RFTA poised to complete trail | AspenTimes.com

RFTA poised to complete trail

Dear Editor:The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) Board has established a policy requiring a minimum of 6.6 percent of RFTA’s annual sales tax revenue to be designated for Rio Grande Trail construction, corridor maintenance, and related costs. This percentage is consistent with the combined amount voters were told would be designated for these purposes when RFTA was created.In 2004, RFTA budgeted approximately 8.3 percent of its estimated sales tax revenue for trail construction, corridor maintenance and related costs. RFTA also carried forward $83,000 from 2003 that was earmarked, but not spent, for the Emma/Hooks Lane trail segment. A delay in state funding pushed this project into 2004. Recently, RFTA budgeted another $44,000 to enable completion of this trail segment before winter.The RFTA Board has also established a policy requiring the Rio Grande Trail to be completed by the end of 2010. Assuming no new revenue, RFTA would have about $1.1 million for trail construction from 2005 through 2010. If additional funding is approved next November, an estimated $4 million more would be available, through 2010, to complete the trail. This represents nearly 26 percent of all new revenue generated, during this period, by all proposed RFTA funding measures. Understandably, trail enthusiasts are impatient because it doesn’t appear that progress is being made to complete the regional trail. Yet, behind the scenes, considerable planning and preparation have occurred. RFTA is poised to complete the trail within the time frame established by the board, if the community wants that to happen.Dan BlankenshipChief Executive OfficerRoaring Fork Transportation Authority

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