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City seeks grant funds for Colorado Front Range Trail

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By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — Brighton officials hope to secure about $950,000 in grant money to help fund the city’s portion of the Colorado Front Range Trail. 

On Feb. 18, City Council gave Parks and Recreation Department officials the green light to submit a special grant application to Great Outdoors Colorado for a 2.28-mile stretch of multipurpose trail along the South Platte River from E-470 near 136th Avenue into Ken Mitchell Lakes Open Space and Park. 

Parks and Recreation Director Gary Wardle said the city has submitted a letter of interest to GOCO in regards to the grant and that they have been invited to submit the application. He said the invitation doesn’t necessarily guarantee the city will get the grant but means they are one step closer because not everybody gets to apply for the grant. 

“The grant application we’re requesting to bid is $950,000. The total project cost is estimated to be $2,427,410. The city would then be responsible for the remaining $1,477,410,” Wardle said. “We would look at appropriating those dollars in both the 2015 and 2016 budgets. We will also be applying for Adams County Open Space grants to help fund this project, too.” 

The grant would cover the cost of the trail corridor design, excavation and fine grading, soil stabilization, planting of 230 trees and 750 shrubs, fencing for easements and wayfaring signage.

Wardle said the grant also includes the cost of building two bridges to circumnavigate a piece of property with a radio tower that they have not been able to secure get an easement on. Although he will be talking with the landowner to try to get an easement for the property, he said they are planning for the worst-case scenario.

Mayor Dick McLean wanted to know how much the cost of the project would be reduced if they were able to secure an easement. Wardle said costs could be reduced by $1 million — the cost of the two bridges, one to go across the river to avoid the radio tower property and one to come back onto the trail.

The Colorado Front Range Trail was initiated by the Colorado State Parks in 2003 with a vision to connect 876 miles of trail across the Front Range of Colorado from Wyoming to New Mexico, according to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.

 

In other business: 

— Council unanimously waived the request for proposal process and approved a professional service agreement with White Sands Water Engineers. The agreement allows city officials to continue working with counsel who are already involved in some of the city’s cases for water court.  

Water Resource Engineer Sarah Borgers said the city has worked with Leonard Rice Engineers since 1982 but on Jan. 1, a portion of the firm formed White Sands Water Engineers. Per the agreement, Leonard Rice Engineers will continue to provide support services for groundwater model analysis while White Sands Water Engineers will provide surface water analysis and be the administrative lead for the city’s ongoing water court cases.

— Council unanimously approved a final reading of an ordinance that would amend words, terms and phrases in the Flood Plain Control District section of the city’s code. The first reading was completed on Feb. 4 and the updates are needed to comply with the state requirements to allow the city to remain eligible for FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. 

— Further code amendments were made by city council. Council approved the first reading of ordinance that would add an another alternate to the planning commission and exempt the professional members of the Historic Preservation Commission from its current two year term limitation. 

During council’s Jan.14 study session, Historic Preservation Commission Chairman Joe Burt asked council to lift term limits for professional members — such as architects or historians — because they’re hard to come by. 

— Wardle said the fireman statue honoring the city’s volunteer firefighters was installed at Station 2 on Firehouse Road and Bridge Street about three weeks ago. He said the fire department will be doing landscaping around it this spring. 

— Council scheduled a special study session at 6 p.m. March 3 to continue its city council advance.