Gold Hill community center work now seen in January

       Work continues on the first filing of the Gold Hill Mesa development, but a shortage of water pipe and refinancing issues slowed construction efforts for awhile this fall, pushing the planned pouring of the new community center's foundation back to January.
       “We'll start on the foundation before the end of January, guaranteed,” pledged Robert Willard, who heads up the limited liability corporation (LLC) that's developing the 214-acre residential-commercial project on the site of the former gold mill off Highway 24 and 21st Street.
       Also moving to the right on the schedule will be construction of 12 model homes, which had been planned for completion (in conjunction with the community center) in time for a public grand-opening event this spring. Now the opening is predicted for August, Willard said in an interview this week.
       He said he could not provide information about the refinancing at this time, because a closing was yet to take place. The water- pipe delay stemmed mainly from the hurricanes o n the Gulf Coast, which affected supplies, he said.
       Filing 1 is to have 168 homes. Located just north of Lower Gold Camp Road, it is one of two filings in Phase 1 of the project. Some of the grading activities have also gone into the Filing 2 area, which is immediately to the west and near 21st Street.
       Storm drain work has been continuing for Filing 1, with water lines starting to go in. “We're getting back our momentum,” Willard said.
       In related news, he frankly admitted that although air-quality monitoring information is not yet available for Nov. 3 - the day of the 80-mph winds that knocked out power and uprooted some trees - he is “absolutely positive” the winds kept the site from meeting air quality standards that day.
       The main air-quality control measure Gold Hill Mesa uses is watering trucks to wet the dust and keep it from blowing. However, on Nov. 3, the winds were so strong that the water was blowing back up into the truck, he said. The LLC had also invested in a type of dust control that caps the dust, at a cost of $2,000 an acre, but in many places the wind “blew the cap right off,” Willard said. In addition, all but 20 feet of his fence got knocked down by the mighty gusts.
       In the initial air-quality results from mid-March to June, the limits were never exceeded, according to the site's monitoring data.

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