RIDGWAY – Residents of the River Sage housing development appeared with their lawyer before the Ridgway Town Council on Wednesday, Aug. 13, to request that the town consider assuming the maintenance obligations of a portion of RiverSage Drive, the access road that leads from Highway 550 to the housing development as well as Dennis Weaver Memorial Park.
Currently the River Sage homeowners association bears full responsibility for maintaining the road. The Weaver family donated Dennis Weaver Memorial Park to the Town of Ridgway in 2007 as part of its River Sage development.
Attorney Andy Mueller explained that while the Weaver family’s initial vision for the park was that the public would access it mostly on foot or by bicycle via the Uncompahgre River Trail system, in recent years it has been much more heavily accessed via River Sage Drive.
Kelvin Kent, who recently built a home in the River Sage development, emphasized the value of the park to the Town of Ridgway, pointing out that it is now the town’s number-one attraction, according to TripAdvisor.
“In the last year my wife and I have seen a 120 percent increase of traffic coming off the highway to utilize the trails and Dennis Weaver Memorial Park,” he said, pointing to a visitor sign-in sheet at the park which “represents well over 700 names, from six different countries and 35 states.”
“There are days when well over 80 to 100 cars are going in to use the park,” said Kent,.
Mueller requested that the town consider an amendment to the River Sage plat, which currently requires the HOA to maintain the road, instead assigning the Town of Ridgway to take over a portion of its maintenance. “We are primarily talking about maintenance of the asphalt,” he said, emphasizing that, for now at least, the HOA is happy to continue taking care of snow removal in the winter months.
Council will take the matter under consideration in its upcoming budget planning season.
$2K for the Ouray County Soccer Association
The Ridgway Town Council unanimously voted to give $2,000 of town funds to the Ouray County Soccer Association to help cover the cost of purchasing new soccer balls, goals and other equipment.
OCSA Director Jon Kornbluh had requested a $6,000 contribution. He said that OCSA represents “the largest local extracurricular youth activity” in Ouray County “by a wide margin,” and promised that he would be back before the Town of Ridgway again next month to “make a broader fundraising request for recreational soccer in 2015 and beyond.”
“We are a very successful organization in terms of participation, but we need some financial help,” he said.
Mayor John Clark said that he “totally values the program,” but added, “It doesn’t seem fair to just ask the Town of Ridgway to come up with needed funds.”
Kornbluh said that “Ridgway kids are 80 percent of the kids involved, so we are starting here.” But, he added, “I very much intend to hit up the City of Ouray and the county.”
“We are running a recreation department as a private club,” Kornbluh said. “It is really unprecedented. Most towns have a [soccer] club and a town recreation department. We are the only town I know of that just has a club and no rec department.”
Axel Bicycle Classic, KVNF Fundraiser
The Ridgway Town Council unanimously granted a request from Randy Charrette to use the town park and stage for the upcoming Axel Bicycle Classic on Friday, Aug. 29 and Saturday, Aug. 30. There will be live music on the stage on Saturday afternoon, following the bicycle race.
Council also granted a request for the private use of public property at Cottonwood Park (near the Chipeta Lodge) for an organized camping event associated with a weekend-long fundraiser for KVNF on Sept 5-6. KVNF General Manager Rick Watts said that most of the 200 or so patrons coming to the event will likely opt to stay in local lodging establishments rather than in the tents, but that since the Imogene Pass Run is happening on the same weekend, there may be a lodging shortage.
Watts proposed to have an organization called Sherpa Village come in and set up a maximum of 20 tents in Cottonwood Park as a lodging alternative for KVNF patrons who were not able to find other lodging in the area. He emphasized that the tents “will be a lodging of last resort,” and that KVNF intends to point as many patrons as possible toward the lodging establishments and short-term rental options in the area.
Councilor Eric Johnson worried about setting a precedent, but Councilor Ellen Hunter wondered “Why is inviting people to come have events here a bad thing?”
In the end, council unanimously voted in favor of granting Watts’ request.
Town of Ridgway Joins Time Bank of the Rockies
Council heard a presentation from Paula James on the Time Bank of the Rockies, and voted unanimously in favor of becoming a time bank member. This will qualify volunteers at Town of Ridgway events to earn time bank credits.
Mayor John Clark said he is “a big advocate of the Time Bank,” and said that “It will be more successful, the more people get involved.”
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