Silverthorne neighborhood undertakes expensive project
summit daily news
Silverthorne, CO Colorado
SILVERTHORNE ” Silverthorne is moving forward with a plan to bury utility lines in the Blue River Mesa neighborhood this summer, but at a hefty cost to homeowners and the town.
The town council, meanwhile, rejected plans for a similar project in Ptarmigan Trail Estates due to a change in heart by the neighborhood’s residents.
Both decisions were the result of recent public meetings to measure neighbors’ desires for the expensive beautification projects.
Council’s approval of the project means that the 56 property owners in the Blue River Mesa neighborhood each will be responsible for a portion of the cost. The total cost for the Blue River Mesa project is estimated at $487,000, and the town will subsidize $224,000 of the total cost.
Homeowners in Blue River Mesa will be obligated to pay the balance of the costs of this project ” even if they don’t support the effort.
“Sixty-five percent of the property owners in (the Blue River Mesa neighborhood) supported the project when petitions were submitted in June of 2008, and the public testimony at last week’s public hearing indicated that strong property-owner support for the project was still there,” said Ryan Hyland, assistant to Silverthorne’s town manager.
Past community surveys indicated that residents in both neighborhoods were interested in undertaking this type of project, which was the catalyst for council’s consideration of these potential projects, Hyland said.
Though it’s a neighborhood project, the town will contribute funds because it will improve the overall community look.
The benefits of placing existing utility lines underground include improved aesthetics, safety, reduced system maintenance and improved system reliability, and potential increases in property values in the area, according to town officials.
The town will offer the opportunity to pay up front or along with quarterly water bills. For properties without water service, a separate bill would be sent.
Comcast, Qwest and Xcel are now working on the design details and coordinating with the town to ensure a smooth construction process this summer, Hyland said.
The Silverthorne Town Council plans to hold another public meeting to approve a list detailing total costs, the specific properties to be assessed and the amount of assessment on each property. The council will also establish a 10-year financing option available for the project.
Formal public notification of the hearing will be mailed to all property owners in the Blue River Mesa neighborhood at least 20 days prior to the hearing. It will likely occur sometime in April or May.
Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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