Sometimes we know something needs fixing and we dilly-dally until something bad happens. Such was the case last weekend when a man visiting from Romania was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver at the intersection of Hwy. 6 and Rasor Drive in Keystone. The crosswalk had been flagged by area residents and business owners as a dangerous one, and the county and CDOT were just starting to look into what to do about it when this tragic incident occurred.
In this case, of course, the crosswalk itself was only part of the problem if indeed the young man driving is found to have been drunk. But those familiar with the crossing say only some cars ever stop, and no doubt it is a bit of a surprise to come across a sudden stop on a highway where the speed limit is 45 mph. Many drivers would be justifiably concerned that if they did stop, they'd get hit from behind.
Whether it's bureaucratic inertia, shortage of funds or simply incompetence on CDOT's part, it's clear the time for hemming and hawing about a fix here is long past. Let's get something in place, and quick. And while we're at it, CDOT should also address the dangerous situation at School Road in Frisco, where middle school students crossing Hwy. 9/Summit Boulevard in the morning have a similarly dangerous situation when cars and trucks zooming along either try to beat the light or can't stop due excess speed and slick conditions. At very least, there should be a "school zone" slow-down in place on that stretch when kids are crossing.
Here's a municipal oddity to ponder: The Town of Breckenridge wants to spend between $5 million and $7 million on refurbishing the old CMC building on Harris Street for a "new" town hall - this after the town has already moved its police department out of its current town hall and is in the process of moving the engineering department into another facility.
Presumably the town isn't adding a bunch of staff, so why does it need more room? It's hard not to wonder why the town manager, the mayor and at least one or two council members are on board with what appears to be a huge waste of taxpayer dollars. Granted, the town does now own the old CMC building and it's been sitting empty since the new campus opened a few years back. But now they have a paying tenant in there in the form of The Peak School. School officials have indicated they would like to extend the lease past the current one-year term and, if they can get a long-term agreement, would be willing to sink a few million into renovation, thus enhancing the town's asset at no cost to taxpayers.
Since this building is historic and has, historically, been a school, The Peak School seems the best and most logical use for the building, not to mention a big money saver for the town. But instead, the town is pushing ahead with little public comment on the matter while also throwing a monkey wrench into the Summit Libraries' plans to build a new South Branch in town. Seems the idea being floated is to cram the new library in there with the revamped town hall. That just doesn't seem like it'll work very well, and you can start with the parking and the space limitations of an old building that's not as large as it seems.
The decision about what to do with this significant asset of the town's needs to be a public process, where town residents can weigh in on what they believe is the highest and best use of this building. Breck may be sitting on a ton of cash, but that doesn't mean the town should waste it on silly projects. As we head toward elections next month, it'll be interesting to hear what the candidates have to say about this situation.
Given the number of candidates running for town elections next month, we won't be able to meet with all of them to do endorsements, but we do encourage you to read up on the candidates in our profiles we've been running. Overall it looks like a good field, full of folks who've previously worked on other town committees or commissions and come in with strong knowledge and experience. If you're sick to death of the highly partisan presidential race that often seems disconnected from our own realities, local government is a welcome relief as candidates talk about things that truly matter and are, for the most part, not driven by ideology, party politics and Super PACs.
A quick fundraiser note: The Summit Daily is partnering with the Raven Golf Course for a golf tournament fundraiser over Memorial Day. The aim is to give the money raised to some local youth organizations, and the Raven is looking for suggestions. If you know of or are part of such a group that could use a financial boost, contact publisher Matt Sandberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a personal note, I just want to wish my son Max a happy 18th birthday today. Seems like only yesterday he was running around in his super hero costumes ...
Summit Daily editor Alex Miller can be reached at email@example.com or (970) 668-4618.