County looks to ease traffic through Milner

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— Routt County would like to acquire a private road just outside of Milner to ease traffic through the town.

The county is eyeing a private road a half-mile east of Milner that runs from U.S. Highway 40 to Routt County Road 179.

The Camilletti Pit gained permission from the county last year to construct the private road.

C.R. 179 takes traffic through the residential area, and the Camilletti Pit did not want its traffic going through Milner to reach the highway.

The road is valuable because it provides the gravel pit with a different access to U.S. 40.

Trucks carrying gravel to and from the pit access the private road rather than driving through a neighborhood.

But some of the neighbors think the private road is a good idea, too. Now cars and gravel trucks alike take advantage of the convenient access to U.S. 40.

Paul Draper, director of the county Road and Bridge Department, said residents who live south of Milner take the private road so they don't have to take the slower route through town.

The private road allows them to reach the highway faster.

The county would like to rename the private road as the new C.R. 179.

A minimal amount of work is required on the private road to bring it up to county road standards before the county can acquire it. If the county acquired the road, it would realign the path of C.R. 179 from its existing route through Milner to follow the private road built for the Camilletti Pit.

But both the current C.R. 179 and the realigned C.R. 179 would stay open to the flow of traffic, county planner Mary Alice Page-Allen said.

Some misunderstanding exists that the current C.R. 179 would close if it was realigned to follow the Camilletti Pit road, she said.

The Routt County Planning Commission is hearing the county's request to acquire the road tonight.

Its recommendation will go to the County Board of Commissioners for a future hearing.

The petition was tabled Nov. 7 because posters displayed in Milner to announce the meeting included the wrong meeting time.

The county planning commissioners and some people in the audience were concerned people who saw the wrong date and did not attend the Nov. 7 meeting would miss the discussion.

Tonight's agenda includes a presentation by Bob Plaska of the Colorado Division of Water Resources.

Plaska will briefly explain how his department works and open up the floor to questions from the planning commissioners and the audience.

County planner John Eastman said Plaska's presentation is fitting because decisions about water resources are so intertwined with the county's decisions about land use.

"It's big every time we decide a land-use issue," Eastman said.

County planning staff will ask Plaska to address the effect of this summer's administration of the Yampa River on water rights, the process for permitting a new subdivision water system, the best method for dealing with water supply for lot consolidations at Steamboat Lake and Stagecoach and the relationship between gravel pits, well permits and augmentation plans.

Plaska's presentation begins at 6 p.m. in the commissioners' hearing room, followed by the county's petition to realign C.R. 179.

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