Silt, county likely to settle lawsuit
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – An amicable agreement is expected to be reached between the town of Silt and Garfield County in a lawsuit filed by the town against the county in 2006.The suit revolves around a dispute of an intergovernmental agreement between the town and county to maintain and repair county roads 311, 331 and 346 until the developers of the proposed Stillwater Ranch subdivision south of Silt passed a milestone in their development approval process.”The roads were annexed into the town and the county was going to keep them up until the first filing of the final plat of Phase 1,” said Silt Mayor Dave Moore. “However, Stillwater did not come in as soon as they thought they would. And we did not feel Garfield County had met their obligation according to the contract.”The IGA was signed between both parties on May 13, 1996, and the complaint filed by the town on Nov. 14, 1996.A response to the complaint signed by Commissioner John Martin said that the IGA no longer served its original purpose, which was to allow the rapid annexation of the Stillwater PUD and address the road issues as the project developed.The five miles of roads were expected to be the responsibility of the Stillwater Ranch subdivision, which was annexed into town and approved by voters in 1997. The project is slated for nearly 2,000 single-family homes and 162 townhomes and condominiums on 1,500 acres of land south of Silt.Since then, Stillwater has been delayed again and again over the years with missed deadlines, defaults, financing troubles and problems in negotiations with the owners of the property, Valley Farms, Inc. To date, no homes have been built, although developers say the project is very much alive.As far as the lawsuit, Moore says he believes the town will accept a settlement agreement with the county, which was discussed at the town’s last board meeting on Monday.”I think we’re seeking an amicable settlement with them,” he said. “I can’t give you details, but both parties have made requests and are going to abide by those requests.”The county is scheduled to discuss a memorandum of settlement with the town of Silt at Monday morning’s regular commissioner meeting.County Attorney Don DeFord declined to comment before commissioners have the chance to consider the matter.Since the town filed the complaint, about 3.5 miles of the roads in question have been de-annexed from the town and are now the county’s responsibility, Moore said.
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