Fraser Rec District chips in for trail to Sports Complex
Sky-Hi Daily News
A proposed trail to link the Town of Fraser with the Fraser Outdoor Sports Complex took a significant step forward at Tuesday’s meeting of the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District.
In a unanimous vote, the district’s board of directors approved $16,500 in funds toward the purchase of land for the proposed trail.
Rec District Director Scott Ledin presented the request for the funds, which would be a cash match for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant being sought for the land purchase by the Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails. Of the total sum approved, $14,500 will be for the cash match while another $2,000 will be spent on a land appraisal for the purchase.
Also participating in the project with either funding or in-kind services are Grand County and the Town of Fraser.
With the funding apparently secured, negotiations on finalizing the purchase can now be made. The Union Pacific Railroad owns the property and is asking $80,000 for the land.
If the deal is successful, the railroad company will sell a 35-foot-wide strip of land from the Professional Building in Fraser to the intersection of County Road 5. The proposed trail will be built between and parallel the existing railroad tracks and U.S. Highway 40.
Ledin explained the trail is essential to give walkers and bikers a safe route from the town to the Outdoor Sports Complex.
Rec District Board President Dan McConnell agreed, saying it frightens him to see children walking and biking down the highway to get to and from that sports facility.
In a related matter to the Fraser Outdoor Sports Complex, district resident Melanie Zwick asked the board to fulfill one of the provisions of last November’s bond issue pertaining to improving that facility.
While emphasizing she disagreed with the board on the bond and the ongoing controversy over the recreation center, Zwick said the bond promised to improve the “health and safety” of the sports complex. If they are serious about that, she suggested the district spend some of the bond money on “cleaning up the dog poop” and preventing people from letting their dogs “run loose.”
McConnell said he agreed something needs to be done, but hoped people would “keep their dogs on leashes” and would be “responsible for their dogs.” He also hoped the district would not be forced to hire someone to be “out there with a pooper scooper.”
While no one else directly spoke about the controversy over the recreation center at Tuesday’s meeting, McConnell said he read a letter to the editor in Tuesday’s Sky-Hi Daily News in which a Concerned Citizens member said his group supports its construction. McConnell said he “hoped they would continue to support its construction.”
In recent weeks, the Concerned Citizens have argued against its construction on land donated by the Grand Park development and have threatened a recall of Rec District Board members who approved the contract.
In a report by Austin Watson of ARC, construction of the recreation center is progressing with the installation of footers and other site preparation. Over the next two months, the work will include the construction of masonry walls, electric and gas service installation, steel deliveries and the pouring of floor slabs.
ARC’s Ryan Smelker told the board that construction of the new clubhouse at the Pole Creek Golf Course is also making progress. The golf course will officially close Oct. 12. Demolition of the old clubhouse is slated for Oct. 20.
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