’13 Fruita budget 
includes $3.5M 
in capital projects

The budget proposed by the city of Fruita for 2013 includes a spate of new capital projects, totalling more than $3.5 million.

If completed as planned, there should be marked improvements along one of the city’s busiest roadways and also to Fruita’s parks and trail system.

According to the city, the Pine Street corridor — or 18 Road on the grid — between Wildcat Avenue and the Little Salt Wash bridge has the highest amount of vehicular traffic of all the city’s streets.

The 2013 budget calls for $900,000 to be spent on a complex widening project for the roadway.

“There are sections that are complete and there are sections that are not, and there is a lot of weaving required to try and stay in the lanes,” said Fruita City Manager Clint Kinney. “Our hope is to finish all of the pedestrian improvements and make the road width consistent throughout.”

Construction is scheduled to begin in summer of 2013.

Another project Kinney called a “slam dunk” is the proposed Little Salt Wash trail construction, which would mean a 10-foot wide concrete path connecting the north side of Highway 6 with Fruita State Park.

The project — estimated to cost $854,000 in 2013, and funded by state grant money — was on the agenda for 2012, but obstacles with the Union Pacific railway regarding a box culvert the city planned to use pushed the work to this year.

Now Fruita will have to bore a new hole, meaning additional regulatory red tape for the project.

“We always want to improve connectivity between residents of Fruita north of I-70 and south of I-70,” Kinney said, adding that he expects the new trail to be a primary connector to the expanding Riverfront Trail system.

A section of trail from the Fruita Welcome Center to 18 1/2 Road is in the works.

Fruita chipped in just $10,000 to the county effort, but completed all the project management, saving an estimated $200,000.

The “missing link” of the Riverfront Trail is considered from 18 1/2 Road to the Walter Walker Wildlife area, and Fruita will put up $50,000 toward that phase of the project.

Kinney said work on that section could begin in February 2013, and take about a year to complete.

The city also is allocating $100,000 for improvements to the downtown area.

The City Council recently named a new Downtown Advisory Board, and presumably that group will come up with a plan how to best spend those dollars.

Two other pricey projects slated for 2013: a new sewer line for $2 million, and the decommissioning of a lagoon that will cost more than $900,000.

No changes are proposed to the fees for monthly sewer service, however trash collection rates in the city are set for a modest increase — from $11.50 to $12.15.

Senior rates will bump up slightly as well.


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