From Darkness To Light

29 Oct 2017

City Board approves $25,000 POST tax funding for Trails 2000’s scope of services in 2018

Posted by Adam Howell

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A $25,000 dollar payment to Trails 2000 from the Parks, Open Space and Trails fund for a broad scope of services was unanimously approved by the City’s Natural Lands Preservation Advisory Board this month.

IMG-1307Starting in 2015, the City Council had been allocating money to Trails 2000 through through the Community Support Services branch of the General Fund. This year, the City Council requested that the Natural Lands Board “transfer” that same funding mechanism from the General Fund to the 1/4 cent 2005 Parks, Open Space, and Trails tax fund.

In other words, the City Council asked the Natural Lands Board to consider this new accounting procedure to instead pay Trails 2000 through a taxing mechanism that’s specifically for trails maintenance.

In 2015, the first funding allocation that Trails 2000 got from the City Council was $8,000 dollars, and it has grown to where it is at $25,000 dollars today.

Year       Amount

2015       $8,000

2016       $21,000

2017       $25,000

2018       $25,000 — Approved

2017 Community Support Contract – Trails 2000

Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz thought that Trails 2000 deserved the City’s support, since Trails 2000 supported the City in its application for a $1.3 million dollar grant from GOCO for work on the Animas River Trail.

“The $1.3 million dollar grant, I went to Trails 2000 and asked them if they thought that they could give us some cash as a match for this grant, and they said yes. And they committed to $2,500 dollars,” said Metz. “And I know, when you look at a 7.8 million dollar project that’s not much. But maybe that made a difference to GOCO. That here’s this non profit that doesn’t really have a lot of money, and yet they were willing to put some money in on a project for the City.”

The Natural Lands Board–which I am a member of–unanimously approved funding Trails 2000 for the scope of services outlined in their contract.

After the board approved the funding, there was some discussion about the status of Horse Gulch Road, in terms of the erosion and whether or not Trails 2000 or the City should try to do maintenance on it.

Board Member Michael Burke suggested raising the grade of the road, narrowing it, and filling in the ruts and gullies going across it. The channels going across the road should be stabilized, he said.

Questions were raised about whether Trails 2000 should have done more to repair the road at the request of the City. Trails 2000 said that they were not going to work on repairing the road, according to City Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz.

Metz said that La Plata County officials would need to be involved in the discussion, since Horse Gulch Road belongs to them.

Assistant City Manager Kevin Hall said that the water management would be more appropriately handled by someone who specializes in road work and storm water runoff management.

The Natural Lands Board also decided to reject Trails 2000’s proposal to build a trail from the bottom of Sugar Trail going downhill to Cap’s Trail. It would have paralleled Horse Gulch Road.

The addition would have been redundant and had too much impact, the Board decided.

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