Silt paves way for Main Street improvement project
Post Independent Staff
SILT — Some time around the third week of this month, according to Mayor Dave Moore, the town government hopes to embark on a Main Street Infrastructure Improvements Project designed to spruce up downtown along U.S. Highway 6, otherwise known as Main Street as it passes through Silt.
“This is one of my dreams that I’ve had for years,” confirmed Moore in a conversation with the Post Independent. “It was one of the main reasons that I wanted to become a trustee 10 years ago.”
The work was to have been started earlier in the summer, lamented Moore, who said, “We were supposed to have started two months ago.”
Moore noted that in his early tenure as a trustee he proposed a lodging tax on local hotels, motels and other lodging facilities, which failed twice before finally winning voter approval several years ago, at a rate of 2.5 percent. Part of the reasoning for the tax, he said, was to provide funds for a downtown beautification project, although the project has been on hold until now.
Plans for the project, along with a number of computerized illustrations showing what the downtown is supposed to look like after the project is completed, are available for viewing on the town’s website, http://www.townofsilt.org.
Initially, the plan called for improvements along the north side of Main Street, starting at First Street and extending eastward to the roundabout at Ninth Street.
As currently planned, however, the project is to extend only from Third Street to Eighth Street due to funding problems. It is to include the installation of new sidewalks that are to be 10 feet wide, trees along the street, curb and gutter, bump-outs at each intersection, street lights, and large flower pots.
Public Works Director Gerry Pace said the project, as originally designed, was expected to cost approximately $1.4 million, which was to be covered largely by a $1 million grant to the town from Garfield County.
But unanticipated requirements from the Colorado Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over state highways, added nearly $200,000 in “unexpected expenses” to the costs of the project “and a couple of extra months of work schedule,” Moore noted.
Those unexpected expenses, he said, included approximately $80,000 to rebuild a culvert under the highway that did not come up to CDOT standards, and at least $42,000 to hire a consultant to work out easements along Highway 6 and get agreements from adjacent landowners to permit the town to stage some of the preliminary work on private property.
The result, Pace said, is that the project is now scheduled to begin on or about Aug. 23, and unless more funding is secured it will not be as extensive as originally planned.
“So, this is not yet set in stone,” Pace remarked.
“We will be going back before Garfield County” to seek more money, Moore said.
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