Recreation board member targets 2013 opening for OSTA sports park
by Steve Kadel
staff writer
Feb 07, 2013 | 1898 views | 0 0 comments | 527 527 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A sports complex and park under discussion for a decade might open as soon as this fall on the Old Spanish Trail Arena (OSTA) complex.

The $2.1 million facility would include two softball fields with lights and two soccer fields, among other amenities. Mike Steele, Grand County Recreation Special Service District board chairman, called a fall opening “an ambitious goal, but it’s possible.”

The Grand County Council discussed details such as operation and maintenance responsibilities, as well as a water source, during its Tuesday afternoon meeting. The next step is to write and sign an interlocal agreement between the county and the recreation district.

A public hearing on the park’s proposed plan is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m. before the Grand County Planning and Zoning Commission. The meeting will be held in the council chambers. After that, the council will hold a public hearing before deciding whether to issue a conditional use permit that would allow a building permit to be issued.

As currently proposed, the county would own the park and the maintenance equipment. Water would come from Ken’s Lake through the county’s water rights, with a backup supply from the existing well on the OSTA complex site. That well might need to be refurbished at an estimated cost of $43,000, according to a Grand County staff report.

The recreation district would pay $1.2 million of the construction costs along with a $923,500 grant from the Community Impact Fund Board, the staff report noted.

Steele said the recreation district has been saving money for the project for six to eight years.

Council member Ken Ballantyne questioned whether the recreation district has the resources to handle the operations.

“Or are we moving toward a county recreation department?” he asked. “To keep these facilities looking nice it takes a lot of effort and money.”

OSTA Manager Steve Swift said an additional staff member might have to be hired after the first year as use of the park increases. He said that employee’s salary could be paid with park use fees.

“We have some ideas about how we can enhance our maintenance staff out there,” Steele said, adding the district would not allow the park to become “shoddy.”

The county’s staff report calls for $43,500 in annual operations and maintenance costs. That includes one part-time employee to begin work in 2014.

“Eventually this part-time employee would need to be full time as business increases at both venues (proposed softball field and soccer fields),” according to the report.

About $33,000 in new equipment would be needed, the report added. That includes a mower, vacuum, fertilizer spreader, diamond leveler, garbage cans, a leaf blower, brooms and other tools.

During an interview, Steele emphasized the park will have more than just sports fields. There also will be a 100-foot by 100-foot pavilion that could host many activities, he said.

Plans also call for picnic shelters, an added restroom to comply with the land use code, and a future playground.

Steele told council members that if funding runs short the park could be built in phases.

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