Carbondale set to purchase boat ramp property |

Carbondale set to purchase boat ramp property

CARBONDALE – The town of Carbondale is set to close on the purchase of a piece of property along the north bank of the Roaring Fork River that includes a popular boat ramp.

In doing so on Dec. 23, it will agree to stipulations placed on the deal by one of the funding agencies, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, even though town officials worry it may limit their revenue options when it comes to the future use of the property.

In addition to requiring that the DOW be allowed to review and give its approval for a future kayak park on the river in the vicinity, the agency also wants sole authority over any fees charged for use of the boat launch. The town had hoped to at least share some of those potential fee revenues.

The final stipulations would give the town the freedom to charge fees for any amenities developed on the upper bench of the 7.8-acre Koziel property, where the Sopris RV Park used to be.

“I don’t want to squash the deal, but I don’t like the way it’s set up,” Carbondale Mayor Stacey Bernot said at the Dec. 14 Town Council meeting. “It takes away a revenue stream from the town, but it’s still our responsibility to maintain the property.”

Carbondale has been under contract for several months to purchase the 7.8-acre property for $2.5 million.

However, the town is only funding $450,000 of that amount, while the DOW is contributing $950,000, and $1 million is coming from another state entity, Great Outdoors Colorado. Garfield County will contribute $100,000.

Last week, the town cleared the final legal hurdle to move forward when the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority board of directors granted a license agreement that allows access to the Koziel property through a portion of RFTA’s Rio Grande Trail right of way.

The town and the other funding agencies had sought a permanent easement, but the agreement allows RFTA to terminate the agreement in the future by a unanimous vote of its board, as long as two years prior notice is given.

Carbondale trustees voted 7-0 to close the deal, which will provide a key piece to the town’s eventual plans to develop the Gateway River Park project.

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