Commissioners cut trails group a break |

Commissioners cut trails group a break

The Lower Valley Trails Group got a break and a financial shot in the arm from the Garfield County Commissioners when the county let slide a $10,000 fee payment. LoVa requested and was granted a waiver of the administrative fee the county intended to charge for acting as the Local Agency Applicant for Colorado Department of Transportation funds for the proposed South Canyon Trail. The trail will run along Interstate 70 from west Glenwood Springs through South Canyon.LoVa’s grand plan is to build a trail from West Glenwood to the Mesa County line west of Parachute along the Colorado River. The first segment of the trail is between West Glenwood through South Canyon for 5.3 miles to the Canyon Creek interchange.The $10,000 will go toward $500,000 in matching funds for a $1.2 million Great Outdoors Colorado grant that was awarded to LoVa in December.According to the terms of the grant, LoVa must complete the trail in three years. The trail will be constructed in the CDOT right of way and will be sandwiched between the guardrail and the river.Garfield County has committed $35,000 this year for LoVa’s operations costs, and also promised $150,000 over three years as matching funds for the grant. CDOT has committed $166,000 for fiscal year 2005.”The county bears a tremendous responsibility for the project,” said County Commissioner Larry McCown. “I support (the fee waiver) at this time, but I don’t want to set a precedent to waive all fees.”Although CDOT will oversee construction of the trail, it expects the county to be responsible for maintenance, which it is reluctant to take on.”We’re putting pressure on CDOT to take responsibility for maintenance,” said Commissioner John Martin.Design and engineering of the trail will begin once the contract for CDOT funds is signed. A Request for Proposals will go out for design and engineering bids, said LoVa member Mike Sawyer.Construction on the South Canyon Trail could begin at the end of the summer.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext.

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