West End park and rec plan approved
The Grand County Board of Commissioners has approved a revised service plan for a proposed park and recreation district in west Grand County.
Petitioners brought the Three Rivers Park and Recreation District service plan before the board again on Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 4, after an exclusion for the district’s largest property holder forced it to revisit its mission and financial plan.
Climax Molybdenum Company, which owns more than 50 percent of the taxable property within the district, requested that commissioners exclude it from the district.
Colorado Revised Statutes provide that, had the exclusion request been refused, Climax would have the power to stop the district’s formation as the majority holder of taxable property, leaving the district’s petitioners in a catch-22.
The revised service plan presented on Aug. 4 reflected that exclusion in a more than 70 percent reduction in the district’s projected 2017 budget, bringing it from $766,799.70 to $201,000.00, according to the plan.
The district, which would share its boundary with West Grand School District, was originally intended to oversee the construction of a swimming pool in Kremmling.
It has since shifted its mission to coordinating recreational programs and services in the western half of the county, according to the plan.
The new plan also reduces the district’s operation and maintenance mill levy from 4.21 to 3.5, which would raise around $175,000 per year, the plan states.
The mill would fund one full-time recreation director position and two part-time positions.
The district’s petitioners previously stated that they would explore other funding avenues in addition the mill levy, including grants and donations.
The plan does away with a 2.04 debt service mill levy first proposed to help finance the $4 million pool facility.
However, the plan reserves the district’s right to finance and construct recreational facilities in the future.
Voters would have to approve any future debt service mill levy, according to the plan.
County staff found that there was a sufficient existing and projected need for the district in its proposed area, said Senior Planner Bill Gray. Staff also found that existing services in the area were inadequate for meeting present and projected needs.
“I think overall this service plan has the potential to stimulate good community development for West Grand County,” Gray said.
Before approving the plan, Commissioner Kris Manguso said she wanted to clarify that the issue of forming the district was ultimately up to voters.
“This is just allowing it to go to the vote and saying it complies with those statutory requirements,” Manguso said.
The Grand County District Court must now approve the service plan.
Then the district’s organization, board of directors and operation and maintenance mill will go before voters.
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Editor’s note: The following letter to the community was submitted to the Sky-Hi News by Winter Park Mayor Nick Kutrumbos.