Thompson Road repair discussion dominates Granby Board meeting

Wind blows through the aspen trees outside of Granby Town Hall. The trustees meet every second and fourth Tuesday of the month.
Kyle McCabe/Sky-Hi News

Before their regular meeting Tuesday, Oct. 11, the Granby Board of Trustees met as the Grand Elk General Improvement District to discuss the repair of Thompson Road. Multiple residents made public comments on the topic, and even after discussing the issue for over an hour, the board talked about it again during the Granby board meeting.

Documents relating to the road, which needs an estimated $1.5 million in repairs, do not provide a clear answer as to what entity is legally responsible for its upkeep. Legal analyses from Granby’s Town Attorney Nathan Krob and Grand Elk’s council David A. Firmin assert that neither the town nor the Grand Elk Homeowners Association are legally responsible.

Town Manager Ted Cherry explained his memo to the board during the improvement district meeting, recapping the situation, describing discussions he has had with Dillon Cos., the company which owns the Grand Elk Crossing shopping center, and laying out what he needed to know from the board.

“I was able to have a conversation with the City Market representatives and representatives from the (Grand Elk) HOA,” Cherry said. “On the surface, I think Dillon Cos. or Kroger or City Market is willing to step in to help cover some of the costs that are associated with this.”

Cherry’s memo clarified that Dillon Cos. representatives seemed willing to pay for a third of the repair cost. Dillon Cos. owns the shopping center at the intersection of Thompson Road and U.S. Highway 40, as well as the City Market in that center. Because it is a subsidiary of Kroger, Cherry, the board and people attending the meeting often interchangeably refer to Dillon Cos. as Kroger and City Market.

With the indication that Dillon Cos. would pay for a third of the repair, Cherry asked the trustees to decide if the improvement district and the town would split the remaining cost. In previous conversations, Cherry’s memo reads, the town and past Grand Elk homeowner boards showed support of that arrangement.

The Grand Elk General Improvement District and Grand Elk Homeowners Association are separate entities, but because homeowners pay into the improvement district, some came to the meeting to voice their opposition to using district funds to repair the road.

Tom Fry, a Grand Elk resident and former HOA president, argued that the district funds from the district’s system development fee cannot legally be used for fixing the road. 

“It is stated that it is for capital improvements in the way of a clubhouse or something else,” Fry said. “It is absolutely not for anything else.”

Fry went over his allotted three minutes for his comment while reading from a 2007 road maintenance agreement that puts the responsibility for Thompson Road on Dillon Cos. without the company’s approval

Krob responded to Fry’s point about the system development fee by saying that the bond council, which originally set up the fee, has told the town that up to $500,000 of excess money from the fee of could be used for Thompson Road repairs.

Lisa Wood, a current Grand Elk HOA board member, also stated her opposition to using improvement district funds. She suggested that the town and Grand Elk work together to take Dillon Cos. to court over the issue and force the company to pay for the entire road repair.

Trustees responded with concerns about the potential legal costs, which Krob said would likely exceed $100,000 just for the town, the time a trial would take, which Krob estimated at 18-24 months, and the possibility of an unfavorable ruling.

Trustee Chris Michalowski pointed out that the HOA could take the issue to court on its own if it chooses to do so, emphasizing that the town board does not have the power to assign responsibility for the repairs to Dillon Cos.

After just under an hour of discussing the road in the improvement district meeting, the board voted to support the district paying up to $500,000 for the project. The same result came from the Granby board meeting after another half hour of discussion. Trustee Jeffrey Sneddon voted against the proposal in both meetings.

Other business:

  • As the Grand Elk General Improvement Board, the trustees approved the minutes of that board’s meetings on July 26 and Aug. 23.
  • Patrick Brower from the Grand Enterprise Initiative gave an update to the board. He spoke about the three new clients the initiative has seen in the last three months looking to start businesses in Granby.
  • Trustees continued a public hearing about a final plat for Granby Market Square to their Oct. 25 meeting.
  • The board approved road, water and sewer improvements within Granby Ranch Filings Nos. 3, 6, 8, 10 and 11 after they were inspected by the town’s engineer and water and sewer department.
  • Trustees approved the accounts payable for Oct. 11 and the minutes for Sept. 27.
  • Sneddon mentioned a Destination Granby job opening and the upcoming 3 Lakes Ice Fishing Contest in the economic development update.
  • Trustee Rebecca Quesada said Granby Police are investigating the threat made against East Grand Middle School and mentioned that Chief David Shaffer will be out of town for a conference next week.
  • In his manager’s report, Cherry said he is getting caught up on work after recently having COVID-19 and will be working remotely in November due to family health issues.

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