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In a collaborative step between Chaffee County and the town of Buena Vista, Buena Vista Trustees unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement during their Sept. 25 meeting, allowing the town to share engineering services with the county. Motion to approve was made by Trustee Libby Fay, seconded by Trustee Lawanna Best, and unanimously passed.  Approval was as an amended resolution, striking the county’s written reference that the agreement supports the county’s Housing Policy Advisory Committee. Trustees noted that although they support HPAC, it shouldn’t be included in the agreement.

The agreement will allow Buena Vista, which has experienced significant growth over the past two years, to access much-needed support for engineering services from the county’s Department of Engineering Services. According to Town Planner Mark Doering, the total number of dwelling units built in 2018 has already topped 60, not including the 48 units coming online with the Collegiate Commons project.

“The county has hired a full-time development engineer, Gary Greiner. This is a great local resource,” said Town Administrator Phillip Puckett. “They have offered to support the town for engineering services on an hourly basis. This would supplement our current contractor. Oftentimes, we just need someone to look at something quickly – like a feasibility under an underpass or a sign on the highway.”

Trustee David Volpe asked if there were any risk for the town in using county engineering services outside the town’s usual engineering contracts.”

“No,” said Doering. “As long as the engineer has a PE (professional engineer) after their name, they are registered by the state. When they sign (a project), it’s their license on the line.”

“Working with the county on future projects offers us some good insights – combining resources is a good idea,” said Public Works Director Shawn Williams. “We can get creative cost-effective solutions.”

The county still has to approve the amended IGA. “This would strengthen our relationship with the county,” said Mayor Duff Lacy.