In this issue of City News, you’ll find out how to celebrate the season at the downtown holiday lighting ceremony, shop your favorite Northern Colorado artisans at the Holiday Artisan Market and catch Santa as he returns to the Gardens on Spring Creek.

- Kelly DiMartino, Interim City Manager

Fort Collins Celebrates First Asphalt Art Installation

Neighbors, volunteers, and City staff helped install the first asphalt art project in Fort Collins in the Andersonville neighborhood on Sunday, Oct. 24. The mural, located on Romero Street, features sugar beets and short hoes in vivid, rich colors, and represents the agricultural connection to the Tres Colonias neighborhoods, whose neighbors in Andersonville, Alta Vista, and Buckingham historically worked on sugar beet farms.

Another asphalt art installation took place at Hickory Street near Soft Gold Park on Saturday, Oct. 30, and the next installation is scheduled for Maple Street near Putnam Elementary School on Monday, Nov. 8.

In addition to bringing more art to the City, these asphalt art projects are designed to transform public spaces and help build community, particularly in neighborhoods where residents were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Asphalt art is intended to last for the life of the street surface until the street is repaved as part of routine maintenance, and the artist will be responsible for maintaining the mural as needed. The art will not interfere with street markings and projects are evaluated to ensure they are appropriate for safety.

Residents of each neighborhood where installations are taking place and beyond are invited to come out, grab a brush, and help the artist paint the street from noon to 5 p.m. on each installation day.

Learn More about the Projects

Downtown Holiday Lighting Ceremony
Join the City of Fort Collins and Downtown Development Authority at the annual Downtown Holiday Lighting Ceremony! The ceremony will take place on Friday, November 5 from 5:30-7 p.m. in Old Town Square. Community members will enjoy live music entertainment and an address from the Mayor. At 6 p.m. everyone will be invited to join in a countdown, ending in the lights being illuminated throughout Old Town.
Learn More

Fall Leaf Recycling

What better represents the transition to autumn than frolicking through crunchy yellow and red leaves? By November, many of us have quite a few piles of fallen leaves and the question of where to dispose of them can sometimes be confusing. Don’t worry: There are many options for handling leaves at your home or business this season!

Reusing, recycling and composting your leaves keeps them from going to landfills, which helps the community meet zero waste and climate action goals, and can save community members money by avoiding extra charges on trash bills.

Leaves are excellent for composting, and are put to use by farmers and gardeners as animal bedding and garden insulation. Leaves can also be mowed into grass by a mulching lawnmower, or can even support biodiversity by providing habitat in your yard when left on the ground.

Remember: Don't rake or blow leaves into the street where they can clog storm drains, and leaf burning is not permitted within Fort Collins city limits.

Holiday Artisan Market
Favorite local Northern Colorado artisans will be back at the Fort Collins Senior Center for the annual Holiday Artisan Market. Shoppers are invited to visit with more than 50 artisans on both Friday, November 26 and Saturday, November 27 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Learn More

Winter Recreator is Here
Temps are dropping but Recreation's fitness programs are heating up with new enroll-by-day fitnessWinter Recreator has something for everyone including: Winter Break Camps (page 27), read about the Recreator of the Year (page 25), or plan a fun date night with Recreation's education programs (page 31). We’re excited to see what you explore this season!
Mark your calendars: Winter registration opens Wednesday, November 10 at 7 a.m.

Santa Returns to the Gardens!

Don’t miss the return of Santa to Garden of Lights! Join us for one of Northern Colorado’s favorite holiday traditions! Garden of Lights returns on Friday, December 10 through Sunday, December 26 from 5-9 p.m. each evening (except December 25). Take a stroll through the whimsical, twinkling winter wonderland: a half-mile loop of illuminated flower beds, huge sculptural flowers, grapevines, butterflies, holiday village and more. All constructed of more than 200,000 LED lights!

Additionally, the Color Blossom Show on the Great Lawn features 700 lighted blossoms, adding vibrant color and movement to your experience as you wait to see Santa on the Everitt Pavilion. Santa visits nightly through December 23, and every evening will feature additional rotating entertainment such as the Sugar Plum Furries Dog Troupe, LED Circus Entertainers and Holiday Carolers. Keep warm with a full bar with festive holiday drinks available nightly (and the Kaleidoscope Café is open on select nights).

Tickets go on sale Thursday, November 4!

Learn More!

Paw-sitively Claw-some Mew-sical CATS at The Lincoln Center

CATS, the record-breaking musical spectacular by Andrew Lloyd Webber that has captivated audiences the world over, is headed to The Lincoln Center November 11-13. Winner of 7 Tony Awards® including Best Musical, CATS tells the story of one magical night when an extraordinary tribe of cats gathers for its annual ball to rejoice and decide which cat will be reborn. With breathtaking music, including one of the most treasured songs in musical theater, "Memory,” and extraordinary costumes, it is easy to see why audiences and critics alike are clawing for more. Join us as The Lincoln Center plays host to four performances of this beloved musical—three evening performances at 7:30 p.m. and one 2 p.m. matinee. Tickets are on sale now with seats starting at $20 at LCtix.com or by phone at 970-221-6730.

In conjunction with CATS, The Lincoln Center is holding an donation drive to benefit Animal Friend Alliance with some much-needed items for our feline friends. You can find more information here.

Learn More!

Snow Season Safety Tips from the Streets Dept.

City Streets crews are busy preparing for the upcoming winter season, and want to remind motorists to drive with caution when City crews are out plowing and treating City streets.

Drivers should always maintain a safe distance from plows, as it is difficult for plow operators to see close vehicles and plows can make sudden moves. Never pass plows on a two-lane road. On a multi-lane road, plows should be passed on the left.

Keep in mind the following for winter storms:

  • When snowfall and wind combine, it is possible that some traffic signal heads may become blocked by the snow. At intersections where that occurs and drivers cannot tell what color the signal is showing, drivers should treat the signal as a stop sign and proceed when safe to do so.
  • Snow must be removed from sidewalks bordering your property no more than 24 hours after the snow ends.
  • Shoveling snow into the street is not only illegal, it creates a hazard and negates the work of City Streets crews.
  • Need assistance with shoveling? Contact Neighborhood Services’ Adopt-a-Neighbor program at https://engage.fcgov.com/d/CDNS/ or call 970-224-6046 during business hours.
  • Residents can volunteer to help neighbors with shoveling at https://engage.fcgov.com/d/CDNS/.

We appreciate your help keeping Fort Collins safe this winter season!

Learn More about Snow Removal in Fort Collins

Connexion Launching New Billing System

The Fort Collins Connexion team is excited to announce the launch of a new billing system in mid-November!

The system will replace the current one and will include a brand-new customer account portal with improved features to help Connexion customers manage their account, pay bills, set up credit card auto pay and more!

Current Connexion customers should expect to see a series of email communications with updates on the new system, including a walkthrough of how to set up your new online account quickly and easily.

Unsure if Connexion is available for your home or business? You can use Connexion's handy address lookup tool anytime at fcgov.com/connexion.
Learn More

National Homelessness Awareness Month
Like other cities in the country, Fort Collins is a place where individuals and families are experiencing homelessness. Throughout the month of November, the City will be sharing social media posts from the local homelessness service provider network to showcase the collaborative way this communitywide challenge is addressed and to share ways you can support this critical, life-saving work.

Last quarter, more than 600 people in Fort Collins were considered “chronically homeless” and more than 2,000 people accessed support services. The provider network consists of many non-profit organizations working together to provide basic needs to our most vulnerable community members and helping to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring.
Learn More

Outdoor Residential Burning Rules

Backyard fire pits can be a great place to gather friends and neighbors, share stories and roast marshmallows; however, smoke and odor generated from wood burning can have unintended negative impacts on those around us and affect some of our most sensitive populations, such as the young, the elderly, people with heart or lung conditions and those recovering from Covid-19.

In March 2019, the Fort Collins City Council adopted new nuisance code language to address health and nuisance impacts of wood smoke.

  • Outdoor wood burning fires must be at least 15 feet from adjacent property lines.
  • Wood burning fires must be fully extinguished by 10:00 p.m.

To learn more tips about safe backyard fires, visit: fcgov.com/airquality/outdoorburning/.

New Bridge Murals Serve a Purpose
The City of Fort Collins Art in Public Places program has launched a new temporary mural program to help mitigate graffiti on concrete bridge walls. It is based on the success of the Transformer Cabinet Mural program, in which murals are painted on working electrical transformer cabinets to mitigate graffiti and save money in abatement costs. Two bridges were identified by the City’s Engineering department to be painted this year and will be repainted in the future when the murals deteriorate.

Artist Susannah Franklin painted her mural (shown above, in progress) inspired by the nearby stream and cottonwoods on the bridge at 3758 Landings Drive, between Boardwalk Drive and Spinnaker Lane. Artist Cynthia Danielle painted her mural inspired by wildflowers by a river on the bridge at 4283 Boardwalk Drive, just north of Troutman Parkway.
Learn More!

'Tis the Season for Home Energy Improvements

The cold days of winter are right around the corner, and now is the perfect time to improve your home or rental property’s comfort and energy efficiency. 

Epic Homes offers $60 energy assessments (up to a $600 value) and substantial rebates on more than two dozen energy efficiency upgrades. Qualifying projects include HVAC, windows, insulation and air sealing updates, all of which can contribute to making your home perform better during the chilly nights ahead. If you own a rental property, energy assessments for your tenant-occupied properties are free for a limited time.  

Once you complete your project, you will receive an Epic Certificate listing the home’s pre-and post-Home Energy Score, along with a list of improvements you made to your home.  
 
Worried about upfront costs? Fort Collins Utilities offers easy, low interest rate financing options with no money down and terms up to 15 years. Loan payments are integrated into your monthly utility bill for a low hassle experience. 
 
This holiday season, find ways to reduce your energy consumption with Epic Homes, while giving your family the gift of maximum comfort.

Start Here

Upcoming Closures: Veterans Day & Thanksgiving

Veterans Day Closures

In honor of Veterans Day, all City offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 11.

The Gardens on Spring Creek, all recreation facilities, the Museum of Discovery and libraries will remain open. The Gardens will be offering a military discount. Transfort will be offering COVID-19 level service but all Transfort offices will be closed. Essential services such as fire, police and utilities will continue as usual.

All City offices and facilities will resume regular hours on Friday, Nov. 12.

Thanksgiving Closures

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, all City offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 25 and Friday, Nov. 26.

On Thursday, Nov. 25, the Gardens on Spring Creek, all recreation facilities, all libraries, and the Museum of Discovery will be closed. Recreation hours can be found at fcgov.com/recreation/facility-hours. Golf courses will have modified hours with the last tee time at 10:30 a.m. Transfort services will not be available and all Transfort offices will be closed.

On Friday, Nov. 26, the Gardens on Spring Creek, Museum of Discovery, EPIC, Northside Aztlan Community Center, golf courses and libraries will maintain regular hours. All other recreation facilities will be closed. Transfort services will be offering COVID-19 level service, but all Transfort offices will remain closed.

Essential services such as fire, police and utilities will continue as usual both days.

Additional holiday hours are as follows:

  • All recreation facilities will close at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 24.
  • Libraries will also close at 3 p.m. on Nov. 24.

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Fort Collins, CO 80524