full with a waiting list.

After next year, Cunningham said she expects the population of preschool-aged children enrolled in the school to increase dramatically. “We had a baby boom in the valley, and it’s going to grow,” she said.

The growing student population is accompanied by significant cuts in funding, she said. Cunningham did not specify how much in funding the school would lose, but asked the Riverside council for a grant. The council voted to grant $500 to the preschool.

The council also heard a presentation from Dick Perue who proposed a series of old photographs of the town to be used as decoration for the town hall. Not only did the members receive a lecture in Riverside history and see images from the past, they agreed to purchase prints of the antique photos from Perue to decorate the town hall. The town clerk, Jan Cook, has a budget for the project and will make the purchases of prints, Stephenson said.

The council members also discussed placing a dumpster along the highway to provide a place where passers-through and visitors can leave garbage without filling up the dumpsters of local businesses. Stephenson, who is also a member of the Upper Platte Valley Solid Waste District Board, said other municipalities such as Saratoga had problems with public dumpsters being repeatedlya overfilled.

After some time in discussion, there was no action by the board.

The next meeting of the Riverside Town Council will be held at 6 p.m. on May 12 at Riverside Town Hall.


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