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Trustees okay more money for project planning

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Trustees voted at the March 16 regular meeting of the Cedaredge Town Council to pay an engineering firm additional money on the contentious, long-delayed, and ultimately downsized "enhancement project." Trustees Patty Michael and Larry Smith voted against continuing with the project.

The enhancement project was originally conceived as a beautification for the Main Street at Grand Mesa Drive intersection. The original contract for engineering and design with SGM was signed in 2013 for $59,855. Trustees last week agreed to pay $33,500 more on the project which after four years still does not have a start date for construction. The total price of engineering and design work is now $93,355.

In budget hearings last fall, board members questioned the enhancement project's value and considered abandoning it altogether. Delays and changes in the design over the past four years have been blamed by town staff and elected officials on the state's road builders who years ago neglected to confirm right-of-way boundaries at the intersection.

In March, SGM requested $50,000 additional to pay for extra work caused by problems that arose in the project. A letter to the town details 14 issues with the project and "attempts to describe why and how the design budget got so far off track." The engineering first states that the project got off track based on "incorrect information received pertaining to previously acquired right-of-way along the southeast corner of the intersection."

An accounting of the project last year stated the "engineer's opinion of probably [construction] cost" at $205,000.

• In a separate item at the March 16 meeting, trustees learned that a tiff between town staff and the Cedaredge Chamber of Commerce was punted to town's culture and recreation advisory committee for comment. Town administrator Katie Sickles reported, "The [committee meeting] attendees felt that the Old Fart Dart was a fun goofy name and would bring the community out for some fun. One commented that the chamber did not have a sense of humor. Staff responded that a second name was Young at Heart Dart; however, the group thought that was boring."

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