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Town, bank partner in sidewalk project

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At the Sept. 27 board meeting Paonia town trustees voted to enter into an agreement with First Colorado National Bank to replace a section of sidewalk and access ramp located at the southeast corner of Second Street and Grand Avenue. The sidewalk will be replaced from the intersection east and south to the alleyways, said Dean.

Bank CEO Stan Park submitted the request for the repair and agreed to pay 65 percent of the cost. Park also submitted a quote of $24,523 from C&N Construction of Delta, which is also doing other sidewalk work for the town.

C&N Construction also contracted with the town to complete almost $47,000 in sidewalk projects this fall.

Money will come from the sidewalk fund revenues collected through a $3 monthly fee tacked on to the town's monthly utility bills. About $14,000 in unencumbered funds remain in the account for 2016, said Dean.

The corner is the last one at the intersection to be replaced. Another option, said Stewart, is to replace just the corner section and ramp at an estimated cost of $5,000.

Public Works Committee representatives Bill Bair and David Bradford weren't in total agreement over the cost share. Bair said he'd like to see expenses kept at a minimum and suggested the $5,000 option, while Bradford said he is "comfortable" with spending the town's share of $8,583, "Because we're going to get a lot of sidewalk done" for the cost. Bradford said he wonders why the project wasn't prioritized when the board was considering projects for this year, "Because it is badly deteriorating."

A handicap access ramp in the 200 block of Grand Avenue and a portion of the project adjacent to town park remain to be completed this fall.

Concerns over precedent-setting and requiring of cost shares for other businesses were eased when Bradford reminded trustees that the bank approached the town with the proposal.

"I just appreciate the fact that someone would volunteer to cost share," said trustee Suzanne Watson. I think that's very encouraging. She also urged the town to investigate the best ice melt products and methods to use that won't degrade sidewalks, since new concrete should be allowed to cure for a year. Dean said he's looking into it and will share the information.

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