Pit opens despite unfinished road construction

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— Safety measures residents fought for prior to the opening of the Camilletti-Milner Pit will not be present when the pit opens for operations.

The Routt County Planning Commission Thursday night gave Camilletti and Sons and Precision Excavating Inc., more time to construct improvements to County Road 179.

In the meantime, the company will be able to start operations before the road is complete. The commission by a 4-3 vote gave the petitioners until June 30, 2002, to widen and pave the county road.

Last June, the county approved the pit, which is a half-mile south of Milner on C.R. 179, on the understanding the pit would not open until the road was widened and paved. The company tried to comply with the safety requirements for the road but was not able to complete them.

"We did know of the requirements," said David Zehner of Precision Excavating. "But with the process we went through, we could not start with the road until September."

Zehner said the company held off on paving the road to let the gravel road settle and because winter was approaching.

Commissioner Fred Nichols voted in favor of the request along with Troy Brookshire, Donald Alperti and Bill Taylor. Commissioners John Ayer, Terry Hunter and Diane Mitsch Bush voted against the request.

With the approval, gravel trucks will be able to use the unfinished road before the June deadline.

"This is a public safety matter," said James Pavlik, who was one of a handful of residents to oppose the request. "All it takes is one of their trucks to kill a person. It only takes one. We are the residents who drive on that road."

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