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Trinidad City Council approves work on Fox West Theatre; updates water restriction code

by Bill Knowles
TRINIDAD — The Trinidad City Council approved, on a 7-0 vote, the bid from Agave Landscapes and Masonry, Inc. Located in Salida, CO, as the contractor who will work on the exterior rehabilitation and stabilization of the Fox West Theatre on Main Street in the historic downtown district of Trinidad, Colo.

The total bid from Agave, the only company that placed a bid for the project, comes to $256,300. The city put out an RFP for the project in early April of 2021.

Funding for the project comes from History Colorado, who has put in 19.55% or $50,106 for the project. Other funding comes from the city’s Capital Improvements Project budget to include the municipal buildings, and Fox Theatre monies totaling $206,194 or 80.45% of the budget.

Until recently, Urban Neighborhoods, the developer for the project had a difficult time getting funding for the project. Then on March 18, 2021 History Colorado issued a grant to the City of Trinidad for the work. The city had anticipated the budget amount for the project to be $522,047.

The city had to put up a match of 80.45% with a grant totaling 19.55% from History Colorado. The bid estimate was well within the budget allocated by the city for the project so council, approved the bidder.

Agave Landscapes and Masonry has worked on municipal projects that fell under the Colorado Secretary of Interior’s standard for rehabilitation in Leadville, Gunnison, and Trinidad on the United Presbyterian Church.
Water usage and extraterritorial water taps

The city council, with a 7-0 vote updated the restrictions on the use of water allowing for the use of a bigger water tap on any new construction in extraterritorial areas around the city.

In January 2021, Resolution 1585 was adopted by the city, adjusting the water restriction previously set by Resolution 1518. This allowed only ¾ inch single family residential water taps to extraterritorial customers in level one and two water restrictions. The resolution also calls for no extra territorial water taps to be granted at level three restrictions.

Trinidad city water director Marc Vigil said the change in resolution 1585 will allow any size of extra territorial water taps while in level one. “…We’re currently at level-two and probably in about two or three weeks… we will probably look at going from level two to level one. And while in level one we currently can’t accept anything larger than a three quarter-inch water tap. With this adoption we wouldn’t have a size restriction on water taps being requested. This will allow us to remain in level one restrictions all the time.”

The New Elk Mine was cited as an example. While in level one, the city wouldn’t be able to grant them anything larger than a three-quarter-inch tap. This would allow the mine to request and receive a larger tap size.  Level one restrictions under resolution 1585 will still call for no watering of lawns between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. but allow for a larger tap than is currently allowed under resolution 1518.

Road Work on Santa Fe Trail
The city council also approved the application for a CDOT grant that will help the city pay for the widening of Santa Fe Trail from Saddle Road to exit 11. According to the city’s new grant writer Talitha Gillespie the city wants to take advantage of the “Revitalizing Main Street” safety infrastructure grant program.
“The program is focused on busy arterials,” said Gillespie. “This initiative also recognizes that we are entering a new normal as the state adopts to changing new travel patterns following COVID-19.”

Two opportunities exist for usage of the grant. The first is for safer infrastructure. And the second is a small unlit-modal grant. The city is looking at option one. The city’s staff is looking at improving pedestrian and cyclist access and connectivity as well as enhancing all aspects of safety.

Santa Fe Trail lacks shoulders, has a couple of areas where it narrows to only the width of the street, and has become a very traveled roadway to and from the businesses at exit 11 as an alternate to I-25.

The grant amount being applied for is $2 million. The cost of the project is estimated by the city’s engineering department to be approximately $4.6 million, with sidewalks on both sides of the road and only $3.5 million if only one side of the road has sidewalks. The city will be able to meet the 20% match using Capital Improvement Project funds. If the city is awarded the grant, the work would be begin in the spring of 2022 and be finished by the fall of 2023.

The city council approved the grant application with a 7-0 vote.
The city council voted to delay going into executive session, moving it to a Thursday afternoon time on a 7-0 vote. The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.