Locals protest midvalley road equipment shop
Dump trucks and road-graders don’t mix well with Little Leaguers and family picnics, midvalley residents told the Eagle County commissioners Tuesday.About a dozen residents protested the county’s potential construction of a shop for their road maintenance equipment next to Crown Mountain Park. Crown Mountain is a 50-acre park being developed at the old Mount Sopris Tree Farm land behind the BP-Amoco station in El Jebel.”The tree farm property isn’t Eagle County’s property, it’s the public’s property,” said Laurie Soliday, a member of the park and recreation district’s board of directors. “The public wants to use this for other purposes.”Eagle and Pitkin counties acquired 120 acres of the old tree farm in a land swap with the U.S. Forest Service 12 years ago. Eagle County leased out a portion of the site to the Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District. The park will feature multiple soccer and baseball fields, playgrounds, picnic areas, tennis courts and dog yard when it is complete next year.Eagle County officials are eyeing part of the site they didn’t lease as a potential new home for their heavy equipment shop and storage yard. The county currently stores materials and equipment in the open in the El Jebel area and it has a decrepit-looking shop in a residential neighborhood in Basalt. Those facilities “are in dire need of updating or replacing,” Eagle County Commissioner Peter Runyon said.That’s fine with constituents from the Roaring Fork Valley – they just don’t want a new facility by the park. Soliday, a day-care operator, said Crown Mountain will be a magnet for kids. Their behavior isn’t always predictable, she said, so it would pose a dangerous situation with trucks and heavy equipment traveling through the park’s roads and parking lot.
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