Key items in limbo for Fraser ice rink |

Key items in limbo for Fraser ice rink

by Reid Armstrong
Sky-Hi Daily News
Fraser, CO Colorado

With construction under way on the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District’s new concession stand and ice rink, the full scope of the project is still up in the air as the board of directors waits for word from several organizations regarding major grants and donations.

The project budget has climbed from $1.2 million to $1.8 million thanks, in part, to several grants and private donations that have increased the scope of the project.

“We’ve raised $500,000 in alternative funding for this project,” said Parks and Recreation Director Scott Ledin at the board’s July 27 meeting. “That’s almost a third of our total project.”

With the formation of the new Fraser Valley Hockey Association, which will operate as a separate entity under the umbrella of the Rec District – similar to the soccer association, comes the promise of nearly $60,000 in donations and fundraising.

The major missing piece is word on a $250,000 grant from the Sprout Foundation. The foundation requested more information about the project from district staff last month and has promised a decision by Aug. 10. Without that grant, the district may be at a loss for funds to erect the metal cover it has on order.

There also is currently no funding for the heat and chiller tubes, which would improve the quality of the ice and extend the length of the season. Construction is nearing a point when a decision will have to be made on installing these now or retrofitting the rink with them at a later date and much greater cost.

The board is also waiting to decide whether to buy new dasher boards or recycled ones.

“I like this type of phased-in approach because we can make these decisions down the road,” said board member John Kacik.

Several boards members said they feel comfortable proceeding since there is a safety net in the district’s reserve funds, although none of the board members were prepared to formally commit any of those funds.

“Similar to the rec center project, it’s a bit heart stopping at times … but eventually it all comes through,” said board President Dan O’Connell.

Adding that the board tends to be “a bit conservative,” O’Connell said: “We’ve been doing it for a while. It’s not taking risks, it’s managing the day to day business.”

The project is still scheduled for completion in November.

The board directed Ledin to analyze the reserve funds of similar recreation districts and to bring a report to the board to help determine what a healthy reserve fund would be for the Fraser Valley district.

This year’s budget counted on a $200,000 loss at the rec center. Based on current trends, the rec center appears to be on track to make money rather than lose money. This would help grow the district’s reserves for future capital expenditures and maintenance of its facilities in future years.

The board also approved a donation of a 20-punch rec center pass to each Grand Pass for the 2011-2012 season. The district already donates four rounds of golf per medallion. The medallions are a major fundraiser for the Grand Foundation, which in turn supports many of the district’s projects. The Grand Pass and Grand Pass Patron provide many benefits including unlimited skiing at Winter Park Resort, SolVista, Devils Thumb Ranch, Snow Mountain Ranch, Grand Lake Touring Center, Latigo Ranch, passes to all four golf courses in the county, entrance to the area’s three rodeos, Colorado Adventure Park passes as well as numerous retailer and restaurant discounts around the county.

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