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Engineer to Establish Flood Elevations in Pathfinder Park

Explaining that no events center or county fair buildings should be erected at Pathfinder Park until actual flood elevations are determined, the Fremont County Board of Commissioners Tuesday voted to hire an engineer to complete that work.

The Commissioners voted to enter into a professional services contract with Atkins Engineering of Denver to conduct a hydrologic analysis and floodplain mapping service on the county owned property at Pathfinder Regional Park near the confluence of Chandler Creek with the Arkansas River.   The county will spend $73,690 for the floodplain study plus out of pocket expense for travel and lodging costs.

Chandler Creek which flows through the middle of the county's property at Pathfinder Regional Park will be included in the floodplain and hydrologic analysis of the county's property.

District 2 Commissioner Debbie Bell said the county cannot build anything further on the park property until the floodplain analysis is completed.    Bell said the county certainly would not want to build something without accurate floodplain data and then have a building flooded in the future.

District 3 Commissioner Ed Norden said he recognizes that some people are frustrated that an events center and fair buildings have not been constructed.    But Norden said if the county proceeded to build and added an extra 18 inches of fill dirt when it might not be needed, that dirt work could end up costing far more than the cost of the engineering study.   Norden added that the county also needs the floodplain elevations to determine if a low water crossing can be built in the channel of Chandler Creek.   He said the county has owned the park since 2005 but to this date remains landlocked from accessing its own property on the east side of Chandler Creek.

The Atkins contract estimates they will spend 490 hours of engineering work on the study with plans to have it completed by mid-September.

The Commissioners on Tuesday also approved a Special Events Liquor Permit for Bad Boys Bull Riding to stage a two day bull riding event at the Pathfinder Park arena on July 11th and 12th.   In addition to the bull riding competition, organizer Boyd Canterbury said they plan to have food and craft vendors, a motorcycle show, and a concert stage with live music each night after the arena events.   The concert stage will be erected on the northwest corner of the existing graveled parking area with picnic tables provided for seating during the live music.    Canterbury said they will have two serving locations for beer which will be served from 1 until 11:30 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.

Noting that this is the first time for a major event to be scheduled in and around the Pathfinder arena since it was built; Commissioner Debbie Bell said the Commissioners are anxious to see how things turn out.    Bell added that she’s confident Canterbury can pull it off telling him “after all, this isn’t your first rodeo”.

In other business Tuesday the Commissioners:

  • Appointed Larry Baker and Michael Pullen to fill vacancies on the Fremont County Board of Zoning Adjustment.   The board hears appeals citizens seek exemptions from county zoning regulations.   Baker and Pullen already serve the county as Planning Commission members;
  • Appointed Steve Kaverman to fill a vacancy on the Fremont County Tourism Council.  The appointment fills the vacancy created when Micah Cantley of the Royal Gorge Route Railroad resigned his position.    Kaverman also used to work for the Royal Gorge Route but now operates his own tourism development consulting business;
  • Approved an exemption from subdivision regulations for creation of a 0.3 acre out lot on property owned by Katherine and Gary Curnutte at Elm and Locust in Lincoln Park.   The out lot has an oil well and storage tanks and creating the out lot will make it easier to sell an adjoining lot with a residence;
  • Approved a transfer of a Special Review Use Permit to Darby Hage for horse boarding, training, and competition events at the Los Pinos property south of Florence.   Hage has not determined the future use of the horse property but wants to keep the permit in place for now.