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County: Toll possible

Steve Benson

Motorists on Brush Creek Road may be forced to fork over a toll to pay for road damage incurred during Base Village construction, according to the Pitkin County commissioners. The threat was delivered to the Snowmass Village Town Council yesterday via a letter from Dorothea Farris, chair of the commission board.Currently Intrawest, partners with the Aspen Skiing Co. on the application, is in agreement with the town of Snowmass Village that it will pay up to $100,000 to accommodate the damages to the road.In the letter, Farris says that expense amount is “grossly underestimated.” The county takes over responsibility of Brush Creek Road, the main artery into Snowmass Village, near the rodeo grounds.”The developer should be responsible for 100 percent of the impacts to the road caused by construction traffic related to Base Village development,” she wrote, adding that a simple structural overlay of the road is estimated to cost $850,000.”This cost to the public’s infrastructure should be fully absorbed by the developer and should not be borne by the Pitkin County taxpayers at large,” she continued. “If the town proceeds with the current agreement without increasing the financial responsibility of the developer … the county may proceed to protect the public’s infrastructure with any and all means available.”Weight restrictions, tolls and restrictions to large construction vehicles during peak travel times were all cited as possible outcomes. Snowmass Village Mayor T. Michael Manchester said he was confident that $100,000 was a fair and accurate fee, and reiterated that the town had tried to annex that section of the roadway and take over responsibility from the county to avoid this problem. “I’m tired of having to deal with [the fact that] our main artery is under control of someone else,” he said. “Our staff is so comfortable that we offered to take the road over.” Furthermore, Manchester said the county is basically asking for a new road and that Intrawest should only be responsible for the damage it causes.”To impose [anything more] without basis would be wrong,” he said. Steve Benson’s e-mail address is sbenson@aspentimes.com


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