Over $378,000 in federal grant money secured for The Lift | SkyHiNews.com

Over $378,000 in federal grant money secured for The Lift

The Lift, Fraser and Winter Park's free transit service, received an almost $400,000 grant from the federal government.

Winter Park’s regional bus system, The Lift, received almost $400,000 from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to fund operations.

On Tuesday, the Winter Park Town Council approved a resolution accepting $378,106 for the operations of The Lift bus system, which began to see declining revenues and ridership during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It pays for everything for the system for operating expenses,” Transit Manager Micheal Koch explained. “This should get us through a few months. It will help us maintain our service for the area.”

The transit department is estimated to lose around $1 million from COVID-19, according to Winter Park officials. The grant doesn’t require matching dollars and would cover all operating costs, including for Fraser and Granby. The towns will still have to pay a management fee for The Lift to cover staff time and other coordination efforts.

Winter Park’s transit system may get another boost when the Colorado Department of Transportation allocates the second round of funding.

In other business:

  • Council approved the second reading of an ordinance allowing boutique hotels in the town’s C-1 zoning area, which consists of Old Town Winter Park. 
  • Council approved a second resolution to amend the Winter Park Fraser Chamber of Commerce’s budget to reduce it by $331,100. The chamber announced in May that it would cancel all its summer events due to the coronavirus and focus on an experience passport highlighting local businesses. As a result, the town reduced the budget accordingly. Previously, the town had reduced the chamber’s budget by $100,000, which was donated to the Grand Foundation’s Small Business Emergency Grant Fund. The $331,100 reduction will go to the town’s general fund.
  • Winter Park is hosting a community cleanup through Friday with free supplies available at the town hall. Participants get the chance to win a $50 gift card to a local business of their choice.
  • An open house for connecting Kings Crossing Road to Grand Park Drive near the railroad underpass will be held at the town hall at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. A zoom link is available for participants on the town’s website.

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