Winter Park council appoints Atwater to fill Thompson’s seat |

Winter Park council appoints Atwater to fill Thompson’s seat

Reid Armstrong
Sky-Hi Daily News

Winter Park Town Council appointed Barbara Atwater to fill a seat left vacant by Rusty Thompson earlier this month. Atwater also sits on the Grand County Water and Sanitation District #1 board of directors and was the operations director for the Grand County Rural Health Network from 2004-2008.

She will serve as an appointee until the April 6 election. Other applicants for the appointment included Charles Banks, Arthur Ferrari and Jonathan Larson.

“We’ve never had so many people express interest in serving on council,” said Mayor Jim Myers.

Council members chose Atwater by ballot vote. Myers encouraged the other applicants to pursue their interest in serving on council by running for office in the upcoming municipal election.

Doug Laraby, planning director for Winter Park Resort, reported to Winter Park Town Council Tuesday that the resort is beginning to feel the impact of the lack of snow this winter. Laraby said runs on Mary Jane are beginning to look bare and that the resort is feeling the loss of reservation from Front Rangers that, in snowier years, come up to ski for the weekend and book rooms for one or two nights.

Natural resource experts have stated that this season has seen the second worst snowfall on record thus far.

The Town of Winter Park is moving ahead with plans to create quiet zones for trains at the town’s two at-grade railroad crossings – Vasquez Road and Kings Crossing.

Train engineers are obligated to blare their horns for safety when passing through these intersections, disturbing the peace and well-being of citizens, according to town council.

Union Pacific Railroad has just agreed to install new gates and electronics at the crossings that will eliminate the need for the engineers to sound their horns most of the time. The estimated cost of the upgrades – approximately $220,000 per crossing – will be passed on to the town.

Meanwhile, town council approved spending an additional $15,000 to begin preliminary work on medians and curbs at the intersections, improvements that are necessary for the quiet zones but not included in the Union Pacific cost estimate.

– Reid Armstrong can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610 or