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G-Hill road will be improved instead of blocked

 

By Megan Batterman 

Staff writer

8-11-2016

 

GUNNISON—Protracted discussion about how to handle dust and noise stemming from the use of OHVs on a trail to “G” hill appears to have reached a solution.

At a regular meeting city council meeting Wednesday, Aug. 3, which was held in a park complete with a hot dog roast for the public, Councilman Blaine Jensen made a motion to rescind a previous vote that called for a locked gate be installed at the foot of the hill in order to control dust and traffic.

The council unanimously voted to rescind that decision, made last year, and a motion was made in favor of repairing the road instead of installing a gate designed to keep the community away from the “G”.

“The needs of the few did need to be heard,” Mayor Bruce Blackham said while addressing the crowd gathered at the park. “Part of the solution was a lot of discussion, and if dust is the issue, let’s put down road base and improve the road. That negates the need for a gate.”

Kelly Fewkes, a resident, said the proposed solution doesn’t get at the root of a concern he said he shares others in the community.

“A lot of us are sensitive in this town to a lot of projects that are done without much public input or comment,” he said.

Blackham, in response Fewkes, reminded the crowd that a motion had been made and passed by the council to pave the road in question. Though several citizens remain unhappy with the decision, Blackham said the chip seal is necessary and will allow the road to remain open to all who wish to visit the “G”.

Pilgrimages to the monument have been a tradition in the valley for well over 100 years Robert Andersen, a councilman, said.

Andersen said he is thrilled that the road will be fixed and remain open. The tradition of taking visitors, children and grandchildren to see the “G” is an important one, Andersen said. He said he has an extra bit of nostalgia for the hill since it was the location where he proposed to his wife.

The city does not own the entire road but promised to put down road base on the section that is city-owned.