Fraser pushes forward on pedestrian safety projects
The Fraser Board of Trustees signed off on a resolution Wednesday that will authorize Bowman Consulting Group to begin preliminary and final engineering design services for the Highway 40 Pedestrian Safety Improvement Project.
The project is meant to create a family-friendly, safe and walkable downtown for pedestrians and bikers. New measures will slow traffic by implementing visual street design changes, and enhancing and creating new crosswalks at Fraser Avenue, Byers Avenue, and the Fraser Post Office.
The improvements come in part thanks to two sizable grants totaling around $1 million from the Colorado Department of Transportation: the Highway Safety Improvements Project and the Safe Routes to School grant.
While Fraser waits for the grants to come through, the town has decided to expedite the process by funding the surveying work and engineering design out of pocket in hopes of completing the project in 2018 as opposed to 2019.
In August, the town decided to move ahead with surveying work on the project, under the condition that the cost not exceed $40,000. There is similar language in the agreement for engineering design. In October the town put out a request for proposals, and received only one from Bowman Consulting Group estimating a cost of $91,125.
There was some debate as to the price tag, and the board considered submitting a new request for proposals to get new estimates. But issuing a new request would push back the timeline for completion, according to Town Manager Jeff Durbin, likely delaying the project until 2019.
Ultimately the board decided to move forward with Bowman under the condition that the design work not exceed the estimated $91,125, citing concerns about waiting too long for safety improvements in the community.
Recycling and PAYT Drop Off Facility
The board also discussed the potential location for the newly anticipated recycling and pay-as-you-throw drop off facility.
Earlier this month Fraser held an open house at Town Hall, inviting residents in to voice their concerns and opinions regarding potential location for the facility. Initially the town identified an acre of land on the corner of Mill Avenue and Leonard Lane, though heavy resistance from homeowners in the area forced Fraser to look elsewhere.
The board has decided not to pursue the Mill and Leonard location, and instead has begun initial design work for an alternate location off of County Roads 721 and 72, below the Fraser Cemetery.
The town released their newest draft of the 2018 budget, and held their second public hearing on the matter Wednesday night. While the draft has largely remained the same over the past several meetings, there have been changes made in regards to community housing, public arts and emergency reserves in the water fund.
The new draft includes the establishment of a new community housing account, which will provide funding for affordable housing projects and programs. The board is appropriating $365,000 into the account, which along with the affordable housing restricted reserve, provides half a million dollars towards housing projects.
The town also decided to increase funding for the Art in Public Places Program from $7,500 to $20,000, and emergency reserves in the water fund from $500,000 to $750,000. The town also announced that because of new customer growth in water and wastewater fund from new home construction, water and sewer base rates would remain unchanged in 2018.
The town anticipates adoption of the 2018 budget at their next board meeting on Dec. 6.
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The Colorado Department of Transportation has closed Colorado Highway 125 in Grand County while crews work to clear the route of mud, debris and snagged trees piled up on various bridges and guardrails.