The Town of Cedaredge is eyeing the addition of a section of walking path along the Surface Creek trail.
The section of groomed trail that runs between Independence Avenue and Jay Avenue is already open and available for use by the public. The path follows the course of Surface Creek along the west boundary of the Stonebridge neighborhood.
The path is located on property owned by the homeowners on the east side of Surface Creek. There are also homes on the west side of the creek along SE 3rd Street.
The idea of having the town acquire the section of trail was discussed at a trustees meeting earlier this year. The town has offered to assume ownership of the section.
The idea was discussed once again at the town board's September meeting. Two representatives of the Deer Creek Village Homeowners Association explained that a two-thirds majority of HOA members is needed to approve the transfer.
The trail is an expensive maintenance responsibility for the HOA, which has also maintained liability insurance on the path. At the town board's September meeting, HOA representatives recounted the expensive dead fall clearing work and other maintenance that has to be done on the stretch. Having the town assume ownership would relieve the HOA of the costs associated with its ownership and keep it available for public use.
A number of other details that would affect any transfer were also discussed with trustees. The path apparently intrudes into the back yards of homeowners on Stonebridge Drive at some points. A full survey of the path along with any other agreements to settle private property issues would have to be completed before any transfer could take place.
The section of walking path has areas of thick undergrowth along the stream bank. In other places, it winds close to residential structures hugging the backyard landscaping and fencing. There are also open areas where homes on the west side of the creek come into plain view.
Though currently not in the plans, the idea of the town eventually extending the path to a point overlooking Hart's Basin has been raised.