Fraser examines beetle kill removal ordinance | SkyHiNews.com

Fraser examines beetle kill removal ordinance

Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News

Property owners in Fraser may soon be required by law to remove beetle killed trees from their property.

During Wedneday night’s town board meeting, Fraser Town Manager Jeff Durbin asked the trustees to consider enacting an ordinance that would require property owners to remove dead and dying trees affected by the ongoing pine beetle epidemic.

Durbin explained the proposed ordinance could be modeled on the one enacted by the Town of Grand Lake in 2007. Citing the threat of wildfire, the ordinance allows the town to declare the dead and dying trees as a “nuisance” and require the property owner to remove them. If the owner fails to comply, the town can have the trees removed at the owner’s expense.

In raising the idea of an ordinance, Durbin admitted there are a “lot of pros and cons to consider,” but said there are a “number of risks from dead trees failing over or catching fire.”

Grooming trails this winter

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the trustees approved a memorandum of understanding between the town and the Headwaters Trail Alliance (HTA) for the winter trail grooming of the Fraser River Trail.

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Under their agreement, volunteers from the HTA will groom the trail through the town using snowmobiles. The grooming will make the Fraser River Trail usable by snowshoers and cross-country skiers during the winter. The Winter Park Town Council approved a similar memorandum of understanding with HTA on Monday.

Lucinda Elicker, HTA Executive Director, explained the local organization’s plans are

to groom the Fraser River Trail through both Winter Park and Fraser this winter.

From Fraser, the HTA trail groomers will extend its grooming work up the Fraser-to-Granby Trail to the entrance of the YMCA of the Rockies on U.S. Highway 40.

Snow removal

With the season’s first significant snowfall taking place outside as they spoke, the Fraser Board of Trustees voted to upgrade the town’s snow removal capabilities with a major purchase.

The trustees approved the spending of $130,000 to buy a used 2001 John Deere road grader. The money is coming out of the town budget’s Capital Equipment Replacement Fund.

The John Deere road grader, which is being purchased from a local landowner, is described as being in good condition with a history of “low hours” of operation. It has a “snow wing” attachment for its blade to help in moving snow.

Public Works Director Allen Nordin said the John Deere grader is “a replacement and used upgrade” for the town, which has been relying on its aging 1985 grader for snow removal.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the trustees held the first public hearing on the town’s 2009 budget. They commended Town Finance Manager Nat Havens for his work on constructing the budget.

More public hearings on next year’s budget were announced for Nov. 19 and Dec. 3 during the trustees’ regular meetings on those dates. Copies of the budget can be reviewed by residents by contacting the Town Hall and having it emailed to them.

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