Midvalley trail system gets $100,000 from Eagle County | AspenTimes.com

Midvalley trail system gets $100,000 from Eagle County

A citizen group’s efforts to construct trails in the midvalley received a $100,000 boost from the Eagle County government this week.

The Eagle County commissioners decided that funds that couldn’t be used as planned this summer on a trail between Avon and Dowd Junction, in the Eagle River Valley, should be forwarded to the Roaring Fork Valley.

“There’s some money that can be freed up this year,” said Eagle County administrator Jack Ingstad.

An organization called the MidValley Trails Committee had applied for $135,000 in funding out of Eagle County’s general fund this year. That funding wasn’t approved, but money from the state that is dedicated to trails and outdoor projects became unexpectedly available.

Counties in Colorado receive annual contributions from the Lottery Conservation Trust Fund. Eagle County used those proceeds for years to make improvements at the county fairgrounds. Now that the fairground work is finished, some of that money was earmarked this summer for trail construction between Avon and Dowd Junction.

A snafu with that project freed up the funds so trails director Ellie Caryl proposed transferring the funds to the Roaring Fork Valley, Ingstad said.

Ruth Frey, chairwoman of the MidValley Trails Committee, was reluctant to talk about how the funds would be used because she hasn’t been officially notified by the county about the decision.

She noted that the trails committee had previously sought $80,000 for work on a 1.2-mile stretch of trail on the old railroad right of way between Emma and Hooks bridge; $50,400 for planning, engineering and design for a downvalley extension of the Emma Trail on the north side of Highway 82; and $4,600 for use on a connector between the Rio Grande Trail and Willits Lane trail.

Frey said she was uncertain if the funds given by the county would be earmarked for specific amounts for specific uses or if the funds could be used as the trails committee saw fit among those three projects.

Whatever the answer, the extra funding adds to the pool the MidValley Trails Committee has available to extend the trail downvalley from Emma on the old railroad right of way. The committee also has $122,300 for that project from the Colorado State Trails Program. RFTA has pledged $83,000.

Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com

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