State of the city accompanied by homelessness protest, officials focus on innovation

Hailey Deaver

The 2017 State of the City Address covered innovation, construction and homelessness Monday night. The latter of which was shadowed by protesters chalking the sidewalks in response to recent homelessness legislation.

About 150 people attended the state of the city address by Mayor Wade Troxell. Amanda King was the host for the evening, asking questions to Mayor Wade Troxell and City Manager Darin Atteberry.

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The event started with a video presentation that showed Troxell and Atteberry traveling across Fort Collins to speak with different influential organizations in the community. They spoke with the Poudre Fire Authority, The Music District and others. The video showed the audience the prevalence of community within Fort Collins.

Homelessness

The issue of homelessness was also brought up during the event. King started her question by clarifying that the subject has been an issue to Fort Collins recently. Mayor Troxell explained that there are drug, alcohol and mental issues that are contributing to the homelessness issue in Fort Collins. He also spoke about how the city has been making “extreme efforts” to provide more affordable housing and the efforts that several non-profit organizations have made. Troxell stated that services will be provided and punishment will incur when the law is broken.

“I really appreciate the community in Fort Collins,” said Doug VanderWilt, a Fort Collins resident. “I’ve certainly witnessed it myself and I’ve done some to help the homelessness situation as well, but it is a really tough problem. People are coming through here and that’s partly because this is such a wonderful community.”

The triple bottom line comes into play with the issue of homelessness in Fort Collins. It focuses on the environmental, economic and social aspects of a city. The city council uses the triple bottom line to outline their decisions for the city.

The City Manager also spoke about the financial status of Fort Collins. He assured the audience members that Fort Collins is very financially stable and has been rated as a AAA city.

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Chalk art outside of the Fort Collins Armory after the State of the City address Photo credit: Hailey Deaver

 

About 15 protestors for the No Lie-Sit Ban were peacefully waiting outside of the location with signs and flyers. By the end of the event, the sidewalk was covered with chalk with phrases such as “Downtown is for everyone,” and “No sit-lie ban.”

Innovation and Technology

The PFA spoke about how they do their best to reduce their carbon footprint by using newer vehicles and better technology. The PFA also spoke about an app, Pulse Point, that was developed for people to download and receive information on where the nearest AED is located in case of cardiac arrest. This app would allow citizens to  help the community and provide immediate medical care.

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King started the formal discussion with innovation and how it is tied to the community. Mayor Troxell mentioned how Fort Collins is featured in an exhibit in the Smithsonian among other cities as a place of innovation.

“There’s such a committed citizenry in our community actively involved and passionate about so many things and we hear about it on a regular basis in city council,” Mayor Troxell said.

Atteberry spoke about self-driving cars for Uber and how the advancements are being made in other cities. He stated that this kind of technology will make its way to Fort Collins eventually.

Mayor Troxell also spoke about the advancement of broadband in businesses in Fort Collins. Broadband will allow the community to access information in education, business and entertainment much faster than normal internet speeds.

There were about 150 residents in attendance. The event was also live-streamed online and at two other locations, The Lyric Cinema Café and the Prost Tasting Room.

Collegian reporter Hailey Deaver can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @autumn_hail.