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Regional Park Update

The Fremont County Board of Commissioners, the Canon City Recreation and Park District, and the Florence-Penrose RE-2 School District continue to move towards adoption of the final master plan and an Intergovernmental Agreement for the new regional park and events center site. The site is on 178 acres along the Arkansas River along Colorado 115 west of Florence.
Representatives of the three entities met recently to review the agreement which will divide the tract into 131 acres for the Recreation District and 47 acres for county development. The agreement is expected to provide the RE-2 District with joint ownership for part of the property to preserve the District's interest in participating in future development of a baseball and softball complex.

At the forefront of the project in 2005 is constructing a Highway 115 access into the property with appropriate safety features of added lanes for left turns, acceleration, and deceleration. The Recreation District is applying for a $300,000 State Mineral Impact Grant that will be integral to financing the highway access.

The Recreation District and the County are then anxious to pursue Phase One development of the site. For the Rec District that involves site preparation, utilities, irrigation improvements, roads, and parking. For Fremont County the focus will be on roads, parking, and site development for an outdoor arena. A $500,000 Great Outdoors Colorado Grant is the key finance component towards development of the site.

One representative of each entity will also form a committee to establish a process to choose a name for the regional park this spring.

Commissioner Meetings Review

The Fremont County Commissioners honored a retiring member of the District 3 County Road and Bridge Crew at their regular meeting January 24 th . Don Valdez has retired after 12 years of service working with Tallahassee Road Foreman Curtis Stone and the rest of the crew. Commission Chairman Larry Lasha noted Valdez' hard work and dedication over the years saying Valdez was one of the county's best snow plow operators.

The Commissioners also reappointed Ralph Kunselman, George Fletcher, and Elbert Fourtner to the Fremont County Weed Advisory Board. Bud Chess was also reappointed as an honorary lifetime member of the Weed Advisory Board noting his role in organizing Fremont County's fight against noxious weeds when Chess served as the District 3 County Commissioner.
Tara Begrin of the Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments (C.O.G.) detailed the 2005-2006 Community Service Block Grant allocations to area counties. At a public hearing Begrin said Fremont County expects to receive a $36,921 block grant that will be directed towards emergency services for low income residents of the county. The C.O.G. distributes the one time assistance directly to needy families with a $300 lifetime limit under the program. Begrin said 500 families were served by the grant money in 2004.

The Commissioners also approved the annual Library Service Agreement with the City of Canon City. The County has again committed $10,000 in financial assistance in 2005 to the Canon City Public Library because of library users who live outside the city limits.

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