To: Tim Corrigan
Dear Members of the Rout County Board of Commissioners, Planning Department, and Road and Bridge Department:
Since Tim Corrigan was quoted in the Pilot as having received 12 letters in favor of vacating 18C from the folks who live beyond the bridge on 18C, I wanted you each to see the 96 comments (please consider these letters to you) and the 213 signatures which we have received so far opposing the vacation of 18C. More to come.
Regarding ongoing costs, I respectfully submit the following:
Total costs are $10,270 per year. With 23,509 residents in Routt County, that’s 44 cents per resident per year to keep this a public treasure. More realistically, State funds are available for replacing and maintaining rural bridges. Typically, we pay 20%, the State pays 80%. So, the true annual cost is $4110, or 17 cents per year per resident.
The costs as a percent of Road and Bridge average run rates for chip and seal and bridges can also be calculated. The numbers are small—18C is less than 1%.
The Gay Ranch has tremendous historic value. (The new owner promised to make a museum out of the ranch house. See article by Tom Ross below. Is this a private museum for the owner to look at?) This upstream location of the Yampa is a unique section of one of the few wild rivers in the country. Wildlife viewing is spectacular at this location. The birders love this spot. I encourage to take your family stargazing from the vantage point of 18C and listen to the sounds of Pleasant Valley and the Yampa. The Milky Way is awe-awe-inspiring.
So I ask you, as County officials, are you really willing to give up this unique historic and scenic County asset located on the Wild Yampa for 17cents per resident?
I would encourage you to work with Multimodal, Historic Routt County, Yampa Valley Land Trust, and others to create way-finding markers and posters at points of interest along County roads as a way to stimulate learning about our amazing County. One of these must-see stops is the 18C bridge where people can learn about the Gay Ranch and early homesteaders, rural County school district 18, Pleasant Valley, the Rehder Ranch, the failed Catamount ski resort, bald eagle mating pairs, sandhill cranes, wild trout, the Wild Yampa, and ranching in the Yampa Valley. Wow! What an amazing concentration of Routt County-shaping elements in one place.
This can either be a private asset for the 12 residents in favor of 18C vacation who live beyond the bridge, or it can be enjoyed by our families, our friends, our children’s families and visitors to Routt County.