Talon News - Good Local News

By Debbie Israel


Meeting Jan. 2, 2018


January 5, 2018

San Juan County Commissioners met for their first meeting of the new year on Jan. 2. First order of business was to choose a new chairman and chairman pro-tem to conduct the meetings. Margaret McDaniel was chosen as the new chairman, replacing Jack Fortner; and Fortner took on the pro-tem title.

Commissioners voted 5-0 on each item listed under new business. Those included participating in two county-wide dumpster days, one in the spring and one in the fall, providing the two days where the landfill and compactor stations throughout the county will be free to use for county residents; adopting the meeting schedule for 2018, which will not change from 2017 - the first and third Tuesdays at 4 PM; canceling and rescheduling several meetings throughout the year; and approving a contract with PMS for residential treatment services for adolescents.

During the previous County Commission meeting held on Dec. 19, Public Works Administrator Fran Fillerup, gave commissioners an update on the old bridge at Cedar Hill. He said the study on the bridge concluded that it has “significant structural deficiencies,” and is not in good enough condition to re-open. The study found that the bridge was built some time after 1911, was closed to vehicular traffic in the 1990s, and closed to pedestrians, in February of 2017, following a visual assessment. The estimates to repair the bridge would be between $400,000 and $500,000.

Several citizens, including Charlotte Metz, attended the Dec. 19 meeting to give input, and said they would like to see a working bridge there, even if it were a pedestrian bridge. “I would like to have a walking bridge, rather than no bridge at all,” Metz told commissioners. She also mentioned that this bridge is 9th on the list of historic bridges in the state. The landowner on the north side of the bridge, have installed a locking gate to keep people from getting to the bridge, and don’t want the bridge to be repaired or put back into service. “There’s a lot of parties that go on at that bridge,” property owner Debbie Johnson said.

Ownership of the bridge and property on each side of the river came into question.

At the Jan. 2 meeting, County CEO Kim Carpenter said that he feels it is the right thing to do to have a professional evaluate the ownership of the bridge in order to avoid future issues, specifically where the county stands on re-mediating, repairing or changing the bridge.


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