Eagle County prioritizes stimulus projects | VailDaily.com

Eagle County prioritizes stimulus projects

Chris Outcalt
Eagle County, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado “-Who they talked to: Tom Johnson, county facilities director

What happened: About $21 million in stimulus money has already been awarded to Eagle County and officials are hopeful the county will get more.

The most expensive project funded as a result of stimulus money is the $11 million Edwards interchange project. Other projects funded with stimulus money include resurfacing of part of Interstate 70 over Vail Pass, a bike path connecting Dow Junction to Minturn and some money for the Health and Human Services Department.

Tuesday, the commissioners started prioritizing their top five remaining projects that haven’t been funded at the request of U.S. Sen. Mark Udall. Udall asked several agencies to rank their top unfunded projects.

It’s difficult to pick just five, Commissioner Peter Runyon said.

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“While I appreciate the senator wanting to have a priority, it’s hard to come up with a specific way of doing this,” Runyon said. “Do I want them all? You bet I do.”

The $80 million airport interchange project and a $4.5 million portion of the justice center expansion that was cut because of lack of funding, both made the commissioner’s priority list.

Officials were also leaning toward including the Red Cliff wastewater treatment facility, wildfire prevention projects and a new swift gulch ECO bus facility on the list that will get sent to Udall.

What’s next? Johnson is working on a final, ranked list.

Who they talked to: Alex Potente, county housing director

What they talked about: The commissioners approved an agreement with the town of Eagle to manage its deed-restricted housing program.

Commissioners approved a similar agreement last week that put the county housing authority in charge of selling deed-restricted properties in Eagle Ranch.

“This provides a more consolidated multi-jurisdictional approach to creating and managing workforce housing,” Potente said.

The deal includes a .5 percent administration fee and 1.5 percent of the sale price in return for managing the properties.

Who they talked to: Adam Palmer, county planner

What happened: The commissioners want to know how much it would cost to have covered parking with solar panels on it at the airport.

The board directed the community development department to draft a request for proposal for the project. The idea is to build a covered, open-air parking structure over about 850 spaces at the airport and put solar panels on the roof.

One funding idea includes charging for parking and using the money to pay for the project.

“We’ll try and articulate that vision of an at-grade covered parking improvement with solar power generation capacity associated with it,” Palmer said.

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