County, Edwards to study Highway 6 traffic
Edwards, CO Colorado
Who they talked to: Ben Gerdes, staff engineer for Eagle County.
What they talked about: The county has identified $250,000 generated from road impact fees it wants to spend on transportation projects in the Edwards area.
The county wants the Edwards Community Authority to match the $250,000. About $50,000 of that money would be spent to update a four-year-old traffic study that covers Highway 6 from Squaw Creek Road to Miller Ranch Road, Gerdes said.
Community Authority member Ken Marchetti said the board would help fund the study, rather than chipping in all $250,000 up front.
“We definitely want to move forward with the study,” Marchetti said.
Completing the study could help the identify the need for an Interstate 70 interchange, Gerdes said.
“I think they have to be together,” Gerdes said. “You have to demonstrate that enough improvements can’t be made to Highway 6 and Spur Road to handle the volume, and that would justify an interchange.”
What’s next? The county will start the search for an engineering firm interested in updating the Highway 6 study, Gerdes said. After narrowing the list to about three, Gerdes said the county would ask for a request for proposals from the companies.
“There’s been a lot of interest in this,” Gerdes said.
Who they talked to: Ken Marchetti, community authority member.
What they talked about: The Edwards board wants to amend a state statute that restricts local improvement districts.
A local improvement district is a funding mechanism that allows a small portion of sales tax and property tax within the defined district to be put toward improving the area.
State statutes prohibit districts created in counties with a population fewer than 100,000 from getting sales tax money. The Edwards Community Authority wants to change that.
“Essentially, it’s just a funding source,” Marchetti said. “The improvements we’re talking about funding with this are primarily transportation related.”
The board has eyed forming the district for a while, but Marchetti said it finally feels like the group is making some progress with the county and the Legislature.
“The county has been very supportive,” Marchetti said. “It takes a while to get enough people on board with what you’re trying to do.”
Districts in counties with a population greater than 100,000 can draw up to 1 percent of the sales tax generated within the defined district.
What’s next? Marchetti plans to meet with Rep. Christine Scanlan to lay out a strategy to move the amendment forward in the Legislature.
Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.