Central City’s Response to Black Hawk Mayor Spellman’s Comments
By Daniel Miera
Misleading personal attacks in our small community are not in the best interest of the community at large, and for that reason Central City will not propagate that level of discourse. The contractual issues and areas of disagreement are really about land use controls, the prior intergovernmental agreement (IGA) made in good faith, and development impacts associated with the project. It is also not a disagreement that should be fought through derogatory and inflammatory public exchanges in the press, but rather through constructive conversations with leadership from both sides attempting to find a mutually acceptable outcome.
In regard to the lawsuit, we will leave it in the hands of the court to examine the facts and make a fair and just decision. We do not take this litigation lightly and it was a difficult decision to move forward with the lawsuit, but we feel this is our last resort to protect the interest and rights of the citizens and businesses of Central City.
Economic vitality is critical to the well-being of our community and the larger region. Central City is supportive of development that adds vitality, economic diversification, and overall economic growth. As good stewards of governance, we need to ensure that development follows the governing laws and that impacts to the communities are properly addressed.
Central City was working with Proximo Sprits prior to Black Hawk to try and bring the Lake Gulch Whiskey Resort to Central City. Central City never denied the development, but rather operated in good faith to make necessary and required adjustments to the Intergovernmental Agreement with Black Hawk to ensure the development could happen within the contractual obligations of the IGA. After discussions with Black Hawk regarding adjustments to the IGA, Black Hawk came back to Central with additional demands, including wanting Central to give up a portion of our historic municipal boundary as a requirement for the planning document change. Central City refused to agree to this unreasonable demand from Black Hawk, not the development.
Now, Black Hawk faces the same dilemma. Instead of continuing discussions, Black Hawk decided to ignore the IGA, which clearly limits development in that area to residential; ignore the established growth boundary; and ignore the existence of the Central City Parkway. That is what has led us to pursue relief from the courts. Black Hawk is moving forward with a development that violates the terms of the existing agreement. As when the developers initially approached Central City, we still see the potential value the Whiskey Resort could bring to our region, but we need to have constructive negotiations and an objective analysis of the impacts that the proposal will have on Central City. We will continue to advocate for smart and fair development.
Ultimately, we are disappointed that Mayor Spellman continues to issue nonsensical, disparaging statements when Central is just trying to do what’s best for our region and residents. We remain ready and willing to re-engage with our sister city to resolve differences in a way that is both beneficial to the residents and respectful of the IGA.