September 4, 2009

$150,000 grant proposal for Bailey's McGraw Park to be submitted

Lynda James

Park County's Board of County Commissioners approved a Great Outdoors Colorado grant proposal for improvements at McGraw Park in Bailey on Aug. 27 and signed an agreement to manage the grant, if it is awarded, with the Park County Historical Society, which owns the park.

The grant application is for approximately $150,000 and requires a 10 percent cash match as well as in-kind contributions.

Director of Tourism and Community Development Gary Nichols said this is the first GOCO grant application the county has submitted on behalf of another organization. All GOCO grants, by law, must be submitted by a local government.

According to Nichols, Susan Lambert of the Destination Bailey committee of the Platte Canyon Chamber of Commerce completed most of the GOCO application. All three entities - the Park County Historical Society, Park County, and Destination Bailey - provided information for the grant.

Nichols said the county will provide $7,000 of the cash match. Of that, $5,000 is from the Colorado Office of Tourism, to be used to design and construct a two-panel interpretive display at the park.

The rest of the match will come from the community, which has donated $56,000 cash and in-kind commitments for material and labor.

Lambert wrote in an e-mail that Doug Tamminga had volunteered to oversee the entire project.

Park County Historical Society President Arthur Hall said the historical society has plans to repair the planks on the Keystone narrow gauge bridge that connects the historical society property on the east side of the North Fork of the South Platte River to Morrow Mountain on the west side. The historical society owns 18 acres there.

Hall said the Society also wants to expand picnic areas on both sides of the river, repair and create new trails on the mountain, and add interpretive signs along the trails. He said a kayak launching access point to the river was also planned, as well as work to improve fishing along the river.

The Lambert e-mail also said public restrooms, a new fishing dock, and landscaping are planned.

Nichols said that possibly money in the Stream Restoration Program could be used to improve fish habitat, as has been done on several stretches of rivers and streams in South Park.

"If we're successful with GOCO, it could be the first step to getting other grants for recreation opportunities in the Bailey area," said Nichols.

HB 1161

The Board of County Commissioners also approved a resolution supporting statements by the Western Mining Action Project in regards to the July 9 stakeholder meeting of the rule-making efforts of the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety. That division is developing regulations for in situ leach uranium mining.

In 2008 the Colorado Legislature passed Senate Bill 228, which requires public notice of in situ leach uranium prospecting activities, and it also passed House Bill 1161, which addresses maintaining water quality during prospecting and mining for uranium by in situ leach methods.

The regulations are important to Park County because of known uranium reserves and past claims staking by Golden-based Horizon Nevada Uranium Inc., a subsidiary of New Horizon Uranium Corp., an in-situ leach uranium mining company. Those claims were withdrawn last fall due to uranium prices dropping.

The stakeholders at the meetings have included mining companies, water providers such as Denver Water Board, environmental groups, other state agencies and water conservation districts.

Western Mining Action Project Senior Attorney Jeff Parsons has represented six groups at the stakeholder hearings: the Clean Water Action, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment Colorado, Coloradans Against Resource Destruction, High Country Citizens' Alliance, and Information Network for Responsible Mining.

Parson's letter addressed discussions at the July stakeholders meeting regarding the need for opportunities for public comment and an administrative appeal process for in situ uranium prospecting activities and baseline water characterization and monitoring plans for in situ leach uranium mines.

Parson's letter also addressed the discussions at the July meeting regarding the definitions of "affected surface and groundwater," "excursion," "best available technology," and "in situ leach mining."

Once the stakeholders group has completed discussions of the proposed regulations several months from now, the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety will release the amended proposed regulations to the public for review and comment.

Wildfire codes

The commissioners approved the adoption by fire protection districts in the county of the International Fire Code, 2006 Edition, and the National Fire Protection Association's Standard for Protection of Life and Property from Wildfire, 2002 Edition.

According to Developmental Services Coordinator Tom Eisenman, the adoption of the fire code will allow the county to work with fire districts to mitigate private property for wildfire hazards. He said it would apply only to new construction and the approval of new subdivisions.

Eisenman said an agreement with North-West Fire Protection District allows the district to inspect property for wildfire mitigation and that $50 will be added to building permits to cover costs. He hopes that soon the county will have agreements in place with all fire districts in the county.

Crisis Center

The commissioners approved a contract with Venturoni Surveys and Research Inc. to conduct a housing needs survey in the county. The contract will be coordinated by the Park County Crisis Center, doing business as the Mountain Peace Shelter.

The study will determine any housing needs in the county and develop an action plan for meeting those needs. The study is entirely state- funded for a total of $9,975.

The Crisis Center also received $4,000 for a Basic Cash Assistance Program through the Temporary Aid to Needy Families state program. To qualify for the BCA program, the shelter's clients must have children, an income below poverty level, and must be actively seeking employment.

Emergency volunteers

An agreement with the Red Cross was signed that will allow the Red Cross to operate emergency shelters when needed at county community centers in Guffey, Lake George and Shawnee.

Policies and procedures for emergency volunteers, such as those assisting with animal evacuations, ham radio operators and volunteer organizations, were approved.

Burland Equestrian Board

Previously, the commissioners interviewed five people for one opening on the Burland Equestrian Board. Jean Boettcher was appointed at the Aug. 28 meeting.

Board of Health

Seated as the Board of Health, the commissioners approved annual contracts with the state for the Health Program for Children with Special Needs for $4,200 and the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program for $10,000. Both programs allow the Park County Public Health Department to act as a referral agency for children who meet the qualifications of the programs.

2009 Abstract

The commissioners approved the Abstract for 2009. The state requires submission of the abstract each year that lists all property values by each property's use. This year's abstract included an actual value of property at a total of $3.75 billion dollars with an assessed value of all property at $469.2 million.

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