Briefs: County

By Katherine Nettles and Mark Reaman

Additional real estate for Whetstone

Gunnison County closed on the purchase of an additional .67 acres near Riverland on April 10. The property was the remainder of the Gers family lot adjacent to the Whetstone parcel, the other portion of which the county purchased from the Gers more than a year ago and included in the sketch plan and site design of the housing project. The property is located at 25125 State Highway 135, and the county purchase price was $370,000. 

“This purchase will not change the design of Whetstone and won’t be included in the proposed project at this time. We will use it for material and equipment storage during construction and will design a small housing project to be integrated into the neighborhood at a later time,” County manager Matthew Birnie commented in an e-mail to the Crested Butte News. 

County picks up 14 acres near Gunnison for land bank

The Gunnison County Commissioners on April 16 officially gave the okay for the county to purchase 14 acres of property about a mile north of the city of Gunnison. According to county manager Matthew Birnie, the $1.5 million purchase is “a land banking opportunity. It is close to utilities and transit. It is a property we have had our eye on for several years and it came on the market.”

The property is under contract and county attorney Matthew Hoyt said Birnie as county manager has the authority to make such a purchase, but the title company asked for public board approval of the purchase.

The property is located on the west side of Highway 135 where several radio towers are situated.

Applying for another Whetstone grant

Birnie reviewed a grant application for commissioners during their April 2 meeting which the commissioners approved to help fund a portion of the county’s Whetstone Community housing project across from Brush Creek off Highway 135. The grant is from the Colorado Energy Office through the Public Electrification Grant Program to promote greenhouse gas emission reduction in public buildings and has a maximum limit of $500,000. “It’s not a very large grant in the context of Whetstone, but everything helps,” said Birnie.

The county is also applying to that grant program for the same amount to fund the new emergency medical services building that Gunnison Valley Health is building in the city of Gunnison (near the city’s recreation center), which the county will own. Birnie said the grant funding priority would be Whetstone if it came down to a choice between the two projects. 

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