Garfield County paying Silt $200,000 to settle lawsuit over roadwork

Dennis WebbGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

SILT – Garfield County will pay the town of Silt $200,000 to resolve a lawsuit over maintenance of some area roads.Silt Mayor Dave Moore said he wishes that amount had been higher, but is happy the dispute is over.”It’s probably a good thing that we get things settled and get it behind us,” Moore said.County commissioners on Monday approved the resolution of the lawsuit, which had been brought by the town. The town’s board also has OK’d the settlement agreement.”We’re still just trying to get along with Silt. We have no animosity toward them,” county Commissioner John Martin said.The lawsuit pertains to an agreement between the county and Silt dating back to 1996. The county had committed to maintain and repair county roads 311, 331 and 346 until the developers of the proposed Stillwater Ranch filed a first final plat for the proposed subdivision.Stillwater Ranch won approval in 1997 to build almost 1,200 single-family homes, 162 townhomes and two golf courses. The 1,472-acre site was annexed into the town, but development has yet to occur.The town sued last year, contending the county hadn’t lived up to its agreement to maintain the roads. The county contended it was allowed to end the agreement, and that it no longer served its original purpose, which was to address road development issues during what was to have been the quick development of Stillwater.Martin said the agreement was supposed to cover a time frame of three months to a year – not a decade.He said the county is prohibited by state law from using county funds on city streets. The town has been unwilling to deannex some roads at issue in the dispute so they come back under county jurisdiction, he said.Moore said the town has gone ahead with deannexing about 3.25 miles of the five or so miles of roads the county had agreed to maintain.He is concerned about how the town will maintain the remaining stretches of roads in question, even with the $200,000 from the county. He has seen estimates as high as $1 million a mile to rebuild them.The roads have been damaged by energy and gravel pit trucks, not to mention ordinary traffic, Moore said.”We’ve got to get a handle on this,” he said.He has suggested a toll booth or electronic surveillance as means of having those who damage roads help pay for their repair.Contact Dennis Webb: 384-9119dwebb@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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