County insurance to cover flooding caused by Four-Mile runoff |

County insurance to cover flooding caused by Four-Mile runoff

Garfield County commissioners Monday agreed to let their insurance company handle a claim by a Glenwood Springs resident whose basement was flooded last week.

John Christner, who owns an apartment house on Airport Road, told the commissioners a culvert that carries runoff from Four Mile Road under his property was blocked by ice, mud and debris, causing mud-laden runoff to flow into the building’s basement.

He presented a bill for $1,783 to the county for cleanup costs.

The problem first surfaced last summer during improvement work on Four Mile Road. A thunderstorm swept mud and debris onto three properties in the triangle formed by the intersection of Airport and Four Mile roads.

County road and bridge supervisor Tom Russell said the only solution would be to construct a large catch basin below the intersection. Curbs and gutters built on the east side of Four Mile Road are not catching debris flow, he said.

“We’d have to have a pretty good sized retention pond,” he said. That pond will likely be installed when the city of Glenwood Springs reconstructs the intersection this year.

“For $1,800 every time it rains, it won’t take long to pay for it,” Commissioners Larry McCown said.

Steve Smith, who lives next door to Christner’s apartment house, also weighed in on the matter Monday.

“In the great flood of last year, quite a bit of mud and water came into our yard,” he said.

“Let’s have the engineers look at it and develop an overflow … We need to do something,” said Commissioner Walt Stowe. “We can’t wait for the city to do something.”

The commissioners had even more to say about improvements to the Four Mile-Airport-Midland intersection. It is part of a larger plan to connect Midland Avenue to a new bridge over the Roaring Fork River and a new intersection with Highway 82 near Buffalo Valley.

The county has agreed to pay $250,000 of an engineering and design study to be commissioned by Glenwood Springs.

Annexation of portions of Airport and Four Mile roads is part of the deal.

County attorney Don DeFord told the commissioners Monday the city will hold discussions with the county and the Colorado Department of Transportation over consolidating roads at the new intersection, including Red Canyon Road on the east side of Highway 82.

“Buffalo Valley and the Red Canyon roads don’t line up, and we don’t want another intersection,” said Commissioner John Martin.

“First they’ve got to decide what to do about the airport, because that decides where the road will go,” said administrative services director Jesse Smith.

County administrator Ed Green also warned the bridge project “could approach $7 million or more.”

With such a high price tag, the county won’t be able to come up with funding, McCown said.

“We couldn’t come up with $3.5 million for the county airport road,” he said.

“We need to have a talk with the city and be very frank,” Martin said.

In other business Monday, the commissioners also agreed to request that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission hold a local public forum to hear public comment about a request by Calpine Natural Gas Co. to increase gas well density in the Dry Hollow area.

Calpine now has one well on one section of land, which is 640 acres. It wants to increase density to one well per 40 acres.

The commissioners also declared Monday, April 22, which is Earth Day, to be a free dump day at the county landfill for noncommercial users.

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