Castle Pines switches course on street funds

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Castle Pines City Council has decided to take $250,000 out of the city's reserves to pay for more road repairs, for a total of $750,000 to be spent this year.

The decision, made on a 5-1 vote July 23, reverses the course the council made in June, when it made cutbacks.

In June, the council voted to cut back and only approve $500,000 for road repairs, instead of the $650,000 budgeted this year, after hearing a recommendation from Brad Meyering, Castle Pines' public works, parks and open space manager. Meyering, concerned about the amount spent last winter on snow removal, wanted to switch some money, $150,000, to replenish the snow-removal budget.

But roads change.

At the recent council meeting, Meyering asked for even more money, an additional $250,000 on top of the $500,000 approved in June. He got the additional funding approved after explaining to the council that the subsurface of targeted road segments to be repaired was in even worse shape than earlier thought. Meyering wanted more money to cover the additional repair costs, and to go ahead and repair the other road segments originally targeted to be repaired before the June cutback.

He said the work really needed to be done on the roads, which he has described in the past as being “in such disarray” that pavement needed major repair or replacement. And he also said it would be more efficient to do it now, since Schmidt Construction Co., which was the low bidder and was awarded the contract in June for the smaller project, now has crews on site. He also said the price could go up if the city delays the repairs.

Meyering also wanted the snow-removal budget to keep most of the additional money — the $150,000 the city council agreed in June to move into that account by cutting back on road repairs.

“Who's on first?” asked Council Member Marc Towne at one point, and expressed confusion about Meyering's request.

After further discussion and clarification, the council, except for Towne, agreed to leave the additional money in the snow removal account, and OK an additional $250,000 for street repairs, which will be taken out of the city's reserves.

Douglas County took care of road work in Castle Pines before incorporation, but now the 5-year-old city is on its own and marking another first: Its first streets-maintenance plan is in place, and Schmidt's bid on the first batch of repairs to be done, about a mile's worth of roads, was unanimously approved at the June 11 council meeting. And now even more sections will be done: the original plan, with the funding restored.

Meyering said in a past interview that the asphalt on city streets, some of which is about 20 years old, wasn't thick enough to begin with to accommodate the area's original traffic loads.