Judge dismisses lawsuit over Fraser rec district election | SkyHiNews.com
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Judge dismisses lawsuit over Fraser rec district election

Stephanie Miller
Sky-Hi News

The lawsuit filed by Grand County resident Patrick Rupert against the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District was dismissed in court last week, said the district’s executive director, Cyndy Flores.

The district’s attorney sent a letter to Rupert stating that it will pursue professional fees and court costs if he decides to appeal the judge’s decision.

“Our first bill was about $6,000,” Flores said.

The district had not heard back from Rupert as of last night. He has 45 days to appeal.

Rupert is suing board president Jim Fox as representative of the district, along with Grand County Clerk Sara Rosene as representative of the Clerk and Recorder’s office, and Mike Coffman, Colorado Secretary of State.

Rupert believes that by conducting the elections at the Grand County Courthouse, the voting for the Community Enhancement Project took place outside the “political subdivision” and therefore required written permission from the Secretary of State. In the lawsuit, it states that in light of the violations of Rule 12.9.2, the election results should be decertified.

– Pole Creek leans toward its own restaurant

The unexpected revenue loss from the Wild Horse restaurant at Pole Creek last summer put the final loss at the golf course at roughly $43,000 instead of the estimated loss of about $30,000 in the 2007 projections.

Chris French, owner of the Wild Horse Restaurant at Pole Creek, decided not to run her restaurant at Pole Creek Golf Course again this summer.

The restaurant had a revenue loss last summer, although customer service was improved overall.

“I’m clear in my own mind … we delivered what we were asked to do. But for seasonal operations to do a high quality job, it’s a very costly endeavor,” French said at last night’s meeting. “It was not profitable for us or the rec. district this year for the amount of work, time and energy.”

French added that it was never really clear to her what the district was trying to do with the facility.

“It’s unclear to me whether the golf course and the rec. district uses the restaurant as an amenity to the golf course, or do we want the restaurant as a draw to the community? In my humble opinion, the golf course and the rec. district should be running its own facility,” she said. “I encourage you to consider (it).”

French also proposed to the district that it contract her services to help with the transition of a new restaurant in the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

Fox said the improvement in service and the quality of food was due to French, and thanked her for her work and proposal. The board of directors decided to discuss her proposal and get back to her.

After French left the meeting, it was agreed Larry Burks, general manager of Pole Creek, would pursue the idea of the golf course running its own restaurant.

“If we choose to operate the restaurant ourselves, I can get that ball rolling very soon,” Burks said.

Mary Moynihan, golf shop manager, added that her and Burks have been talking about running the restaurant themselves for two years.

“If you rent it out, we’re back in the same boat ” we’d lose control of what we want in there,” she said. “We have a good idea of what that picture looks like.”

This season, because of the construction of the clubhouse, will be shorter than most, Moynihan added. They contemplated hiring new restaurant managers after the clubhouse is completed; it will then be run year-round.

Community Enhancement Projects

Flores told the board of directors that the selection process for both owner’s representation and architectural design went very well. The selection committee for the architects recommended all three projects to be designed by Sink Combs. The board is moving forward with the negotiations, but no contract has been rewarded so far.

Mill levy generates more revenue

The 2008 budget will be amended, Flores said, due to a change in the amount of property taxes the district will collect next year.

“I did convince the state of Colorado that we are not subject to 5.5 percent growth, so we did increase our property tax revenues,” she said.

Flores explained that the mill levy does not change, but the district will be able to collect $712,000 instead of $646,000 from property taxes.

A real estate deal?

The board floated an idea proposed by Clark Lipscomb, president of Grand Park, to offer an additional $500,000 for a bigger clubhouse at Pole Creek Golf Course in exchange for a real estate office in that building for five years. After five years, the clubhouse would belong solely to the district.

Pete Strohecker, secretary and treasurer for the district, said it was a good idea, but expressed some caution.

“I think we have to be careful with the private sector and the public sector,” Strohecker said. “We want to make sure we make it look right legally.”

The board agreed the proposal would have to be advertised in the paper and made into a contractual agreement, but saw nothing obviously wrong with the proposal. Fox proposed $750,000 as a starting point for negotiations.

Strohecker added one more caveat.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing ” that we’ll have this space and they can advertise their real estate. I just don’t want it to look like (customers) get hustled into real estate.”

– Update on parks and recreation

A 22 foot diameter tee-pee will be constructed at the Fraser Valley Sports Complex, said Scott Ledin, director of parks and recreation ” thanks to a grant. The teepee will contain signage about the history of the Arapaho community.

Ledin also met with the town of Fraser and the Fraser Sanitation District to discuss the infrastructure at the sports complex. Sewer is not a problem, he said, but there are obstacles with getting water taps to that area.

Fraser can’t provide water taps because the property is not within town boundaries.

The district cannot currently annex into the town because there are two private property owners that lie between the town and the complex. Those property owners would need to annex into the town, Ledin said.

The design for the project can move forward, Ledin added, but “there’s things we need to work through.

“We’re on a timeline to spend this money,” Fox reminded the board and staff, referring to the bond money for the community enhancement projects.


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