Week in Summit: Fresh snow, new leader and a road reborn
Week in Summit is a summary of the top stories of the past seven days.
Interstate 70 near Silverthorne closed for two hours on Thursday, Oct. 23 as the first snow of the season blanketed Summit County.
With many snow lovers in Summit County fretting over when the white stuff would materialize, Thursday morning offered a complicated preview.
Colorado State Patrol reported that, as usual, some folks weren’t quite prepared for the first blast of winter precipitation.
“The first snowfall of the year is always one of the busiest (days) for us,” Colorado State Patrol Trooper Josh Lewis said. “People sometimes need a reminder to slow down. … Unfortunately, that’s a lesson people learn the hard way.”
Traffic began to slow to a crawl around 8:30 a.m., when some vehicles heading up to the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel, and lacking traction, skidded to the side of the highway, Lewis said.
The state patrol reported that multiple car accidents initially closed one lane east of the tunnels, which eventually resulted in a full highway closure.
“The snow came in so quickly that folks were having difficulty getting traction,” Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Tracy Trulove said. “If there are people up there (who) aren’t prepared and trying to drive in it, that’s a lot of what slows us down.”
CDOT and the I-70 Coalition have joined forces on a road safety campaign called Change Your Peak Time which encourages mountain residents to avoid driving during periods of heavy traffic and promotes preparedness for winter roads.
Dillon welcomes new council member
Dillon’s newest town council member, Brad Bailey, took the oath of office on Tuesday, Oct 20. He fills the vacancy left by Erik Jacobsen, who relocated out of Summit County last month.
Bailey, who has resided in Dillon for 14 years, has experience with local government. He spent nearly 10 years on the towns planning and zoning commission, most recently as chairman, but has vacated that position to join the council.
“After all those years of experience on planning in Dillon, I felt comfortable and knowledgeable enough to apply for the position,” he said. “I don’t just want to be a wallflower there; I’d like to be able to contribute, help out and assist them in any way that might be appropriate.”
With a background as a builder and architect, Bailey said his priorities include revitalizing Dillon’s downtown core, attracting new businesses and address platting issues which go back to the town’s original design.
“One of my personal goals to see if we can correct some of those platting issues,” he said. “I want to see if we can create a much more viable, livable, lovely place that has a pulse.”
The Town of Dillon will be filling another seat, as councilwoman Terry King has announced plans to return to Mississippi. The town will accept applications to fill the vacancy until Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. There will be an interview process prior to a selection.
Both Bailey and the second applicant will serve the remainder of the term until April 2016, where they may choose to go up for reelection.
Man and dog perish in accident
Patrick Fultz, 29, a resident of Avon, was killed on Sunday, Oct. 18 after a vehicle accident near Peru Creek east of Keystone.
Fultz and his canine were thrown from his white Toyota FJ Cruiser when it rolled over in Warden Gulch.
The Summit County Rescue Group responded at 2:12 p.m. to a call about the accident. More than 40 people eventually responded to the scene. In addition to the rescue group, other groups who attempted to lend aid included the sheriff’s office, animal control, coroner’s office, ambulance service and Flight For Life.
The sheriff’s office has ruled the death accidental and identified the cause as massive head and internal injuries.
Main Street in Frisco reopens
Frisco’s Main Street reopened for vehicular traffic on Wednesday, Oct. 21, with crews pushing to finish phase three of the Step Up Main Street project ahead of schedule.
Thanks to an abundantly sunny autumn, crews were able lay pavement and allow their work time to set before reopening the main drag.
Work will continue for a few weeks as brick pavers are completed and electrical work is finished on streetlamps. If Mother Nature complies, the work may be completed before an Oct. 31 target.
While construction continues, Summit Stage bus stops will remain at their temporary locations, and parking and roadway closures may be expected as construction continues.
Main Street in Frisco was last improved in 1982. The current project aims to lower the road by 10 inches, improve drainage, and widen sidewalks, along with adding sharrows for cyclists, brick pavers and street lamps.
Rotary Club turns 40
Summit County Rotary Club celebrated its 40th anniversary on Thursday, Oct. 22 with a gala party and cake cutting.
Founded in October 1975 by John Farr and Bo Bogan, the group’s ranks have grown from 70 to 114 current members. In 1989 the club began admitting women into the fold.
The Summit County Rotary Club raises more than $100,000 each year, which it distributes back to the community via donations and scholarships.
Since 2005, the rotary club has donated approximately $70,000 to the Community Care Clinic. The Rotary also gives scholarships to Summit High School students.
“We’re able to impact a lot of kids with money provided to CMC,” David Preaus, Youth Services chair for the Summit County Rotary Club.
Probably the best-known examples of the rotary’s kindness are its annual Dillon Ice Melt fundraiser and the weekly community dinners offered at the Elks Lodge in Silverthorne. The dinners, created through a partnership with the Elks Club, recently served its100,000 free meal.
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