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BoCC appoints Road Advisory Task Force
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners named five individuals to serve on the Roads Advisory Task Force, during their regular meeting Tuesday.

On the task force, per a unanimous board vote, are:

• Alan Bunch — a local business owner.

• Bob Frye — holds a master’s degree in forest biology and management;

• Bob Hart — owner of local construction company;

• Brett Locke — holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering;

• Stephen Williams — works for Brilliam Engineering in civil land development design.

Curiously, Hart earned a slot on the board, yet a SUN report from June 25 indicates Hart was not selected or identified as one of the eight finalists scheduled for interview.

Archuleta County Commissioner and board chair Bob Moomaw said Hart applied by the deadline, but did so through an e-mail transmission that never arrived with county staff handling applications. Moomaw said county staff and the commissioners reviewed the situation and determined, based on Hart’s e-mail records, that he was a valid candidate, eligible for interview. Moomaw said the board interviewed Hart Tuesday.

According to board action May 19, the five-member volunteer team will serve for one year. During that time, the group will work with county management, road and bridge department staff and elected officials to develop a four-year road capital improvement plan, including providing project and expenditure recommendations, and reviewing road projects and funding opportunities.

With appointments complete, the task force will also help distill public comment gathered at two road project forums scheduled for later in the month and August. Those comments, coupled with staff input, will help create the basis for the four-year road plan.

The move to institute a road task force, county staff say, may help rally public support and input, not only for its road plan, but for the longer term goal of successfully passing a $12 million ballot question in November 2010. The dollars would be used to fund road capital improvement projects into 2011 and beyond.

The first step toward a successful ballot question came May 5 when the Board of County Commissioners approved a $5 million loan with Wells Fargo, the proceeds of which — roughly $4 million — will be used to repave Park Avenue and to tackle a number of other road projects this summer. In addition, loan proceeds will be used to fund road projects identified through the public scoping process this summer, for the 2010 construction season.

Given that projects identified for 2010 are successfully completed, the commissioners may push for a ballot question that would provide early payback for the Wells Fargo loan and funding for road improvements in 2011 and beyond.

According to Archuleta County Administrator Greg Schulte, the four-year road plan should be ready for board adoption by mid-September.

In the meantime, Park Avenue reconstruction began Monday, with the contractor working on erosion control, traffic control, and clearing and grubbing of the site. According to county staff, the contractor began milling Park Avenue Wednesday.

james@pagosasun.com