Officials approve $3.9M for Rubey Park project
October 17, 2014
Elected officials from Aspen, Snowmass Village and Pitkin County approved $3.9 million in funding Thursday for a $7.9 million project that will see Aspen's Rubey Park bus station transformed between spring and Thanksgiving 2015.
The other $4 million has been secured already, with $2 million coming from a Federal Highway Administration grant, $1 million from a Colorado Department of Transportation grant and $500,000 each from the city of Aspen and the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority. The Elected Officials Transportation Committee — made up of officials from Aspen, Snowmass and Pitkin County — approved the request unanimously Thursday at Snowmass Town Hall.
Snowmass Mayor Bill Boineau asked John Krueger, Aspen's director of transportation and head of the project, how confident he is in the final cost estimate. If the project runs over budget, Boineau asked Krueger where he will find additional funding and said he assumed Krueger will return to the Elected Officials Transportation Committee.
Krueger responded that they have received a detailed estimate based on 60 percent design. However, a definite cost won't be known until project bids are received.
"I feel pretty good about the number, but understand that we don't have the bids back from anybody," Krueger said.
County Commissioner George Newman asked whether the Aspen City Council has considered using the city's general fund to cover any additional costs. He pointed out that the county covered about $1 million in additional costs for the Aspen Business Center tunnel.
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Aspen Councilman Dwayne Romero said that while the council has not discussed it specifically, his board needs to acknowledge Newman's point.
"George, from a public policy perspective, I think you're spot-on," he said.
Aspen Councilman Adam Frisch said to Krueger, "If there's a creep up, come back to us and we'll have a discussion."
Krueger said the tentative plan is to begin construction sometime this spring and have the vast majority of the project completed by Thanksgiving 2015. He added that it's possible some landscaping and planting work will run into 2016. He also said it's going to be a challenge maintaining bus operations while construction is underway.
"It's going to be a tight schedule to get it done," Krueger said.