After an additional month to consider whether to go ahead with another section of the enhancement trail in Hotchkiss, the council in a split decision approved funding for the project. Known as the Leonard Trail, the proposed trail would go along Highway 92 from City Market to the fairgrounds entrance.
In December, Joanne Fagan, town engineer, and Mike Owens, public works director, looked at the cost estimates for the trail project and determined that it will cost the Town of Hotchkiss less money to use CDOT funding.
Fagan told the council in her report that the survey of the route had not been completed and that the trail's design had not even been started. The figures presented were estimates.
Owens said the town will work with Delta County to see if there is any way to have the trail extend to the bridge over the North Fork.
The estimated project cost with CDOT funding is $310,000 with a town match of $62,000. The cost for the town without CDOT funds would be $143,000. This would pay for a six foot wide trail. The cost to the town without CDOT funding is about twice as much and would require far more staff time to complete the project. Using CDOT funds requires following a long list of rules and documentation. Not using CDOT funds could possibly impact future funds and assistance.
If the town did the project without CDOT funding, a five foot trail could be installed and save the town about $8,000 in costs.
Town staff recommended using the CDOT funding.
"I also agree. I think we need to move on this. We've been mulling over different options for about three months," Mayor Wendell Koontz said.
Trustee Georgia Hopper said she continued to be against the proposed trail. "That's still a lot of money," Hopper said about the town match. "[The money] could be used to help more people in the town. In my opinion this pathway ... will be used mostly by high school students partying."
Trustee Carrie Wingfield moved to give the town engineer and public works authorization to proceed with the project. Jim Roberts seconded. Joining those two trustees in voting for the trail were Lindee Cantrell and Dustyn Foster. Hopper and Marlin McCracken were opposed. The motion was approved.blog comments powered by Disqus