Town gets grant extension for ice rink improvements

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— Oak Creek will receive an extension on a Great Outdoors Colorado grant and, town officials said, retain a good relationship with the agency.

The town found out about the extension approval on Tuesday.

"The extension will be granted for one year, ending on June 1, 2001," Town Clerk Nancy Crawford said.

The finish date on the upgrades to the hockey rink was first set in October and later extended to June 1 because work didn't get finished before winter.

Then the town and the Oak Creek Hockey Association had trouble locating funds to pay for the final phase of the upgrades.

The problems arose when the hockey association expected the town the pay for a $12,000 summer surface that would be used for in-line skating. Town trustees believed that they didn't owe that much money. Another extension was asked for so the money problems could be figured out.

The town stands to lose $64,000 that it put up to pay for the upgrades if the work isn't finished by the new date.

The GOCo grant, which is supposed to reimburse the town for most of its financial contributions, will only be paid if the contractually agreed upon improvements are completed.

GOCo spokeswoman Karen McGowan said granting an extension is no big deal.

"It's not unusual for someone doing a project to need an extension," she said. "Actually, the fact that they filled out the paperwork and let us know they needed the extension is a lot better than other grantees."

Furthermore, the fact that the town received the grant in the first place means the ice rink is a good project and GOCo will continue to support it, McGowan said. "There's no harm done," she added.

An employee of Connell Resources Inc., which did the concrete work on the rink, is expected to come down soon and look at what needs to be done to the rink, Oak Creek Mayor Deb Van Gundy said.

"I'd like to get the work started as soon as we can," she said.

Van Gundy said the financial impact of paying the $12,000 for the surface will have to be worried about after the project is finished.

"Money straightened out or nothing, it's got to get done," she said.

To reach Doug Crowl call 871-4206 or e-mail dcrowl@amigo.net

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