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County, town to reimburse Skaters Coalition

The Skaters Coalition for Concrete will be reimbursed up to $11,000 for expenses incurred for a proposed skatepark, thanks to decisions by both the Town of Pagosa Springs Town Council and the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners.

Following suit with council, the BoCC agreed Tuesday to repay the SCC up to $5,500 for expenses incurred by the group during multiple location changes for a proposed skatepark. The money will come from the 1A Parks and Recreation Fund.

Council voted at its Feb. 18 meeting to reimburse the SCC up to $11,000 for the expenses incurred, with the town portion being half.

The SCC paid for the geotechnical evaluations and design work on multiple previous proposed sites. The skatepark is now slated to be built in Yamaguchi Park.

“The Skaters Coalition for Concrete is a passionate group of citizens that have been working diligently over the last few years to raise funds for the construction of the skate park,” said county Special Projects Manager Karin Kohake in her request to the BoCC.

“I think the Skaters Coalition has done a good job, but I guess I’ve kind of stirred this pot,” said Commissioner Bob Moomaw. The Feb. 18 site change was prompted by a suggestion from Moomaw and discussions between the BoCC and council. “I think this a reasonable request.”

The most recent site change also made it impossible to meet the March 2 Greater Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant deadline. The town will now focus on an August GOCO deadline.

Commissioner Clifford Lucero asked Kohake what the extent of her future involvement with the grant application would be, stating, “We just don’t want to see any more wrenches thrown in this process.”

Kohake noted that, as a co-applicant for the grant, the county would continue to be involved and push toward the August deadline and vowed, “There will be no more wrenches.”

“As disappointing as it was to not meet that March deadline, by moving it, it will reduce the cost of the skatepark,” Kohake said. “It also gives six months to raise even more funds, if need be.”

Before leaving the subject behind, Commissioner John Ranson asked that the BoCC be able to consider funding a potential shortfall of $32,050 at the March 16 BoCC meeting. At a Feb. 18 joint town and county work session, County Administrator Greg Schulte indicated the county may be able to cover the possible shortfall.

Based on an earlier request for information for a previous Yamaguchi location and design, the town estimated the budget for the skatepark at $361,350 by averaging the high and low estimates received. The projected shortfall is $32,050.

If the GOCO grant were awarded for the project, construction is projected to begin in the spring of 2011.

In addition to the reimbursement, the BoCC considered a number of other business items:

• The board approved a public works department invitation for bids for the paving of Aspenglow and Handicap avenues, with the addition of Carlee Place as a bid alternate should the bids “be acceptable.”

While the project is still in late planning stages and the design should be complete in three to four weeks, Public Works Director Ken Feyen noted that, by gaining approval now, the project would be able to be put out to bid sooner in the spring, hopefully allowing for a better price.

“I’m just looking forward to getting another good paving project done,” Moomaw said.

“I’m just excited, too, to get some more paving done and move forward with this project,” Lucero said.

• Also concerning roads, the BoCC approved putting out a bid request for the purchase of the county’s magnesium chloride supply for 2010.

In 2009, the county purchased around 730,000 gallons, allowing for 164 miles of road to be treated in two different applications, said Dave Guilliams, road and bridge superintendent.

The department hopes to increase that amount in 2010, with Guilliams reporting that the aim is to treat about 182 miles, with 498,000 gallons in the first applications and, depending on amount of gravel placed on roads, about 381,000 gallons applied in August.

Guilliams said the request is about three weeks behind schedule, but that the department should still be able to apply the substance on time.

• Based on a recommendation from the PROST task force, the BoCC granted $8,000 from the 1A small grants fund to the Humane Society for the construction of a community dog park at the Society’s Cloman Industrial Park location.

The dog park, which will be built in two phases, will start at one acre, which will be fenced and attended by Humane Society employees and volunteers, but will be available to the general public.

The second phase will add a second acre, with the idea that one side of the dog park will be for larger dogs and the other for smaller dogs. In phase one, the acre will be split into areas for the larger and for the smaller-sized dogs.

Humane Society Executive Director Robbie Schwartz said the total cost of the dog park is $30-35,000 for the one acre and, to allow time to apply for more grants, Schwartz is hoping to start construction this summer.

•?Five members were appointed to the newly-restructured County Tourism Commission (see related article).

• A resolution passed accepting a deed to an easement across the Seibel property on Lake Forest Circle.

“The road known as Lake Forest Circle may not be exactly where it’s supposed to be or where it was originally thought to be,” said County Attorney Todd Starr, adding that the purpose of the easement is to help correct the problem to avoid future issues with the location of the road, as well as allowing space for the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners’ Association to place a possible trail alongside the road.

• The board approved an invitation for bids for the North Apron Rehabilitation Project at the Archuleta County Airport.

The project will resurface an area of 20,000 square feet that is used for aircraft parking and tiedown.

Airport Manager Bill McKown said the project is funded mainly by two CDOT grants, one for about $44,000 and the other for about $235,000. A $69,000 county match was worked into the airport’s 2010 budget. Total cost for the project is about $349,000.

Construction is scheduled to begin on or around June 1 and should take about 30 days, McKown said.

• In a report to the commissioners by Mike Ward, secretary, and Barbara Parada, president, of the Timber Ridge Homeowners Association, Ward and Parada requested the BoCC to look into the possibility of aiding in the HOA’s road maintenance responsibility.

“We have the roads dedicated to public use, but the homeowners association is doing all the maintenance,” said Ward, adding, “Our request is simply if we can come to some arrangement to share some of the maintenance.”

Parada added that perhaps the county could help with a percentage of the costs, with a cap at a certain amount.

County Attorney Todd Starr asked whether the HOA intended for the county to help with all subdivision roads or just Bristlecone Drive, the main thoroughfare through the subdivision, to which Parada and Ward’s answers varied. Parada answered all, while Ward answered only Bristlecone, but noted that all the roads were dedicated to public use and Bristlecone was in the worst shape.

Schulte asked if the suggestion in the HOA’s memo to the BoCC of gating the community was still on the table, with an answer of yes.

The BoCC then directed staff to look into a variety of options including secondary snow removal, aiding in crack sealing, gating and others, with hopes to revisit the subject in April.

Perhaps a factor in a BoCC decision — a moratorium established in the 1990s banned accepting new roads into the county road maintenance system. The moratorium remains in effect.

The next regular BoCC regular meeting is scheduled for March 16 at 1:30 p.m. in the commissioners’ meeting room in the courthouse.

randi@pagosasun.com