After several months of discussion, the Mancos Town Board voted Wednesday to approve a fence replacement for town property on County Road 39.
According to parks manager Terry Jennings, the town is required by state law to maintain a fence on the east side of the road going through its property. The town has considered several contract options with fencing companies, but ultimately chose to build a fence using town staff and town-purchased materials. Because the fence was not included in the town’s 2018 budget, it will need to be funded with reserves.
The board has spent several meetings discussing options for repairing or replacing the fence near the town property known as “the old dump.” Jennings said the fence is now too badly damaged to fix.
“We are required to maintain a fence around the old dump, and the existing fence is almost beyond repair,” he said. “On top of that, it’s not working too well.”
In a Jan. 3 staff report, he recommended signing a contract with the company Fence Tech LLC to replace the east fence for $24,850. But he and Mayor Queenie Barz said further research has shown the town staff could do it for about half the price. Barz recommended the board approve an in-house fence replacement for a cost not to exceed $10,000.
Jennings said his department could save money by making a simple, “wildlife friendly” fence with three strands of wire. The estimated cost includes removal of the old fence, he said.
The board voted unanimously to approve the project, which Jennings said would begin immediately, weather permitting.
In a workshop before the meeting, Montezuma County land planner James Dietrich gave board members an update on the proposed Paths to Mesa Verde nonmotorized trail, part of which would go through the Mancos area. He said the project is on hold at the moment because several landowners on its planned route have either said they don’t want the trail on their property or haven’t responded to requests at all. But he added he still believes the trail will be built eventually.
Also during the workshop, the board discussed possible increases in utility fees to cover the cost of future capital improvements. The town has not raised its water rates in several years, and a report delivered to the board by town administrator Heather Alvarez recommended a change in the structure of utility fees as well as a gradual increase in cost. The board agreed to put the issue on the agenda for a future regular meeting.