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Front Page » September 22, 2005 » Local News » Commission Awards OHV Trails Contract
Published 3,378 days ago

Commission Awards OHV Trails Contract


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By LES BOWEN
Sun Advocate reporter


A caution sign warns motorists that they may be sharing the road with OHV riders along Dry Valley Road, on the west shores of Scofield Reservoir. Dry Vally Road has already been opened for OHV use, as have some roads and trails in Helper, Sunnyside and East Carbon as well as some roads on National Forest land. The county's proposal would take other roads across the county and open them up to OHV traffic, connecting the sections that are already open.

Carbon County commissioners awarded a contract for the county's proposed OHV trail to Jones and DeMille Engineering on Sept. 7. The sum of the contract was $167,100.

The county's proposed ATV trail has been in the planning stages for years. The proposed route which was drafted by county planning officials has been the basis for the project.

Running from Scofield to Nine Mile Canyon, the route covers more than 100 miles and passes through or near to each of the incorporated cities and towns in the county. Most of that is on lightly-used county roads.

The bid from Jones and DeMille projected a cost for design and planning of $109,292. Construction management was figured at $57,808.

In addition, the bid included a fee schedule for additional expenses, outlining the cost the county would face if it were to choose to expand the project.

The original bid from the engineering firm also included an hourly rate. Commissioner Mike Milovich pointed out that the advertisement had indicated the county was looking for a turn-key bid - one that would take the project from start to finish. An hourly rate seemed inappropriate given the guidelines of the advertisement.

Jones and DeMille agreed that the hourly rate could be removed from the contract.

An important item to recognize is that the costs associated with the contract do not include the costs of actual construction. After the design and planning portion of the project is completed, Jones and DeMille will act as a construction manager. The process for the actual construction will be a separate process.

That being the case, the costs of constructing the project will exceed the $167,100 awarded to Jones and DeMille. Though initial plans indicate that construction costs will be light, there are significant obstacles to overcome in various sections of the route.

One of those is in the section between Helper and Scofield, where the route follows U.S. Highway 96 for more than three miles. Another is the crossing of routes such as Airport Road and Dugout Canyon Road as the route crosses the Castle Valley at the base of the Book Cliffs. A third is the lack of a right-of-way for a little more than a mile in the Clarks Valley region. Each of those obstacles will require planning and construction.

In fact, the only portion of the route with both a starting point and destination is the loop that runs from Sunnyside and East Carbon, over Buin Point and connecting to Nine Mile Canyon.

But lacking staging areas and proper signs, even that part of the route will require construction.

In July, the county's restaurant tax board and the recreation and transportation special service district agreed to support the proposal, with funds coming from both areas.

At a special meeting of the special service district, County Commissioner Mike Milovich suggested that funding for planning could come from restaurant tax dollars.

Milovich suggested that funding for construction could come from the special service district and restaurant tax dollars could be used for marketing and upkeep of the trail in the future.

However, no motion was made by the special service district on Milovich's suggestion. Nor has the county commission formally indicated where the funding for the project would actually come from.

Restaurant tax dollars may be insufficient for the project. The county generates approximately $150,000 every year in restaurant tax dollars. Approved projects funded from the restaurant tax fund are in excess of $170,000 for the fiscal year.

Special service district funds are somewhat more flexible. The district receives its funding from mineral lease monies collected by the federal government. The district administers a portion of that money which is returned to the state and then to the county. That fund varies annually, but is a viable source of millions of dollars in funding for recreation and transportation projects by various agencies in the county.

Billing for the project will be done on an incremental basis. Jones and DeMille will submit pay requests based on the estimated percentage of work completed.


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