Vacating Prehm Road would be a mistake
It appears the commissioners made a mistake if they, in fact, agreed to vacate a county right-of-way across the Prehm Ranch.
What is important now is that they exhaust every necessary means – including litigation with Marlin Colorado, Ltd. – to (re)establish that public right-of-way so a trail can be utilized.
I am guessing the commissioners agreed to the vacation when neither they nor anybody else was thinking about a trail or any other public use.
In my opinion as a former county commissioner, they did violate a cardinal rule: never give up a right of the public for private benefit (unless you want to burn in hell!) It is morally beyond elected officials’ authority even though it might be within their legal authority.
I have not even read the pleadings, but legal principles notwithstanding, the commissioners simply must go to the mat on this one. And I know whereof I speak.
When Larry Schmueser and I were commissioners – without a request by anyone – we directed the Road and Bridge Department to examine all maps and documents to locate all county rights of way, whether in use or not, and to confer with the county attorney to determine action(s) to make them available to the public. King Lloyd’s people did exactly that, and we had one helluva bru-ha-ha in federal court with Puma Paw Ranch on Rifle Creek.
I don’t know how much we spent on the successful Puma Paw litigation, but my point is to assure the commissioners that the public will support the expenditure, win, lose or draw.
Whatever the thinking and/or motivation was when they agreed to the vacation, the only thing that matters now is to accomplish the public’s continued benefit, which it never agreed to relinquish.
Thanks for listening,
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Since Colorado’s not yet in the clear of the global pandemic, the Garfield School District Re-2 is heading into next year with a relatively frugal budget.