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Summit County: Breaking ground with stimulus money

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

SUMMIT COUNTY – With a group of dignitaries on hand to turn ceremonial shovels of dirt, local officials marked the groundbreaking for a new fleet maintenance facility for Summit Stage buses and other county vehicles.

“One of the best ways to work your way out of economic problems is to invest in infrastructure,” said Colorado Department of Transportation director Russ George. The Summit County project is partially funded by about $10 million of federal money for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Summit County matched the federal funding with about $4.5.

“The money is getting out there … And creating jobs” George said. “It’s not some abstract thing,” he added. “This is a tremendous example of a concrete thing that will be here for decades,” he said.

The existing facility was built in the 1960s and doesn’t meet the needs of Colorado’s fourth-largest transit system.

“We’re in the big leagues in terms of transit,” said County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier. The new facility includes green features like solar panels. A pair of local companies will build the new structure, located right next to the existing Frisco recycling drop-off center.

Stiegelmeier said there are serious safety issues associated with the existing building. The plan is to work on the structure straight through the winter, with completion scheduled some time next year.

Summit Stage officials said during a recent transit board meeting they hope to have a roof on the structure before the big snows of winter start piling up.

Other elected officials, including Congressman Jared Polis, State Sen. Dan Gibbs and State Rep. Christine Scanlan, hailed the project as an example of collaboration between federal lawmakers and state and local governments and agencies.