Oak Creek to buy rink land

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The town of Oak Creek has offered to pay $4,320 for a small strip of land needed for its new open-air ice rink, and the owner of the land has signed the purchase agreement.

Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman said the town plans to close on the property in the coming weeks.

"I'm really excited it's at this point," Rodeman said. "I can't wait until it can move forward. It's nice to have an agreement and be bringing all of it to a close and letting the project be as awesome as it is."

Property owner Joe Foreman signed the purchase agreement last week, but could not be reached for comment.

The town agreed to pay the property's appraised price, which was more than twice what it originally offered to pay.

After the property is purchased, the town can move forward, if it chooses, with getting building permits for the project to put a permanent roof over the ice rink.

The project has been mostly completed. Rodeman has said the town had to construct the roof before having permits in line so it could take advantage of volunteer work.

Workers started flooding the rink Wednesday, preparing for the first hockey games of the season, which are scheduled for Jan. 7.

One benefit of the rink's new roof is that hockey volunteers no longer need to worry about clearing snow that has piled up on the rink, Rodeman said.

The project to put a permanent roof over the town's ice rink was funded in part by a $200,000 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado, and now has an estimated cost of $700,000, Rodeman said, paid mostly through donated time and materials.

The town could not get a building permit for the project until it owned the small strip of property that part of the rink's roof overhangs. Rodeman said the town had received a verbal agreement from Foreman that he would sell the land, but that later fell through. The recent purchase agreement is a step toward making the sale official.

The town does not have building permits yet, but it has documented the construction from Day 1, Rodeman said. The town will get legal advice from town attorney Bob Weiss before deciding whether to try to get a permit, she said. Weiss is out of town.

Oak Creek abandoned its efforts to condemn the strip of land because condemnation was prohibited under the terms of the $200,000 GOCo grants.

The first hockey games are scheduled for 7 and 8:30 p.m. Jan. 7.

Rodeman is asking that anyone who donated time or materials or funds to the project contact her at Town Hall at 736-2422. Rodeman is working on a list of everyone who helped on the project and will recognize them through a plaque at the rink and through a dedication. She said that all the donations and volunteer work have been greatly appreciated.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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