Hotchkiss Bridge Street

Corner of First Street and Bridge Street (Hwy 92)

Changes will be coming next summer to the main thoroughfare in Hotchkiss. The town council heard a presentation during its Sept. 9 meeting from several Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) team members on the proposed construction.

The work would represent a full reconstruction through the town including reconstructing ramps that are not up to Federal ADA standards.

CDOT provided the council with a couple of possible scenarios. The option with the least amount of time would involve closing Bridge Street between the east side Cedar Street to Third Street from July 5 to mid-August. Pinon Street to Cedar Street to the west and Third and Fourth would be partially closed. The plan would be to work on one side of the street at a time.

According to CDOT the reconstruction includes removing existing pavement, digging down to a depth of at least 22 inches, replacing the existing road base and then repaving with new asphalt.

Traffic will be rerouted during construction. Eastbound traffic will take Hotchkiss Avenue and westbound traffic will take Main Street. All the construction will be done by CDOT since Bridge Street is also Highway 92.

Earlier in the meeting, Mayor Larry Wilkening reminded citizens that the town is still imposing water restrictions despite minor water improvements over the past couple of weeks.

“We don’t have any moisture in the forecast for quite some time so I encourage everybody to keep abiding by the restrictions and hopefully we can get through this winter alright,” Wilkening said.

Trustees approved an ordinance concerning amendments to the town’s building code upon second reading. The main changes dealt with the height of fences. According to Bo Nerlin, town attorney, there will be no building permit required for fences under 6 feet.

There was further discussion about fence height on corner lots, Trustee Jim Wingfield brought up safety concerns. Nerlin said the issue should be addressed in a followup ordinance on the height of fences not in the building permitting policy.

Trustees discussed and approved the first reading on an ordinance regarding the planning commission. Nerlin said during the August meeting trustees recommended they reduce the number of planning commission members from seven to five and remove the requirement that one member be on town staff.

Camping at the Delta County Fairgrounds will remain the same. Wilkening said RV camping will only be allowed if there is an event on the premises. He said the major obstacle to RV camping at the fairgrounds is the lack of a dump station.

“Until the dump situation is resolved, I see a way that camping on a no reservation type basis is going to be possible,” the mayor said.

Two members of the North Fork High School’s student council introduced themselves to the council. The Center of Mental Health requested and received a $500 grant for mental health services.

Marshal Scott Green told the board that the police department will be applying for a Gray and Black Market Marijuana Enforcement Grant through DOLA.

Green said the grant provided to rural areas will help to combat illegal marijuana grows in the area. He said the grant could cover additional costs including payroll and equipment such as a drone that could be used for dual purposes.

“There are some limitations on that ... this grant is not just about starting a drone program,” Green told the board.

Trustees unanimously approved that the Marshal’s Office make application for the DOLA grant. Following Green’s presentation, trustees went into executive session for a conference with the town attorney for discussion of a personnel matter regarding town and the municipal court judge.

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