County Briefs April 8, 2016

by Olivia Lueckemeyer

BOCC approves plan to improve Ohio Creek Pass 

At a board meeting on April 5, county commissioners approved a plan to work cooperatively with the Forest Service to begin surfacing on Ohio Creek Road. The county will provide equipment and labor to spread gravel on the pass, facilitated by the Forest Service’s rock crusher. Deputy county manager Marlene Crosby relayed to the board that the project would cost the county $48,064, all of which is covered by the 2016 budget, which includes expenditures related to road construction and is derived from sales tax revenue. Efforts could begin as early as this May. Commissioner Phil Chamberland described the project as overdue, and pointed out that Ohio Creek Pass is a “rough road with a lot of traffic from sightseers.” The motion to approve the plan was carried unanimously.

Portion of Gothic Road placed into a FRTA easement for eventual construction at Judd Falls trailhead

Efforts to eventually construct a bus turnaround and expand the parking area at the Judd Falls trailhead were furthered at an April 5 board of county commissioners meeting, when deputy county manager Marlene Crosby asked board members if they would consider placing the portion of Gothic Road between the Gothic townsite and the trailhead parking area into a national Forest Road and Trail Act (FRTA) easement. Crosby reminded the commissioners that the county has jurisdiction over the area, and that the advantage of the easement would be to clear the area and prepare for construction to begin. The board gave unanimous verbal consensus for the proposed easement.

Amendment to county onsite water treatment system regulations approved by commissioners

At an April 5 board meeting the county commissioners approved an amendment to the Gunnison County onsite water treatment system (OWTS) regulations that will make it easier for applicants to meet the necessary requirements when proposing systems within the Crested Butte Watershed District.

Written in 1996, the language of the article in question was intended to set apart a distinct geographical area where treatment of wastewater could occur before distribution to the environment, a necessary distinction at the time, when regulations were concerned with disposal of wastewater without assurance of treatment. Today this has hindered designers proposing a system within the Crested Butte Watershed District, as they are unable to show design criteria compliance with both the state-mandated OWTS regulations and the current language of Article 19. Even though the two sets of regulations are aligned in purpose, they are not aligned regarding system technologies or programs of inspection and maintenance.

Building and environmental health official Crystal Lambert explained to commissioners that the proposed amendment would streamline and simplify the overall regulations, and would provide clear, reasonable and cohesive provisions in order for applicants, designers and installers to receive septic permits. The commissioners moved to approve the amendments, and the motion carried unanimously.

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