Road Woes Hit Rural Thoroughfares in Teller County

Patience, patience and more patience, please, as our guys and gals from Teller road crews are doing the best they can under difficult circumstances.


And believe it or not, thank God we have gravel roads, as new paving costs have gone through the roof. But fret not, some significant infrastructure projects are in store for this summer along key thoroughfares.


These were some of the main messages delivered last week by the Teller County commissioners and the head administrator during their regular meeting, when the touchy subject of road improvements and enhancements came up.


In response to a volley of complaints made on social media outlets, both Commission Chairman Erik Stone and Commission Vice-Chairman Bob Campbell stood behind the performance of the public works department


They told the media and residents that regular grading and maintenance has been delayed somewhat due to the severe storms and flood conditions that has confronted the region.


After a super dry period, Mother Nature took a drastic wet curve and trounced the region with weather that was comparable to the Pacific Northwest. Daily rain storms have pelted Teller County, creating flash flood conditions on a regular basis.


Stone admitted that the agency, which has already suffered from a shortage of personnel, is still tending to many calls for emergency situations in local neighborhoods in combating flooding problems and drainage nightmares, and doing an endless amount of culvert repairs. He expects the road crews to return to their normal maintenance schedule shortly.


Similar views were echoed by Teller County Administrator Ross Herzog. “The roads are a little wet,” said Herzog. “I appreciate everyone’s patience.” The Teller administrators expects a big turnaround as the area starts to dry out, which usually occurs every June.


He also cautioned residents who favor more roadways to get paved, the financial implications of this possibility. Herzog and the commissioners estimate paving costs at $1 million per mile, making such prospects really difficult, unless grant dollars are available


As an example, the commissioners approved a contract last week for a half-mile of major improvements on Teller 3, with a cost of close to $600,000.


Despite these financial hurdles, Stone, who also serves with the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, said residents can expect to see a resurfacing of Hwy. 24 this year.


In addition, more improvements are expected for part of Hwy. 24 in the Florissant Canyon area.


Code Enforcement Complaints Escalate

Besides showing a little patience towards road improvements, the county administrator asked for patience from residents in addressing code enforcement concerns.


Herzog told the commissioners that the county is receiving many more complaints regarding trash and junk cars. Under a relatively new nuisance ordinance, these complaints can now be anonymous, opening the door for rural homeowners to complain about how a fellow neighbor is tending to their property, regarding a collection of trash, junk cars and old construction equipment.


With its new policy, these complaints will be reviewed by the sheriff’s department, which now has a code enforcement division. “They aren’t happy with how some of these yards are kept,” said Herzog, who cited a big increase in these types of code enforcement concerns. When the county passed its nuisance ordinance last year, many residents sought tougher enforcement action.