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Cedaredge to add subdivision; cottage homes predicted

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On Thursday, Jan. 10, the Cedaredge board of trustees convened for a work session discussing two items: contract revisions from Western Gravel Constructors (WGC) and a proposal for Orchard Meadows subdivision.

The contract revision targeted three areas of overrun costs on the Highway 65 waterline project, which Western Gravel Construction stated isn't its responsibility. Town administrator Greg Brinck went over the request with the trustees, clarifying that the town would be able to pay WGC through its current loans and "this wouldn't be cash out of the town's pocket."

The areas of overrun were: traffic control ($85,000), American iron and steel and approved equals ($26,500), asphalt patching ($3,000) and differing site conditions and field changes ($8,800). In total, WGC requested an additional $122,141.75. The company explained that per the contract it's allowed a 15 percent markup and this falls under that allowable fixed fee.

"Being a contractor isn't easy," said trustee Allan Smith regarding the difficulties contractors face when making accurate bids.

Essentially, WGC failed to account for several items in its initial bid, including CDOT expectations on traffic control, the time constraints on using less costly steel, the cost of asphalt for patching and need to use thrust blocks (the lack of which caused a leak on S. Eagle and Highway 65).

After discussing each area of the proposal, the trustees concluded that they outlined expectations clearly in the original contract and the overrun costs were "not the burden of the town." To maintain a good working relationship with WGC and because they felt satisfied with the finished project, the trustees agreed to meet WGC in the middle with about 55 percent of its request.

"I can live with that since we're not much over the estimated costs we planned originally," said Mayor Pro-tem Ray Hanson. "But I think in their original bid they skipped a lot."

They asked Brinck to discuss with WGC a change order which should make the final project cost an even $1,000,000. "I do want to clarify that I see no anger in this," said Mayor Gene Welch. "It's simply WGC trying to see how we can come to an agreement." If WGC agrees to the negotiation, this item will be on the regular meeting agenda.

Next, John Peters, a county commissioner in Ouray and owner of John Peters & Associates, approached the board about Orchard Meadows subdivision. He is responsible for Stone Bridge and Stonegate developments in Cedaredge.

Peters originally began planning for the 9.51-acre subdivision around 2006. When the economy crashed, he postponed his plans. With the economy rebounding he hopes to resume the Orchard Meadows subdivision this spring.

"We're trying to get into a smaller home size to keep costs down," he said. The purpose is to create "attainable housing." These homes would be in the $160,000 to $200,000 range.

"Our main issue is that land is expensive here," he said. "We've started thinking outside the box a bit and think we can build the homes for less than modulars if we're smart about it."

This smart thinking would include cottage-like homes, with garages in the back and a shared driveway. Some might be patio style, others duplexes. The overall size would be 800 to 1,000 square feet.

He proposed the idea of removing the tap fee and building it into the homeowner's water bill, but trustees didn't like that idea.

All of the trustees showed great interest in Peters' plans and asked him to resume the project with the planning and zoning commission by presenting some new plans outlining the smaller home styles.

The subdivision will likely be built in phases as to "not get too carried away."

Next week's regular meeting will feature a public hearing for two liquor license modifications for Cedaredge Foodtown and Creekside Cafe. Next the trustees will hear from the planning and zoning commission and Cedaredge tree board. Surface Creek Animal Shelter and Cedaredge Area Chamber of Commerce will present, as they do regularly.

Regarding business items, two memorandum of understandings, the two liquor license modifications, two ordinances and a resolution will require action from the trustees. The ordinances allow alcoholic beverage tasting permits and amends code to reflect state statutory title changes. The resolution adopts the 2018 table for building permit fees.

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