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El Paso County Colorado District 49

Eastonville Road a county priority

Geographically, El Paso County District 2 is the largest in the county – boasting busy neighborhoods, wide-open spaces and 1,397 miles of roads. Since becoming a county commissioner in January, I represent a district that has dealt with fires, floods, plague, rabies, wild dogs and drought. Each day brings new challenges and a variety of issues, from the installation of new stop signs to washed-out roads to the reduction of regulations.Today, I will address a specific road issue that has taken up a great deal of space in my inbox. Eastonville Road is the only access to the new Falcon High School. This is a gravel road, which is heavily traveled by high school students and their families, and it is a sore spot for many in the area.Having been raised in rural Nebraska, I learned to drive on gravel roads, and I enjoy traveling on them to this day. But Eastonville Road challenges even a country girl like me. I, along with the county engineer, area developers and county staff, are aware that Eastonville Road is in need of paving. We are working to secure the capital to pave the road with asphalt. When much of the development began several years ago, there was an agreement that the developers would pave the road. As far as my research has shown, there was not a trigger (a certain number of lots sold) put in place for paving, and so there is not a legal leverage that the county has to force the developers to make this improvement.When lot sales decreased, the developers delayed paving the road. That leaves the county in the position of either waiting for the developers to pave the road after an increase in their sales, which is unacceptable because it would likely take two to three years; or for the county to make improvements, which we do not have the capital; or a combination of the two. We are working to collaborate with both the developers and other agencies, with the possible use of grant funding and combined revenues, to get Eastonville Road paved.In the meantime, the county will grade Eastonville Road nearly every day to keep it in good condition. Recent rains made the road miserable, but our crews quickly brought it back up to county gravel road specifications.That this road carries many young drivers gives it a characteristic unlike several others in the county, which desperately need attention as well. We fully recognize the need for a change in condition and are doing everything we can to accomplish this as soon as possible, hopefully, by spring of 2009. The resolution of this issue is long awaited, and I am not unaware of the urgency.Finally, mark your calendars for Election Day on Nov. 4 and make sure you vote.Amy LathenEl Paso County Commissioner, District 2520-6412

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