Repairs To Begin on Two Rico Water Tanks

Rico Trails Alliance presents public comments about bike park proposal.

Status of pending easement for use of railroad R-O-W on private lands south of Rico reviewed.

Rico Board of Trustees

Regular Monthly Meeting

July 15, 2020 7:00 PM

video conference

Trustees present Barbara Betts - Mayor, Nicole Pieterse - Mayor Pro Tem, Joe Dillsworth, Pat Fallon, Sophia Kyriakakis, Brandy Randall, Esteban Roberts

Town Staff present Kari Distefano - Town Manager Linda Yellowman - Town Clerk

Water tank repair approved

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Two of Town of Rico's three water tanks. Ore Cart photo - November 15, 2018.


Details below of the approved water tank repair project from July 2020 Trustees Packet, July 15 Trustees Meeting presentation by Town Manager Distefano, and 2020 Town of Rico Budget.


Town of Rico’s three water tanks need to be re-coated and updated to comply with Colorado Department of Health and Environment codes. The 2020 Town of Rico Budget includes $200,000 for this project. Town has received three bids, all higher than the budgeted amount.

To reduce the cost of the project, the two newer tanks will be re-coated and repaired now, and grant funding to replace the oldest tank may be sought later. Town's expenses to repair the oldest tank may cost nearly as much as a new replacement tank, therefore, replacement is a better alternative.

Grants for capital improvement projects such as water tank replacement are easier to obtain, compared to funding for maintenance. Possible grant funding sources are the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

Riley Industrial Service, Inc. was the low bidder for the original three-tank project, and has experience working on Rico’s water tanks.

Only one tank will be out of service at a time, so that two tanks will always be on-line for water storage.

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Trustees approved the proposed contract with Riley Industrial Service, Inc. to prep and coat the interiors of two water tanks. The contract requires work to commence within 10 days after notice from Town of Rico to proceed, and completion no later than October 30, 2020.


Additional information provided by Rico Town Manager to Ore Cart, July 23:


Cost of two-tank repair

We don’t have a final price yet. We are still making changes in the scope of work. We wanted some input from the CDPHE auditor.

Need for water tank repair, Water Fund reserve adequate to cover the cost 

The tank repairs are necessary to keep our water system safe. The balance of the water fund at the beginning of the year was $524,729. It is inappropriate for governments to sit on reserves at the expense of basic infrastructure. Any infrastructure that we do not maintain in good condition will ultimately cost us more to replace. If these water tanks were to start leaking in the middle of winter, the Town would have difficult time supplying water. It is almost impossible to access the tanks in the winter. The Trustees agree with me and our Responsible Operator that this is a necessary expense.

Mountain bike skills park

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Rico Bike Park Concept map submitted by Rico Trails Alliance to Town of Rico. Map is rotated 90 degrees from the original so that North is up, and road names added, by Ore Cart.


Rico Trails Alliance (RTA) presented a report to the Rico Board of Trustees describing RTA's request for public comments regarding a proposed mountain bike trails park, and a summary of the comments and RTA's responses. The report is reproduced below:


On May 20th, Rico Trails Alliance (RTA) presented to the Town of Rico Board of Trustees a concept of a potential mountain bike skills area on Town of Rico land. The Board provided preliminary approval to design trails on the town parcel and requested that RTA seek public input on the project.

RTA requested public input on June 26th in the form of an emailed comment received by July 6th. Input was requested via the Rico Bulletin Board and Citizens for Positive Growth Facebook pages, the RTA Facebook page, the RTA website, and via the RTA email list.

During the comment period (6/26-7/6) there were 12 emails received: 10 reflecting support, 2 expressing concerns. 11 of those providing input via email identified themselves as Rico residents and/or homeowners. Informal Facebook comments were received but are not included in this summary as the request was for email comments.A summary is provided below:

Summary of project support – 10 comments received:

Support for generating more recreational resources for Rico residents.

General excitement/support, positive impact on community.

Want to see more recreational opportunities in Rico for mountain bikers of all abilities.

Want to see more recreation opportunities in Rico for the youth.

  • Summary of project concerns – 2 comments received:

Concern for increased motorized (motorcycle and snowmobile) use and traffic in Silverglance due to trails --- RTA response – The trails will be designed, designated, and signed for non-motorized use.

Concern for OHV traffic in and around Rico is outside of the scope of this project.

Concern for parking and traffic for trailhead and impacts on Silverglance neighborhood -- RTA response – RTA intends these trails to be used primarily by Rico residents. The proposed parking area is parallel along the wide shoulder of CO-145. Given the size of the project (approx. 10 acres and 1.5 miles of trail), a large demand for parking is not expected.

Concern for potential for environmental impacts: ecosystem, fragile soil, reduced “wild space”. -- RTA response – As the first sanctioned trails within the town of Rico, these trails will be professionally designed and built with sustainability as a core requirement.

  • - end of Rico Trails Alliance report -

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Proposed site for mountain bike park is on parcels owned by Town of Rico. Green area is zoned Open Space, beige is Residential Planned Unit Development (RPUD). Adapted from Town of Rico Official Zoning Map with Ore Cart edits to add parcel labels and reposition legend.

Trustees Meeting discussion:

RTA representative Alex Wing described the community trail proposal:

  • vertical qualities
  • design for all skill levels
  • a gentle and meandering uphill trail
  • two meandering downhill trails
  • turns and jumps
  • each trail length about one-half mile
  • trails to be used for hiking also
  • motorized use not allowed
  • existing trails, if any, will not be closed or blocked

Trails will be professionally-designed using funds which RTA has already raised from the community. RTA will build and maintain trails, and trails will be property of Town of Rico.

Use of the trails by non-residents is expected to be negligible, due to the short trail lengths. Therefore, parking along Highway 145 near the Silverglance entrance is not expected to be an issue.

Trustees, citizens and RTA discussed concerns and possible impacts:

  • "man-made" vs. "machine-made" trails: effect on soil, flora and fauna
  • value of "Open Space" zoning status for hiking and low-impact activities
  • the "original aesthetic" of the parcels
  • impact on existing trails
  • recent unauthorized trail modifications on private lands nearby
  • highway parking - CDOT may require and "agreement"
  • parking congestion on Silverglance Way
  • motorbikes in Silverglance
  • "special-interest" nature of the proposed trail systems -- other groups (such as motorized recreation) may seek use of Town parcels in the future.
  • signs prohibiting motorized trail use on bike trails, and enforcement by Town's law enforcement officers, will be needed
  • Rico Fire Department four-wheel drive access to transport injured trail users
  • periodic review schedule by Rico Board of Trustees - annual, 5 years, 10 years

RTA is not involved with recent trail-building on private lands, and past RTA trail work involvement has been only with the U.S. Forest Service, stated Alex Wing. He suggested an "open house" at the proposed trails site, with parcel boundaries and potential trail routes flagged.

Mayor Betts listed steps needed before a draft agreement between Town and RTA can be prepared:

  • site walk
  • comments from residents living near the proposed trails
  • a plan for enforcing unauthorized use of the trails area- - - - -
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Town of Rico's two parcels east of Silverglance - site of proposed Rico Trails Alliance bike trails. Map adapted from Dolores County Property Records Search.

Popek trail easement - Rio Grand Southern route

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Existing trail on Rio Grande Southern RR route - east side of Dolores RIver, south of Rico. Ore Cart photo.


Details below of the proposed Rio Grande Southern RR trail easement from July 2020 Trustees Packet, and July 15 Trustees Meeting presentation by Town Manager Distefano.


Trail alignment surveying was to begin Tuesday, July 14. This will provide a legal description of the trail route for filing with Dolores County Clerk.

The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) program director advised Town of Rico to apply for a grant from the Conservation Service Corps for the single-track portion. This trail work will be scheduled for summer 2021.

GOCO recommended Town of Rico seek a grant from Colorado Parks and Wildlife for the proposed trail bridge crossing the Dolores River. The application for this grant will be available August 1, 2020.

The Bridge grant application requires an Engineer’s estimate for cost of construction, an Environmental Assessment, and 30% matching funding. Town’s 2020 budget includes funds for these purposes. Both the Conservation Trust and the Parks, Open Space and Trails funds have money for this type of work.

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Property ownership along the Rio Grand Southern RR route south of Rico. Town of Rico has an existing easement across the Rico River Village property, according to Town Manager Distefano. Map adapted from Dolores County Property Records Search. Labels and color-coding added by Ore Cart.


Additional information provided by Town Manager to Ore Cart, July 22.


Single-track trail construction

Most of the single track that currently exists will be usable as is but there are portions on Mike Popek's property that he would like to realign to protect his ability to use his property. The trail that exists to the north will remain as is. The USFS will do trail building and maintenance on the portion that is on USFS property.

Conservation Service Corp

. . . a group of usually young people that do trail work around the region. You may have seen them camping at the Matterhorn station. They do quite a lot of work in this area. The grant would pay for their services but the Rico Trail's Alliance may want to build the portion of the trail that will be realigned on Popek's property with volunteers. It should not be a difficult project.

Environmental Assessment

Typically the team that provides the EA will have someone that can do wetlands delineations, someone that has knowledge of threatened and endangered species and an archeologist that can fulfill the requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Dolores River Bridge Location

The best place to put the bridge is where the historic railroad bridge was.


If the Town gets funding from Parks and Wildlife, the Town would be responsible for maintenance on Popek's property. The USFS takes care of trails on their property.

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US Forest Service - San Juan National Forest lands west of Highway 145 extend south of Rico to the Dolores County line. Map adapted from Dolores County Property Records Search. Labels added by Ore Cart.