Silver Creek in road talks with county
As an independent special service district, Service Area 3 has responsibility to manage its own water and road needs in Silver Creek, including snow removal. With a limited budget, however, this can sometimes prove to be a challenge.
Service Area 3 and Summit County are in the preliminary stages of a dialogue that could see Silver Creek contract with the county in helping conduct maintenance on its roads. County Manager Bob Jasper said the county has the staffing, resources and economies of scale to help with any road matters.
"If they wanted to contract with us and set priorities that we would then do road design and maintenance for them, but not to the point where we would use general tax dollars to subsidize [the work]," Jasper said.
Service Area 3 Board of Trustees Chairman Kenneth Naylor said, "There is the possibility the county may or may not help with the maintenance of our roads." He said the county has a larger buying capacity, which could help to bolster their district’s limited funds.
"Making [road] improvements is incremental. We have been able to make improvements each year," Naylor said. "There is the potential the county may be able to help us accelerate that."
Jasper said the county could utilize its engineers and ability to buy items in bulk to help Silver Creek, suggesting a possible five-year plan in regard to road maintenance. He added that Service Area 3 has asked for help doing survey work in the area, as many roads are not where they were originally platted to be.
Concerns have been raised over the years, Jasper said, as to who has what responsibilities in relation to roads in Silver Creek. Those concerns were exacerbated, he said, with the injury of horseback rider Lacey Picard, who was hit by a teenage driver on Silver Creek Road in 2011.
"Was that a speed limit issue? Should we have a lower speed limit and, if so, who gets to decide that?" Jasper said. "We’ve given [Service Area 3] permission that they can set their own speed limits. That may mean other speed-controlling actions like speed bumps."
Jasper said the county could give Service Area 3 a share of the gas tax to maintain their public roads as well. He stressed there would be no separate set of rules regarding roads for their district. Culverts, for example, will be sized according to county code, he said.
"We could take the position of, ‘It’s not our problem,’ but they’re also county residents. That’s why we’re willing to help," Jasper said. "They are, by law, responsible for their own roads, we are not. But we should still help if we can."
Naylor said he looks forward to the possibility of the county helping Service Area 3 with its roads, and added he wants to "better coordinate" his district’s activities with the county.
Jasper said the county could also work cooperatively with Service Area 3 on sewer as well, as there is a discussion of Mountain Regional Water possibly annexing a plot in Silver Creek near the Sinclair station on Silver Creek Road.
That would give the county the opportunity to work with the commercial area adjacent to the Sinclair station to provide sewer infrastructure, potentially tying two sewer systems together in case a break occurs, Jasper said.
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