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Local News Briefs

The new Garfield County Sheriff’s Annex in Rifle near the Garfield County Airport opened Monday with a ribbon cutting. The annex is open to the public for civil documentation and for concealed weapons permits. The facility also has things like an evidence locker, forensic computer lab, large work room and weight room for staff, to name a few.

Concern for public safety in the area of the Meadow Creek Fire on the Rifle Ranger District of the White River National Forest has prompted the Forest Service to temporarily close portions of the Main Elk drainage to public use.”We are very concerned about public safety in the area near the fire,” Rifle District Ranger Glenn Adams said. “We are closing the area around the fire until we feel we can again safely allow public access.”Information about the closure area is posted at Forest Service offices in Glenwood Springs and Rifle, as well as at locations around the fire perimeter.The Meadow Creek Fire is located about eight miles north of New Castle. It started June 26 as a result of a lightning strike and is currently estimated at 150 acres in size.Because the fire was started by lightning and is not currently threatening private property, the Forest Service and fire planners with the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit are managing the fire to achieve several resource objectives.A special phone line has been established to provide updated information about the Meadow Creek Fire, at (303) 947-8684.

The proposed Thompson Park annexation and residential zoning, which would include dedication of the historic Thompson house for a museum and/or other public uses, goes back before the Carbondale Board of Trustees tonight.The town board gave preliminary approval to the proposal late last year, tentatively agreeing to annex the 10.2-acre site along Highway 133 for development of up to 80 residential units.Still to be ironed out are a few issues that have been the subject of negotiations between town staff, the applicant and others in the months since.Among them is whether the town itself or the Mt. Sopris Historical Society would take ownership of the house and about an acre of surrounding land, and who would be responsible for maintenance. Various options will be discussed at tonight’s meeting.Also to be discussed is the amount and timing for payment of traffic impact fees to help pay for improvements to the Highway 133 intersection.Tonight’s meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave. The Thompson Park item is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m.



The first leg of a bike trail that may someday link the towns of Carbondale, Redstone and Crested Butte is nearing completion. The public is invited to celebrate the official opening of the 5.2 mile stretch of the Crystal Valley Trail at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, July 23, at 1:30 p.m. at the Roaring Fork High School parking lot.The scenic byway along Highway 133 is a popular bike ride that has become more and more dangerous as automobile traffic has increased over the years. The asphalt trail is eight feet wide with an additional four feet of soft surface for equestrians and other users along the majority of the trail where there is enough space. Pitkin County Open Space and Trails funded the lion’s share, $1.75 million, of the $3 million project with help from a $1 million Great Outdoors Colorado Grant. Garfield County contributed $295,000, the town of Carbondale $195,000, the State Trails Program/Colorado State Parks chipped in $190,000, the Colorado Department of Transportation $85,000, the Jelinek family contributed $50,000 in addition to a $5,000 grant from the Aspen Skiing Co.’s Environment Foundation. Gunnison County has already completed a section of the trail from the summit of Kebler Pass toward Crested Butte.

The Valley View Hospital cafeteria has been moved to a new part of the building, in order to make way for construction to begin on the latest hospital addition.The cafeteria is now located on the third floor, accessible by the elevators in the newer wing of the hospital building. To access the elevators, enter either through the second floor lobby or the first floor emergency entrance.The cafeteria remains open to the general public.The new hospital addition will replace the older parts of the building, and will include the new cancer center and eventually a new cafeteria and administrative offices.



The city of Glenwood Springs is in the process of extending the sewer system from the current treatment plant to the new regional wastewater treatment facility being constructed in West Glenwood. As a result of this construction, bus service in the area of the construction will be impacted. The current schedule is for work to begin on Midland Avenue July 12 and continue through July 30.All upvalley buses (heading towards Aspen) will be rerouted during the project. Upvalley will not be servicing the Community Center bus stop (on Wulfsohn Road) or the Garfield County Courthouse bus stop on Seventh Street. Signs will be posted at these bus stops to direct patrons to the nearest bus stop. For persons using the Community Center bus stop, please use the Target bus stop (on Wulfsohn Road), and for persons using the Garfield County Courthouse bus stop on Seventh Street, please use the Ninth Street bus stop. Upvalley runs will start at the downvalley at Target at :07 or :37 instead of the West Glenwood Park & Ride. Bus drivers will look around for anyone waiting for an upvalley bus at the stop across the street from Target and motion them to get on their bus. Downvalley and Hogback buses will be able to maintain normal routing but will encounter one lane traffic for approximately two blocks after making the turn from Seventh Street onto Midland Avenue. Flaggers will do their best to give the buses priority.Ride Glenwood buses will maintain normal routing schedule and will pick up anyone at the Community Center stop wanting an upvalley bus. For more information on the construction project, please call the city of Glenwood Springs Engineering Department at 384-6435. For additional RFTA schedule and route information, contact Rubey Park bus information at 925-8484.

Glenwood Caverns and Historic Fairy Caves, part of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, will not be impacted by plans to possibly close some U.S. Forest Service caves in Colorado. The potential closures, which may be announced by the Forest Service in the near future, are due to presence of a fungus that is affecting the bat population in some caves and abandoned mines. According to a news release issued by Peak Communications, which handles public relations for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Glenwood Caverns and Historic Fairy Caves has little or no bat population.”We are working with the U.S. Forest Service and want to reassure our customers that Glenwood Caverns and Historic Fairy Caves are not affected and are open for business as usual,” explained Steve Beckley, who owns Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park with his wife, Jeanne.


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