Gunnison County continues capital improvement projects for 2022

Airport, Gunnison library, affordable housing, trails and intersection planning

[ By Katherine Nettles ]

Gunnison County is looking ahead to the new year with a continuation of several capital improvement projects. For the past 20 years the county has formed annual five-year infrastructure plans to use as a planning guide for allocating sales tax revenue and financing any related debt. For the first time, however, all capital projects are fully funded in 2022. These include airport renovations, a new Gunnison library, trail and intersection planning, and less exciting but basic needs such as sewer and road improvements. Several items will require little or no funding from county purse strings as grants make up significant or entire portions of them.

The five-year plan and associated costs to the county include continued airport terminal improvements (no costs for 2022); public works shop renovations in Crested Butte ($200,000); Gunnison fairgrounds affordable housing (no costs for 2022); Whetstone Housing preliminary design and engineering plans ($250,000); the new Gunnison library building ($9.7M); fairground parking and grounds replacement ($252,000); Brush Creek intersection planning ($150,000); CR 10 (Lost Canyon Road) bridge deck replacement ($302,000); road hard surfacing ($530,000); road maintenance fleet replacement program ($500,000); Slate River bridge improvements on Gothic Road north of CB ($80,000); landfill improvements ($160,000); CB to CB South trail planning ($75,000); Whitewater Park improvements ($224,000); and Somerset sewer system improvements loan ($311,000).

The capital improvement plans total $12.7 million in county funds and an additional $18.5M in grant related funds for a total of $31.2M in the coming year. The five-year CIP plan will add up to $50M overall, with county and grant funds combined.
“This is probably the biggest CIP budget as well as the county’s biggest budget for the year,” said county finance director Juan Guerra. Guerra noted that road hard surfacing only includes what are considered emergency repair needs and as possible, additional hard surface repairs will be funded as well.

Commissioner chair Jonathan Houck emphasized how much the CIP leverages other outside funding and he said it is also not guaranteed that each project will proceed within the year’s timeline or be limited to its projected scope. A potential state infrastructure grant might, for instance, open up larger road improvement planning.

CIP items must meet criteria of having a minimum projected cost of $40,000 total and feasibility for completion within five years.
The CIP is included within the overall county budget for 2022 and adopted at the same time as the budget on December 14.

Check Also

Local governments step up for Late Night Taxi service

“Save it for today, build it up for tomorrow” [  By Mark Reaman and Kendra …