At Norwood’s most recent monthly Town Board of Trustees meeting, officials looked at a land use code document from the Planning & Zoning (P&Z) board regarding sidewalks and roads. Town administrator Patti Grafmyer said she was asking trustees to look over the document, which needed to be sent back to P&Z afterward with feedback.
Grafmyer indicated the document contained information the board had discussed earlier, regarding curbs and gutters, along with the chip-seal process.
Public works director Tim Lippert said he didn’t want the chip-seal process to be taken out of Norwood’s land use code. He told trustees he wanted to clear up the misconception about chip-seal, including the “history and what’s it about.”
Lippert said when he came to Norwood 30 years ago most of the roads were dirt roads, and the town had no money to work on them. He said town staff asked him to find ways to fix the roads, but he only had a road grader and a $500 budget.
Soon after, county officials said they wanted to help Norwood with the chip-seal process, as a measure for dust control and to work with mud on the streets. Lippert said the county did the work at cost and soon offered to double their budget for chip-seal to help Norwood.
Lippert said it was only a matter of time before the county was able to chip-seal the whole town.
He said when the Town of Norwood adopted standards, got asphalt and began working on drainage, chip-seal became required with new construction. He added CDOT is using chip-seal to spray new asphalt to “add life” to it.
He said it’s important to know chip-seal isn’t pavement. He said it’s a gooey, pliable substance. Asphalt on the other hand, is “hard and brittle” though porous. He said rain and moisture, combined with freezing temperatures, can deteriorate asphalt. Chip-seal acts like a sealant for it.
He said Norwood typically does the chip seal work around local subdivisions.
“It keeps moisture out,” he said.
He added that San Miguel County’s support has been great for the town.
“They have done us a really good job, I hate to see that go away,” he said. “I hate to see it take a step backward.”
The last two years, due to various reasons with the chip-seal company, no chip-seal work has taken place locally.
Carrie Andrew, director of Lone Cone Library, spoke up at the May meeting. She said she’s still upset about the road by the library being chip-sealed two years ago. She said it was a brand new road and didn’t need the chip-seal work done. She said it was a waste of taxpayer money to have completed that work.
“Other roads needed it more than mine,” she said. “We went thru $60,000 of taxpayer money that was chip-sealed over in six months. That is why I keep bringing it up.”
Grafmyer told trustees that the P&Z board was only presenting options in the document. She said the document doesn’t have to remove chip-seal altogether from the land use code.
“It doesn’t have to be taken out of the land use code completely,” Grafmyer said.
Trustees approved the letter from P&Z and moved forward with the document. The town board awaits additional communication from P&Z.