Fundraising events planned for Stone Bridge

By: 
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     There were roughly 20 people present at the May 16 Ely’s Stone Bridge meeting held in the Monticello Community Building. The majority of those in attendance were members of the Friends of Stone Bridge and/or the Stone Bridge Foundation.

     Rose Rohr with Jones County Historic Preservation led the discussion and announced that the Commission has plans to put up gates on either end of the bridge so that pedestrians and bicyclists could still utilize the bridge. Right now, the county has barriers placed on both ends of Stone Bridge to keep traffic off the structure.

     “We’re working with Theisen’s to get the gates at a discount price,” shared Rohr. The Commission plans to purchase four gates, placing two at each end.

     About a month ago, the Board of Supervisors voted to sell the bridge to the Commission for $1. That formal transaction and all of the legal work involved has not taken place as of now.

     “Nothing is finalized at this point,” Rohr told those in the crowd.

     Aside from the gates, Rohr said the Commission would like to see the curbing repaired on the bridge right away.

     “That will make a difference for water drainage issues,” she said.

     One of the options for the project would involve having the University of Colorado do the work, donating the labor. Materials would cost over $7,000.

     Another option would be for the Commission to hire a contractor to follow Colorado’s specs and plans.

     “We need to keep this thing moving,” said Rohr.

     She stipulated that the Commission does not have the funds for projects like this; that’s where the Friends and Foundation come in who are raising the money.

     “We know the community wants this,” Rohr said, pointing to the almost 2,000 signatures that were gathered on petitions earlier this year. “It’s our responsibility as Preservation to do everything (we can) to preserve the bridge.”

     Rohr said repairs and fundraising would not happen over night.

     “It has to be a community fundraiser to make this happen.”

     Several events are planned throughout 2017 to help raise money for the bridge, including a dinner, live music and auction on Sept. 15 at the Monticello Eagles Club.

     “A lot of the work can be done in phases because we have to raise the money,” Rohr explained.

     “We need to get the people of Monticello behind us to fundraise,” commented Mary Tschantz. “Community fundraisers in the past have been successful.”

     Rohr outlined three issues concerning Stone Bridge that need to be addressed:

     • 475 feet of right-of-way has to be acquired in order to maintain the bridge and to get equipment on site when it comes time for repairs.

     • The community should have the ability to utilize the bridge to walk, run or bike.

     • There needs to be a confirmation that the Commission will own, manage and maintain the bridge before donations continue to come in.

     Rohr said any funds that are raised at this point in time will go toward the bridge itself, not ideas such as a neighboring park near the bridge.

     “None of that we’ll do until the bridge is fixed,” she said.

     The Foundation is now an official 501c3 for those who wish to donate. There is also an account for donations at F&M Bank in Monticello, as well as a Go Fund Me page at “Ely’s Stone Bridge.”

     “It’s going to take everyone who cares about the bridge to make it happen,” expressed Rohr. “Every bit counts.”

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