Letter: Cattle guards are a waste of taxpayer dollars
I want the taxpayers to know where their tax dollars are going.
Garfield County has approved the installation of three cattle guards on County Road 306, also known as Wallace Creek. This area is rural countryside with free-range livestock grazing. These three new cattle guards span a distance of 0.2 miles. You might ask why an area so small requires three cattle guards. The only answer I can come up with is a few property owners do not want livestock walking by their driveways on the county road. Most of the property owners in that area have already installed cattle guards in their driveways to keep the livestock off their property.
Let me remind everyone that Colorado is a “fence out” state, so if a property owner does not want their neighbor’s livestock on their property they need to fence them out. One major safety concern is one of the cattle guards was put in a downhill corner! When winter comes, the cattle guards will be icy and everyone will be at risk of losing control and ending up in the ditch, or worse, hitting another car.
How did the county justify the need of these cattle guards and the cost involved? It takes two cattle guards to span across the road for each of the three cattle guards. You might be asking how much this project cost the taxpayers. Well a cattle guard alone costs from $2,600 to $10,000 each. You then have to pay the work crew, equipment costs for cutting the asphalt road and removing the dirt to place the cattle guards in, fencing along the county road connecting the cattle guards and clean up. Therefore, this project is maybe $60,000 to $90,000 of our taxpayer dollars! Furthermore, there was no notification to the property owners on County Road 306, so we had no opportunity to voice our concerns. County Road 306 on the Wallace Creek side now has seven cattle guards. I feel like this is a total waste of my tax dollars, resources and a major safety concern for anyone driving on County Road 306.
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