Residents antsy to talk about resort
MINTURN – Residents waited patiently and again their opportunity to sound off about a proposed private ski resort on Battle Mountain passed.
Contrary to prior reports, area residents didn’t get the chance Wednesday to speak before the Minturn Planning and Zoning Commission because questions and a presentation by the Ginn Company – hopeful developer of 1,700 homes, ski terrain and golf course – left zero room.Much to Minturnite Pete Vance’s relief, he and other residents get to express their concern and support of the development beginning Feb. 14.”I feel like I see the light at the end of the tunnel for public comment,” Vance said.The commission focused on clarifying several aspects of the project, including traffic. The Ginn Co. performed a traffic study reviewed by the Colorado Department of Transportation, but questions arose about whether traffic might exceed estimations in the future.Ginn consultant Scot Leftwich said the company plans to monitor traffic throughout construction of the project. The company would be held responsible by the Department of Transportation to improve conditions if traffic increases, Leftwich said.The developer suggested several ways to ease construction traffic, including a gathering point near town where employees would be shuttled to the project and staggering the delivery of construction materials so it doesn’t coincide with morning and afternoon rush hours.
The developer also plans to hire contractors that need fewer workers to build and also to limit the number of contractors. A plan is being considered to transport materials by railroad from just outside Minturn to Battle Mountain.To address pavement deterioration, the company sought to reach an agreement with the town to monitor and fix pavement destroyed by construction traffic on U.S. Highway 24.A crowd favorite the company touched upon included a bike path from Minturn to Red Cliff, although the land it passes through is sometime treacherous and private. Therefore, the path’s location might change. The company expects to complete the path two to three years following approval of the project, barring any setbacks.Commissioners asked several questions concerning cleanup of Gilman and the Bolts Lake areas, both considered contaminated by mine waste under Superfund, a federal program to identify and clean polluted land.To various degrees, the company plans to excavate metals-contaminated soil and cover the scraped ground with clean dirt and other natural and manmade layers. The contaminated soil will be relocated and protected on site.Commissioner Woody Woodruff wondered how the company plans to prevent contaminated dust from floating into the air during excavation. Environmental consultant Ken Waesche said small areas will be excavated one at a time and the ground will be wetted to keep dust in place.
“I think the biggest thing is keeping our footprint small and keeping it moist,” Waesche said.========What’s next?The public gets a chance Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. to express their concerns and support of the Battle Mountain development. The venue is Minturn Town Hall, 302 Pine St.========Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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