Ridgway Town Council Workshop Meeting Agenda Thursday, October 21, 2021

Due to COVID-19, and pursuant to the Town’s Electronic Participation Policy,
the meeting will be conducted both in person and via a virtual meeting portal. Members of the public may attend in person at the Community Center, located at 201 N. Railroad Street, Ridgway, Colorado 81432, or virtually using the meeting information below.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85195690021?pwd=Y3Bqb1orT1VSdGxOTnM2Q25lZ2h3UT09

Meeting ID: 851 9569 0021 Passcode: 514926 Dial by your location

+1 346 248 7799 US +1 253 215 8782 US

6:00 p.m.
ROLLCALL 
Councilors Adam Beck, Angela Ferrelli, Kevin Grambley, Beth Lakin, Terry

Schuyler, Mayor Pro Tem Russ Meyer and Mayor John Clark

WORKSHOP

  1. Presentation of preliminary design for Amelia Street Project
  2. Questions to staff from the Town Council
  3. Public comments (Public comments will be limited to 5 minutes per person)
  4. Direction to staff from the Town Council

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Honorable Mayor Clark and Ridgway Town Council
Preston Neill, Town Manager
October 18, 2021
Presentation of preliminary design for Amelia Street Project

BACKGROUND:

In the FY2021 Budget, the Town budgeted for a design of Amelia Street from the County Road 5 turn off on the south to the north end of Yates subdivision. At the April 14, 2021 Council meeting, the Town’s engineering consultant presented the project scope, existing conditions and typical sections in an effort to obtain collective input from Council to inform next steps on the design process. At that point, the scope for the design included as much curb, gutter, sidewalk, parking, and roadway as practical. The collective input from Council at that meeting was as follows:

  • Design two 12-foot driving lanes
  • Keep and work around all existing sidewalk and valley pan
  • Design additional sidewalk on the east side of Amelia Street to make for a continuous pedestrianwalkway
  • Design additional valley pan on the west side of Amelia Street, if feasible
  • Scope for project should start with Sabeta Drive on the south and end at Yates subdivision on thenorthSince that meeting, the Town’s engineering consultant has done a tremendous amount of work in producing the current design iteration. Work completed to date includes a topographic survey, ownership mapping, modeling of existing conditions and identification of encroachments. The design includes curb, gutter/valley pan, sidewalk, asphalt and ADA elements.On April 29, 2021, staff met with Ridgway School District representatives, including Susan Lacy, and a few neighborhood residents to discuss Council’s priorities for improvements, along with walkability and pedestrian access in the area around Ridgway Elementary School.On September 20, 2021, the attached letter was sent to property owners along Amelia Street to make them aware of this project and provide them with an opportunity to learn more about long-term impacts of this project and specific impacts to their properties based on the current design. At the time of writing this memo, staff has held two meetings with various property owners and interested individuals to review and discuss the design.
  • SUMMARY:The purpose of Thursday’s workshop is for the Town’s engineering consultant to present the current design iteration, and for Council members and members of the public to ask questions and provide input. Council will be asked to provide collective direction on the design either at Thursday’s meeting or later during the budget process.The Town’s engineering consultant is still developing the PowerPoint and other materials that will be presented on Thursday evening. Once finalized, they will be added to Dropbox and Council will be informed that they are available.

~~~~~

September 20, 2021

RE: Amelia Street Preliminary Design

Dear Ridgway resident,

Next month, the Ridgway Town Council is expected to review a preliminary design for Amelia Street from Sabeta Dr. on the south to the north end of Yates Subdivision. The Town’s engineering consultant, Consolidated Consulting Services, Inc., has done a tremendous amount of work in producing the current design iteration. Work completed to date includes a topographic survey, ownership mapping, modeling of existing conditions and identification of encroachments. The design includes curb, gutter/valley pan, sidewalk, asphalt and ADA elements.

The Town would like to give you an opportunity to learn more about long-term impacts of this project and specific impacts to your property based on the current design. The Town Council is slated to review the design in a Workshop on Thursday, October 21st at 6:00 p.m. at Ridgway Town Hall. A virtual attendance option is available. Subsequent to that, they will discuss cost estimates for construction during the annual budget process. It remains to be seen when these improvements will take place.

If you have questions, concerns, or an interest in meeting with Town staff to discuss the design in advance of the Town Council workshop next month, please contact Preston Neill, Town Manager, at pneill@town.ridgway.co.us or 970-626-5308, ext. 212.

Sincerely,

Preston Neill
Ridgway Town Manager

To: Mayor Clark and Ridgway Town CouncilFrom: Angela Hawse, 1029 Clinton StreetDate: October 19, 2021RE: Proposed Amelia Street Improvement Project


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Dear Councilors,
Thank you for your service to our community and stewardship of our Vision and Values as outlined in the recent Master Plan v.2019.  I would like to comment on the Proposed Amelia Street Improvement Project (ASIP) and ask a few questions in advance of your workshop Thursday.  I will present these at public comment period unless they are addressed during the preceding agenda topics.
I assume Town leadership uses the Master Plan (MP) to guide and inform decisions. I’m not familiar how you use it in your decision making framework.  I have included references from our MP in this letter in italics that I will reference for my points regarding the proposed ASIP.
Quoted from our Vision in the MP: “We are committed to being economically and ecologically sustainable”.
Questions for Town Council on Economic Sustainability in regards to the ASIPI understand the cost of this project could exceed three million dollars.  Taxpayers currently have 2 mill levies and a health care tax on the ballot.  

  • Where will the funding come from to support this project?
  • What other paving projects and estimated costs are planned?
  • If this is taxpayer funded, how is this economically sustainable?
    • With consideration of future Town paving plans

Have business owners in Ridgway’s Core District had an opportunity to provide input on Town priorities for paving projects and sidewalk development?  The following statement from the MP contradicts the ASIP being proposed as the next infrastructure improvement as Amelia Street is not in the Core Zone.
Key Objectives for the Growth Framework (Part IV of the Master Plan) are to: • Encourage infill and redevelopment within the Town’s existing limits and where infrastructure and services already exist; • Grow in an orderly, logical and sequential pattern outward from the existing Town core.

  • Why has the Amelia Street Project been prioritized by Town Council?

Questions for Town Council on Ecologic Sustainability regarding the ASIPIt is a fact, that asphalt and paving are significant contributors to climate change.  It is also a fact that traditional asphalt absorbs heat, resulting in locally increased temperatures.  It is a fact, that asphalt pollutes water and generates harmful emissions.  Asphalt is made from fossil fuels.

  • What research and design factors have gone into the ASIP to mitigate or minimize the above impacts?
  • “Cool paving” techniques are available.  To uphold our Value of ecologically sustainable development will these products be used?
  • Has Town Council discussed the affects of heat absorbing asphalt and paving projects as contributors of climate change and locally increased temperatures?

Ridgway is home to native deer and other animals who roam our streets throughout the year.  Amelia Street is a signicant wildlife corridor from natural areas surrounding it in every direction.  The proposed ASIP cuts into a community member’s conservation easement to pave 100 feet of CR5 from the intersection of Amelia and proposes removing the stop sign which would increase speeding in an area with abundant wildlife.  
We are a headwater community of the Colorado River.  It is a fact, that asphalt emits toxins with runoff and high temperatures increase toxic emissions (ie. summer monsoons).  These two factors are not supported by our Value statement #1 and Goals in the MP:
Community Value #1 Health Natural Environment
Protecting both the scenic values and ecological functions of natural areas in and surrounding Ridgway through responsible environmental practices is something the community values strongly. Ridgway must grow in a way that is attuned to its natural environment to protect these valuable resources. Ridgway residents must also be aware of the changes to our local environment that could arise as a result of climate change. Goals: ENV-1: Preserve, protect, and restore natural habitats, including for wildlife and ecosystems. ENV-2: Strengthen the Uncompahgre River corridor as a community asset and environmental resource. ENV-3: Proactively manage and protect Ridgway’s water resources. ENV-4: Advocate for the efficient use of resources and sustainable practices that work to eliminate harmful impacts to the health of the community or natural environment…

  • What considerations were made in the project proposal to address these impacts on wildlife and Rights of Nature?
  • What water capture and filtration systems will be in place to remove toxins and high flow runoff from flooding events?
  • What discussions and considerations have taken place to remove trees in a conservation easement to be replaced with sidewalks and “improvements” for paving 100’ of CR5?

The Dust Problem
Ridgway is located on the eastern edge of the Colorado Plateau.  The Colorado Plateau is a desert.  Prevailing winds from the west and southwest transport dust.  Dust caused by dirt roads in Ridgway is minor and possibly negliable compared to the dust to our region from the Colorado Plateau. The Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies (CSAS) located in Silverton is home to the Colorado Dust-On-Snow (CDOS) program where they study dust transport well away from the influence of unpaved roads.  According to the CSAS CDOS findings “The movement of dust around the West has increased 300% in the last two decades alone with no signs of abating.”
Paving roads is not the solution to reducing dust in the Town of Ridgway and the fact that asphalt absorbs heat, further leading to desertification and climate change is an alarming prospect for a Town that relies on snowmelt and surface runoff for it’s water source.

  • What data supports paving roads in rural communities in SW Colorado decreases dust?
  • Have Ridgway residents been surveyed regarding dust, for example do residents in River Park with paved roads have less dust in their homes  than residents that live on unpaved roads?
  • What discussions has Town Council had on incorporating consideration of impacts of climate change on our development and improvement projects?

Public SafetyI am in support of improving the safety of pedestrians in our Town with increased sidewalk projects that are built to ADA standards including crosswalks where needed.  Sidewalks do not require paved roads.  I am in favor of continual sidewalks (and crosswalks) on Amelia Street, specifically on North Amelia for pedestrian safety, walkability and access to the Ridgway Elementary School.  I am in favor of increased signage and street design to slow traffic on Amelia Street and throughout Town.  I am in favor of speed bumps in zones with greater pedestrian use if street design speed mitigation is not considered.
Speeding ConcernsDirt and gravel roads naturally curb driving speeds.  They lend to the character and identity of rural communities which our community prioritized in the MP:
Community Value #3 – Small Town Character & Identity – Although they may differ on how to define “small town character,” residents feel strongly that it’s a key part of Ridgway’s identity. This small town character is evident in the size of the community, the slower and more laid back pace of life, the unpaved streets, the surrounding ranch land and associated activities, the ability of residents to easily walk from one end of town to the other, and the many activities and businesses that are geared toward locals. Although these characteristics are common among many small towns across Colorado, Ridgway stands out from other tourism-dependent communities as a town that relies on tourism to some degree—but retains its commitment to locals and still feels very much like a “real” community. 
Paved roads enable speeding.  I expressed concern to Town leadership recently regarding speeding traffic on the west end of Sherman/Hwy 62.  For a short time a speed indicator was present, which slowed traffic significantly.  Since it’s removal speeding is a regular occurrence on this end of Sherman/62.  The 25 mph speed limit sign for inbound traffic, after the crosswalk at Amelia is often overgrown with vegetation and not visible.  Few pedestrians use the sidewalks on this side of Town along Sherman.  Possibly due to speeding traffic concerns?  It remains an issue. Community members have suggestioned solutions to signage or law enforcement presence.  Community members have also expressed the same concerns on North Amelia.

  • What considerations have gone into the design of the Amelia Street Project that slow traffic?
  • Have design factors been considered that narrow the streets such as our downtown area?  

A 24’ wide street as I understand from the plan, may as well be a highway, as is Sherman Street, with little to no design factors to naturally slow traffic.  Does the budget include more infrastructure to mitigate speeding traffic such as additional law enforcement and more signage?
In ClosingI understand on Sept. 8, 2021 the Town adopted an Emergency Ordinace based on the unprecedented growth and development over the past twelve months, with numerous subdivisions, sketch plans, preliminary pats and planned unit developments being submitted for review by the Town Staff, Planning Commission and Town Council.  
Clearly these are unprecedented times that call for informed and dedicated leadership to maintain our Community Vision and Values.  Our Town and community  invested significant time and resources developing the current version of the Master Plan v.2019, which should guide development and decision making from Town leadership.  I urge you to consider the above points in your decisions for the ASIP and future improvements to our Town’s character, economically and environmentally sustainable future in steering your discussions.
I applaud the Town’s adoption of Resolution No. 21-06 supporting the June 2021 updates to the Colorado Communities for Climate Action Policy Statement.  I ask that you reference this commitment as well to inform and guide your decision making on future projects and now specifically the proposed Amelia Street Improvement project.

Thank you for your attention and stewardship of our unique, small rural community.

Angela Hawse

Resident of Ridgway for 20 years

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