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County to develop five-year road maintenance, capital improvement plan

A five-year county road maintenance and capital improvement plan is in the making following a decision last Thursday by the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners.

The plan will help county staff determine how to spend funds for road improvement and maintenance in the coming years to balance need with money, and is expected to be a maintained document, updated each year.

Short, Elliot and Hendrickson, Inc. (SEH) was awarded the contract to prepare the plan at a cost of $160,508.

SEH, a multi-disciplinary engineering firm, is headquartered in Minnesota, while the firm has offices in seven states, including Colorado.

The original bid from SEH totaled over $226,000, but the BoCC and Road Advisory Task Force met in September to narrow the work of SEH in order for the plan to fit the BoCC’s budget.

County Administrator Greg Schulte said the plan is expected to be complete in August 2011.

In other action at the meeting, the BoCC voted to again extend the food services agreement at the detention center with Summit Food Services, Inc., completing the second and final extension of the contract, with no increased cost to the county.

Pagosa Mountain Hospital also contracts with the company in a joint agreement with the county to increase volume and lower cost for the entities.

The one-year extension will expire at the end of 2011, and the contract is required to be bid at that time.

At the meeting, the BoCC also agreed to repay the sponsors of the Hackamore Local Improvement District following incorrect resolutions and property assessments that were not imposed, which would have paid back the LID’s sponsors.

The LID formed to complete a paving project on Hackamore Place in 2005 at a cost of $28,000, which was to be repaid to the sponsoring property owners through property taxes collected from the other owners within the district beginning in 2008, Schulte said.

The resolution for the LID included incorrect interest rates which could not be assessed on the owners’ property tax bills, and with the transition to a new treasurer in 2007, the item was placed on the back burner.

By the time of last week’s meeting, the five sponsoring property owners had not been reimbursed for $8,212. Schulte said the BoCC could “bite the bullet” and repay in order to move on.

The commissioners agreed with Schulte, all noting the need to move on, to learn from mistakes and allow LIDs in the future.

The reimbursement will be made from the General Fund through administrative cost savings realized with the combining of the BoCC administrative and special projects manager positions.

The next regular meeting of the BoCC is Nov. 16 at 1:30 p.m.

randi@pagosasun.com