BOCC pulls the plug on LoVa Trails

May 14, 2013

Garfield County

On Monday morning, the Garfield County Board of Commissioners publicly rescinded their commitment to LoVa Trails while insisting they honor their commitments.

Lower Valley trail group wants county funding reinstated

Watch the video here. Under the video screen on the left side of the page, scroll down to “iv. Lower Valley Trails Group (LoVa) – Larry Dragon” and click on it. This section lasts about 40 minutes – well worth watching.

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Tibbetts head shotIn the following guest post, Tod Tibbetts is writing as a long-time volunteer and Garfield County taxpayer, and not as a board member of LoVa Trails.

I am a founding member and have been on the board since 1999, when LoVa Trails group was formed. Since then I have been actively working to build non-motorized trails in Garfield County for everyone to enjoy – residents as well as visitors. I recognize that LoVa’s efforts seem like a slow-moving process and the work is not glamorous, but when I look at the progress made it has certainly been worth it. The reason I have kept at this monumental vision of a public trail from Glenwood Springs to Parachute was because of the partnership LoVa forged with Garfield County and their financial support over the years. The one thing the LoVa volunteer board members could always count on was the commitment of the Board of County Commissioners to LoVa’s mission. They took that commitment and built trails with it.

In August 2012, the BOCC made a commitment to fund LoVa Trails through 2013, and financially partner in building an additional trail section in South Canyon. On Monday, May 13, they publicly rescinded that commitment. I appreciate Commissioner Martin reminding Commissioners Jankovsky and Samson about their commitment. But it became clear to me at the meeting that the majority of the BOCC and Administrator Gorgey have adopted a more frivolous view and can no longer be taken at their word.

On the one hand the Commissioners say “We are not in the trails business.” With the other hand they fund the Red Hill trail in Carbondale – for safety reasons. And to date they have invested close to $2 million dollars on the South Canyon trail.

While they pull the plug on LoVa’s 14 years of progress on trails, they plan to start all over again with what they’re calling a “regional trails group,” which amounts to paid employees from Garfield and Pitkin counties working on a non-existent trails plan with no vision or mission statement from which to proceed into what I can assure you are very murky waters indeed.

The strength of LoVa Trails has always been the group’s ability to organize volunteer dedication and expertise toward the goal of a major project like South Canyon. Without that organization, Garfield County has no foundation on which to continue the mission that LoVa has carried on with true leadership and fierce determination for more than a decade. And thus the BOCC has relegated the status of the Mitchell Creek bridge to the “bridge to nowhere.”

Mitchell Creek bridge in west Glenwood Springs completed in 2009

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2 Comments on “BOCC pulls the plug on LoVa Trails”

  1. Beth Strudley Says:

    Those Fracking Idiots. The Garfield County Commissioners are a disgusting trio that do not ‘care’ about Garfield County Citizens. They only look after the folks that line their personal pockets. Karma, puuuuuhhhhhllllleeeeaaaaaasssse!

  2. Leslie Says:

    Thanks for your efforts Tod. Let’s hope that delay does not mean denial.

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