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Grand Lake’s Streetscape hits delay

A driver moves down Park Avenue in Grand Lake on Wednesday. The town has run into a delay that will push back work on the project to the spring.
Amy Golden / agolden@skyhinews.com

Grand Lake’s timeline for the Streetscape project has been pushed back due to an unanticipated hiccup in the plans.

According to Town Manager John Crone, the project has been delayed because gas lines crossing Park Avenue at Ellsworth Street were installed too shallow to proceed with the Streetscape project as designed.

Ultimately, it left the town with two options, redo the gas line or redesign the road, Crone explained. Even with a race to update the plans, builders had serious concerns about laying asphalt at the end of October or early November. As a result, the work won’t happen until the spring.

While the timeframe has shifted back, Crone said the cost of the project remains “locked in” at the previously approved $1.89 million because United Companies has agreed to keep the price tag fixed for the town.

“We really have to thank United Companies for stepping up big time,” Crone said.

He said the town is grateful, as rising costs were a major fear among town officials, but those fears have been satisfied. Also, the timing might work out for the best considering what lies ahead for the project.

“Really the next thing is shutting down the road entirely, digging the trench and laying the infrastructure, which means our road would be shut down for August-September,” Crone said. “Now, we’re talking the road will be shut down in April and May with much less impact on everyone.”

In other business:

• The board talked about putting a De-Gallagher question on the ballot similar to one the county and other local towns are considering. Overall, the board seemed to be leaning against putting it on the ballot, but trustees held off making a decision in favor of seeking more information.

• After hearing from a handful of residents asking the town to carefully consider what could happen to the Grand Lake Center if land around the center is used for the Space to Create project, Mayor Steve Kudron emphasized that the community’s feedback is being heard and there will be another workshop at 6 p.m. Aug. 4.

Also during public comments, Kathy Weydert accused Crone of intimidating town workers by telling them they were not allowed to sign a petition opposing the project’s proposed location. In response, Crone said he was wrong, that town employees can sign any petitions and speak out on political issues, and he apologized for his mistake.

• The board passed a resolution making a lot line adjustment to a couple of existing non-conforming lots in the town’s Sunnyside Addition on Grand Avenue. All property owners were reported to be in agreement with the adjustment.

• The board approved an ordinance amending part of town code dictating how big someone can build accessory structures on their properties, like non-attached garages or sheds. The change will allow property owners to calculate the size of an accessory structure using 10% of the building area instead of 10% of the primary structure’s footprint, which could allow some owners more room to build.

• The board passed a resolution updating guidelines preventing the use of town vehicles for personal travel. The issue results from concerns that employees who use town vehicles for personal reasons would be receiving compensation that needs to be reported to the IRS. As a result, the town moved to restrict town vehicles from being used for personal reasons unless the travel is incidental or essentially on the way for a town trip. The board also wanted recordkeeping controls in place.

• Town officials put out a call for potential workers who might be able to help at the marina.


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