Dolores is planning a major upgrade to its water system and is contemplating a new trail in town in cooperation with the local bike club.
Monday, the Dolores Board of Trustees will vote on final financing for a $845,000 project to replace aging water lines under Colorado Highway 145 and improve the water treatment plant.
The town was awarded a $292,630 grant from the Department of Local Affairs for the project. They also received a $25,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.
Additional funding includes $52,000 from the general fund, $200,000 from the water fund reserve, and a $275,000 loan from Dolores State Bank. A vote on an ordinance authorizing the loan is expected Monday. Loan terms are 4% interest for the first 10 years and an annual payment of $24,408.
A water rate increase of $5 per month beginning in 2021 will help cover loan payments.
D&L Constructors is scheduled to begin work in September. The project needs to be completed before the Colorado Department of Transportation repaves Colorado Highway 145 through town in 2021.
New trail consideredTo improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists on Dunlap Hill (Road 31), the town and Southwest Colorado Cycling Association are considering adding an alternative trail nearby.
SCCA is asking for permission to build the trail on town property using volunteer labor. It would begin at the end of 14th Street and switchback up to Road 31. The trail group also is seeking easements with private landowners to allow the trail to follow a drainage along Road 31 up to Road V.2.
Liability insurance for the easements would be covered by the town and Montezuma County.
“We have good support and are working to contact landowners regarding possible easements,” said Shawn Gregory of SCCA.
The trail would follow a deep drainage hemmed in by cliff walls below Road 31.
Dunlap Hill, which leaves from 11th Street, has seen an increase in pedestrian and cyclist use. Cyclists ride the road to access the nearby Boggy Draw trail system on the San Juan National Forest and to ride the paved Dolores-Norwood Road.
The road has blind corners and limited shoulders, increasing risks for vehicles, walkers and cyclists.
“The goal is to provide a safe and scenic alternative route up that hill that separates hikers and bikers from vehicle traffic,” Gregory said.
Marijuana ordinanceThe town continues to work on a marijuana ordinance that defines areas for stores, buffer zones, operations and regulations. Voters approved marijuana businesses in April.
Town staff and the planning board recommend two combined retail and medical establishments, two cultivation facilities and one testing facility.
Recommended buffer zones for marijuana businesses are: 1,000 feet from the Dolores schools campus, 500 feet from Dolores Academy charter school on east end of town, 500 feet from Dolores schools administration building, 250 feet from the Dolores Playground in Joe Rowell Park and 500 feet from the day care center on Fifth Street.
The planning board was split on the day care buffer, with two voting for 500 feet and two voting for 250 feet.
The board also is determining the occupation fee rate for each marijuana sale, separate from the town’s sales tax. Voters approved an occupation tax not to exceed $5 per sale.
Other newsPlanning continues for the KaBoom! toddler addition to the Dolores playground. Officials hope to install it this year.Construction will not be a volunteer build because of pandemic concerns, officials said, but children will be involved in the design process. KaBoom! donated $80,000 in equipment for ages 2-5.
Interim Town Manager Ken Charles has proposed that he remain as town manager for a year.