Fraser Rec District asks town to waive building fees
Scott Ledin came to Fraser’s board of trustees last night representing the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District, asking the town to potentially wave special use and building fees for the community recreation center.
“We’re doing everything we can for alternative funding for the project. We feel there were important pieces left out of the budget,” Ledin said.
Such as a climbing wall, an indoor walking track, and an addition to the pool which would provide a four-lane lap pool for competitions. The projects were not part of the original proposal, but the district wants to include them in the center, he explained.
Ledin went on to say a $300,000 grant was received from the Lennox Foundation, and $15,000 was secured from private funding. The addition to the pool cost about $600,000, and additional grants are being pursued.
“We’re looking for help in any way possible to help reduce fees where possible,” he said.
In response to a question by a trustee, Ledin said the project has no shortfalls at this time. Town Manager Jeff Durbin decided to place the item on the agenda for the next meeting as a discussion item.
A 5-acre agreement
Layla Rosales, who represents a land planning and development consulting firm for Grand Park, presented to a motion to the board Wednesday night that didn’t sit well with trustees.
Since Grand Park is donating 4.8 acres in the Village at Grand Park to the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District for the recreation center, and the land Grand Park is donating was annexed into the town of Fraser years ago, Grand Park asked that the donation satisfy the 5-acre public dedication requirement listed as part of Grand Park’s annexation agreement with Fraser.
This, said Mayor Pro-Tem Steve Sumrall, was not the original agreement. The 5 acres is supposed to be a donation to the town for public use, but according to Sumrall and other trustee members, it was never discussed what that public use would be.
No one denied that a recreation center wasn’t a good, public use; but Sumrall stated he was “angry” because it was never agreed upon by the town and Grand Park that the land be used for the center.
“The thing is, you should’ve asked,” Sumrall said heatedly.
Now, it is after elections, Sumrall pointed out, and he feels like the town is being “blackmailed,” because if it said no, it would stop something that is already in motion.
“Why didn’t you clear that up before the election?” Sumrall asked Clark Lipscomb, president of Grand Park Development. “I repeatedly asked whether or not the 5 acres that the recreation district would use was the 5 acres the town originally talked about.”
Lipscomb said he did not recall Sumrall asking those questions.
Sumrall asked why Fraser should subsidize another political entity, meaning the district. He also asked why Fraser should give up a 5-acre facility that will be used by all the residents inside the district, from Red Dirt Hill to the outer limits of Winter Park.
“I don’t disagree (with the project), just the way it was done,” Sumrall added. “It is an economic benefit, but we’re also being asked to contribute more than rest of recreation district citizens.”
Lipscomb said he had “no clue” the town wouldn’t want a recreation center as part of the 5-acre dedication, and that he thought Fraser would be “very thankful” that the center will be in the town. Trustee members said he was missing the point.
“You’re twisting our intent and we resent it,” said Trustee Vesta Shapiro.
After further discussion, Lipscomb decided to take the item off the table. Trustee members were pleased with that decision.
Town ponies up for more recycling
Durbin gave a synopsis on the meeting he attend Monday regarding a recycling for the county, and explained that the bid by The Trash Company, which included a county-wide recycling program for roughly $310,000 a year, would work if all entities participate.
But since Kremmling already has a recycling program, and Grand Lake still uses Valley Recycles, the towns of Fraser, Winter Park and the county would end up footing the bill. Given that the Fraser Valley is estimated to spend about $144,000 on recycling a year (based on the number of bins hauled by Valley Recycles when it was still in operation at the East Grand Fire Department site), that would be an expensive endeavor, Durbin pointed out.
He said Winter Park would agree to the bid if the other towns did as well, but that may not be in the cards. He asked what the board thought of other funding mechanisms, such as a county-wide tax, or putting money toward a volunteer program for the Fraser Valley.
As trustees discussed pros and cons, Durbin pointed out that the Grand County Landfill has some of the highest tipping fees in the state. He pondered if some of those fees could be dedicated to recycling. At the recycling meeting, Grand County Commissioner Gary Bumgarner shook his head at the idea, but Durbin suggested last night that perhaps there is a way to use those fees towards recycling.
Sumrall agreed he’d rather have a user fee fund recycling from those who are generating it. Durbin also said he’s not comfortable donating a large amount of money to recycling from the town’s general fund.
Whatever the long term solution will be, the board agreed to pay for another three months to keep the current recycling bins at the landfill until a better solution is found.
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