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County opts out of Cottonwood paving Print
Written by Aimee Eaton   
Wednesday, 02 October 2013
Decreased revenue takes project off the table

Cottonwood Pass will remain dirt a while longer.
After submitting a project to the Federal Lands Highway Division to pave and improve the pass in May, having the project accepted weeks later, and moving forward with scoping of the project to pave and improve Cottonwood Pass in August, Gunnison County determined this month that it is unable to follow through with the effort due to a lack of revenue within the county.
The project was slated to cost the county about $5.1 million in match money.
In an October 1 letter to the highway division, the Gunnison County Board of Commissioners wrote, “At the time the project was submitted in May of this year we were confident that with a possible extension of the timeline we would be able to pay the local match. A number of things have happened since that time.”
The BOCC went on to say that reductions in property tax valuations and reductions in gas production that have resulted in $500,000 being cut from the Mineral Reserve have left the county feeling uncertain about its budget for road and bridge work.
As such, wrote the BOCC, “We will not be able to participate in the Cottonwood Pass project. There is not going to be any outside revenue available, and our Public Works Department cannot save enough money to fund our share, nor can they afford the debt service cost if we borrowed the money.”
This latest shot to pave Cottonwood now becomes just one more failed attempt at improving the pass.
 
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