RFR denial could drain county funds | PostIndependent.com

RFR denial could drain county funds

Garfield County stands to save $180,000 to $360,000 on Four Mile Road drainage improvements if Glenwood Springs residents approve Red Feather Ridge, according to county engineering studies.If city voters turn down Red Feather Ridge, the drainage improvement costs could be as high as $432,000, studies show.Assistant county engineer Jeff Nelson said the $432,000 would pay for Four Mile drainage improvements that would handle a 100-year flood event.For $252,000, and without Red Feather Ridge approval, the county could upgrade Four Mile to handle a 25-year flood event.”I’m recommending for the 100-year event,” Nelson said.Glenwood Springs residents have through June 24 to return their mail-in ballots to decide whether to uphold the city council’s decision to annex the 132-acre, 149-house subdivision on Four Mile Road.Flooding in 2001 at Four Mile Road and County Road 116 prompted the county to research ways to solve the road’s drainage problems near that intersection, Nelson said.County studies show three Four Mile drainage improvement scenarios, depending on whether Red Feather Ridge is approved:-If Red Feather Ridge is approved, for $72,000, the county can upgrade a detention pond that is already part of the project’s design. Nelson said this pond would collect stormwater and slowly release it.-If Red Feather Ridge is denied, the county would have to pay the $252,000 or $432,000 to solve Four Mile drainage problems, for 25-year and 100-year flood events respectively, because the Red Feather Ridge detention pond wouldn’t be built.Red Feather Ridge developer Guy Harrell said if the annexation fails, he will revert back to the property’s previous Four Mile Ranch plan, which is designed for 57 two-acre building sites. The Four Mile Ranch plan, already approved by Garfield County, does not include a detention pond.”To build a pond, the county would have to buy 15 lots,” Harrell said. “There’s no way the pond would work with 57 lots.”He said it “would not be feasible” to divide the 15 lots to create a detention pond site.Garfield County received its engineering studies for the $252,000 and $432,000 drainage solutions last October, before city council approved Red Feather Ridge.Earlier this year, after City Council approved Red Feather Ridge, the county commissioners told its engineers to try to come up with a cheaper way to handle Four Mile drainage problems. That study recommends the $72,000 detention pond upgrade on Red Feather Ridge.Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534lburton@postindependent.com

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