Parks district enters picture in Oak Creek
Town Board to discuss creation of recreation entity
April 21, 2010
If you go
What: Oak Creek Town Board meeting
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Oak Creek Town Hall
Steamboat Springs — The Oak Creek Town Board will discuss the potential of creating a South Routt County parks and recreation district during its meeting Thursday.
The Town Board has invited Richard Sales, associate director for the Colorado Center for Community Development, to tell the board about the options available in the creation of a parks district.
The Center of Community Development gives technical information to rural communities, and Sales said he plans on hearing what exactly the region needs.
The board has discussed the possibility of banding with other South Routt communities to create the recreation district, and this would be the first step in the process. Board members at previous meetings have talked about ways to create more recreational opportunities for area youths. Trustee Wendy Gustafson arranged Sales' visit to get more information about how a parks and recreation district could benefit the area.
Sales said that such a district offers the benefit of creating a governmental entity that is capable of taxing residents within the area to generate revenue, but it also comes with decreased control by the towns that created it.
"Districts tend to be larger and bring in more people than, say, a city boundary would," Sales said. "The thing that communities need to understand is the community doesn't run the district."
A board of overseers typically controls those types of districts, Sales said.
There are many steps in the creation of a district, including going before a district judge to prove that such a district would help, and bringing the issue to a public vote decided by all residents who live within the proposed district's boundaries.
Sales said he has not discussed the issue in depth with anyone from Oak Creek and doesn't know if this would be an appropriate action for the town.
Also tonight, the Town Board will consider whether to reapply for a federal grant that would allow the town to hire three police officers. The town did not get the grant from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services — the COPS grant — during the last funding cycle.
Trustee Chuck Wisecup said he recently was told the COPS grant would not accept new applications for this year's funding but that it would reconsider the applications that were turned down last year. Wisecup said he'll have to update the application and ask other Town Board members if they want to reapply. The grant also requires that the town take over the cost of the officers' salaries after three years.
The Town Board members will take part in a closed-door session to discuss a possible settlement with a contractor who built part of the driveway at the Oak Creek Community Center. Town Clerk Karen Halterman said Blue Water Development's work on the driveway was "not satisfactory," so the Town Board will meet with attorney Bob Weiss to consider what action to take.
— To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org