Richard romero bring new life to pueblo’s older neighborhoods pueblo chieftain gas constant for nitrogen

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My mother worked as a nurse. When the CF&I closed over time, the area slowly started to decline and became stagnant and blighted. The area has remained this way for many years and there’s still no change. Therefore, I attended a Building Blocks Workshop/Bus Tour. The workshop consisted of neighborhood residents from Bojon Town/Eilers, Bessemer, Grove, along with some City Council members and city, state and federal officials. The bus tour took us through the Bojon Town/Eilers, Bessemer, Grove neighborhoods to the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk at Pueblo.

I presented a vision that I had to this group during our tour. My idea is to unify and tie in the three communities of Bojon Town, Bessemer and Grove, calling the area the "Southern Gateway To the Riverwalk," but still keeping each community individualized by having historic and decorative street signs and lighting for each neighborhood, kind of like how San Diego names its areas with signs like "Little Italy" and "Gas Lamp District."

All three Pueblo neighborhoods are working together toward the same goal — to improve, redevelop, modernize, revitalize and bring ideas to our communities. We have neglected our older communities for too long. The idea is to connect the three communities to the Riverwalk with walking and bicycling trails that go through each community, along with beautification projects, new curbs, gutters and street repairs. Another idea is to install a mural sound barrier wall honoring the workers from CF&I from the east Northern Avenue bridge to the 800 or 900 block of east Northern Avenue. The mural would have artwork depicting each of the steel mill’s departments, as it goes along Northern. Examples include: Wire, rail, blast furnace, etc. This would honor each department and provide beautification for the corridor.

The chile festival and other events at the Riverwalk are great, but we all still need to drive through these communities to get there. This is going to be a long-term plan — decades — and now that the Environmental Protection Agency is starting to clean yards and doing a great job, I am seeing much more hope and positive views from the residents of our community.

We need to keep the momentum going and not let this vision and plan collect dust on some shelf. We need to secure local, state and federal dollars for programs to beautify our older communities. Doing this will bring back pride, a positive image and a safer and more beautiful city.

Keep our future residents and children here to work and be proud again. We need to create jobs and more opportunities for them. We need our high school and college students and more adult residents to get more involved with their ideas and attend meetings to help with this process.

Let’s make Pueblo thrive again! We need new direction, new ideas and possibly new elected officials, willing to make this happen and wanting change for our city. Not old ideas, old ways and the same amount of progress. Keep this in mind as we vote for a new mayor in the coming election. Thanks to all who have been involved in this process.

Richard Romero is retired from Colorado Springs Utilities after 31 years of service. He was a utility service specialist, specializing in gas, water and electric for 26 years. He also was a utility analyst inspector for new commercial and residential gas and water meters for five years.