County OKs $22K for trail at CRMS |

County OKs $22K for trail at CRMS

A designated trail for nonmotorized access through the Colorado Rocky Mountain School campus west of Carbondale will cost Garfield County about $22,450 to construct.

County commissioners Monday approved the budget for a modest foot and bike trail that will traverse the campus on the approximately 1,200-foot-long historic County Road 106 right of way between CR 108 (Thompson Creek Road) and Dolores Way.

The 8-foot-wide trail will consist of crushed limestone in places, and will be painted onto the existing asphalt driveway for part of the route. There will also be a delineated, striped crosswalk across the driveway near the school’s Bar Fork building.

A compromise was reached last week between the commissioners and CRMS officials for a trail plan that will not involve traffic barriers in the middle of the campus, as an earlier plan had called for. Instead, stop signs are to be used to control traffic flow and protect trail users.

CRMS will also be allowed to install signs asking that anyone passing through the campus stay on the designated trail, as well as prohibiting tobacco, drugs and firearms, and asking that people keep pets on a leash.

The private boarding school was not able to convince the commissioners to close the trail during nighttime hours, however.

“That’s what a compromise is, is everybody goes away a little upset,” remarked Commissioner John Martin, who said there should not be limits on when the public can use a public right of way.

Commissioner Tom Jankovsky disagreed on that point in joining Commissioners Martin and Mike Samson in approving the trail plan.

“I want to go on record again, that I feel the easement does create a potential security risk” for the school, Jankovsky said.

The trail plan does not include any ongoing maintenance for the county’s part, commissioners agreed, “unless requested” from time to time as with other trails on county rights of way, Martin said.

The county, along with school representatives and area residents, have been working since last spring to come up with a trail plan to allow passage through the campus using the public easement. The county on multiple occasions has declined requests by CRMS to vacate the right of way, which was closed to vehicle traffic in 1979 but which has remained open for nonmotorized and emergency access.

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