Garfield County plans upgrades to Silt, Rifle roads |

Garfield County plans upgrades to Silt, Rifle roads

Lynn Burton
Post Independent Staff

Motorists in western Garfield County can look for smooth sailing through Silt Mesa, and some breathing room south of Rifle and Silt, under the county’s proposed budget for 2004.

The big-ticket construction items from the Garfield County Road and Bridge Department proposed budget include:

– County Road 319 (West Mamm Creek Road) ” widen and straighten a mile-long stretch from the Rifle City limits to 1,000 feet south of County Road 352.

– County Road 233 (Silt Mesa Road) ” reconstruct the road, and widen in places, for approximately three miles.

– County Road 336 (Jenkins Cutoff) ” widen and upgrade the road.

“It’s a safety issue,” said Garfield County Road and Bridge Superintendent Marvin Stephens, describing the County Road 336 project. “The road is narrow, and there’s a lot of oil field traffic. There’s only room for one vehicle in places in there.”

The Garfield County commissioners expect to pass the 2004 budget on Dec. 15, said County Administrator Ed Green.

Other major projects the county will tackle with individual cities are:

– The Four Mile drainage project south of Glenwood Springs ” the county will pay $500,000 for drainage improvements on lower County Road 117, and the city will pay for a roundabout at the Midland Avenue intersection.

– The White River Road culvert in Rifle ” the county will pay $100,000 to replace a culvert on White River Road that contributed to flooding last year, and the city will build a bridge across it.

At $2.4 million, the County Road 319 project is the county’s biggest. Green said the county will pay about $1 million, with the oil and gas industry and a state grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs making up the rest.

The County Road 233 project is budgeted at $400,000, and the County Road 336 project at $236,000.

In other notes from the proposed 2004 budget:

– The county will retain the position of oil and gas auditor, a job that is held by Doug Dennison. The county created the position in its 2003 budget.

– The commissioners may use $400,000 in lottery funds to pay for improvements at the Garfield County Fairgrounds indoor arena for 4H programs and the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Office.

The $47 million draft budget is based on revenues of $44 million, and the continuation of the existing 13.66 property tax mill levy.

Green said the county would use $3 million in reserves to balance the proposed budget.

Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534

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