Looking for regional support and money
By Mark Reaman
The Crested Butte Town Council gave the green light September 19 to town planner Michael Yerman to continue working toward a roundabout at the entrance to town. Right now that means pursuing state funding and gathering regional support from other public entities.
Council gave the go-ahead to Yerman to reach out to other local entities such as the RE1J school district, Gunnison County, the city of Gunnison and town of Mt. Crested Butte to gather letters of support and perhaps donations.
The Red Lady Avenue roundabout is expected to cost about $2.5 million and would be funded primarily through the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The project would need to be prioritized through the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), and Yerman and the Town Council are lobbying hard to get on the priority list.
Crested Butte would be responsible for a 25 percent match for the state grant so the town will be presenting a “modest mill levy increase over the next five years to raise sufficient funds,” a memo from Yerman to the council explained. That would raise about $750,000, but the town hopes to raise another $100,000 to $250,000 in matching funds from regional partnerships.
The council told Yerman to proceed with the regional outreach. Council representatives who will help with the state grant are Jim Schmidt and Erika Vohman.
CDOT representatives will visit Gunnison County in late October and early December to consider funding requests. If the project is selected by the state for funding, the construction would not begin until 2022 at the earliest.