Carbondale set to buy riverfront RV park property |

Carbondale set to buy riverfront RV park property

John StroudGlenwood Springs correspondentAspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE – The town of Carbondale is under contract to purchase the Sopris RV Park property near the intersection of Highways 82 and 133, at the main entrance into town, for use as part of a planned “Gateway Park” development.Before the scheduled Oct. 15 closing on the $2.52 million deal, however, the current owners are required to ask the existing tenants, some of whom have been living at the RV park for an extended period of time, to vacate the property.The property has operated as an RV park for many years under a Garfield County land-use agreement that prohibits year-round occupancy, but allows for extended seasonal stays, according to Carbondale Town Attorney Mark Hamilton.For the town’s part, it still needs to firm up the funding to complete the inter-governmental deal, and ensure that the money will be available at closing, Hamilton said.The town has been negotiating with the Koziel family, which owns the RV park, for some time to purchase the site to go along with other recently acquired properties along the river. One is at the southeast corner of the highway intersection, and another, which includes a trail access to the Roaring Fork River, is across the river behind the Day’s Inn and Comfort Inn & Suites hotels.Town leaders have long envisioned the creation of the Gateway Park, including river trails, a whitewater park, better access to the nearby Red Hill Recreation Area and other park amenities.Several entities have come forward with funding for the project in recent years, including a $1 million Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant that was set to expire at the end of this year.The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) has also committed $950,000 toward the project, in an effort to preserve an existing boat launch that’s located on the RV park property and is heavily used by anglers and rafters. An additional $100,000 came from Garfield County, and the town is to cover the remainder of the purchase cost, Hamilton said.The town is also applying for a federal Transit in the Parks grant to study options to enhance bicycle and pedestrian access across Highway 82 to the popular Red Hill Recreation Area, located on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land north of town.Currently, access to the BLM trail network is via County Road 107 from a small parking lot at the northeast corner of the busy highway intersection. The study would look at the feasibility of either an underpass or overpass to access the area from the south side of Highway 82, or an improved “at grade” crossing. It would also study whether a new trail access could be built alongside County Road 107 to the main trailhead.The RV park is located at the southwest corner of the highway intersection. The DOW leases the boat launch for public

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