Summit County projects awarded GOCO grants |

Summit County projects awarded GOCO grants

DENVER – Summit County projects are getting a $165,000 shot in the arm thanks to the Colorado Lottery and two Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grants.

The grants are part of $5.1 million GOCO awarded for 50 open space and outdoor recreation projects statewide.

Summit County officials plan to use $150,000 in GOCO funds to help acquire the Iron Springs open space, a 30.5-acre property located on the west side of Colo. Highway 9 across from the Blue River arm of Dillon Reservoir.

The property is at the southeastern end of a significant, two-mile long undeveloped “community separator” (or buffer) on both sides of Hwy. 9, between the town of Frisco and the unincorporated Farmer’s Korner area. It is the only unprotected portion of the area separating the two communities and includes about .75 miles of highway frontage.

The property also is the only undeveloped parcel overlooking the Blue River arm of Dillon Reservoir that is not yet protected as open space.

County officials applied for the grant in March, asking GOCO for $225,000.

In making a case for the money, the county noted the land presently is zoned A-1, which means anything from condos to livestock boarding could be built there.

In addition, maintaining the Iron Springs area as open space is in line with the county’s comprehensive and open space plans and the Joint Upper Blue, Tenmile and Frisco master plans.

In combination with surrounding National Forest property and Denver Water Board land, protection will guarantee the open space character of the corridor from development. Additionally, the parcel will guarantee a link in a public trail running from Frisco to Breckenridge.

Frisco is a partner with the county in the Iron Springs project and has committed funding for 10 percent of the acquisition costs.

Silverthorne will use $15,000 in grant money to build two sand volleyball courts at Rainbow Park, adding to the park’s amenities, which include a grass playing field and a skate park that received a previous GOCO grant. Construction of the two new courts will replace and upgrade the one court that was removed during the construction of the skate park. The project is one of 19 across the state that received funding through GOCO’s local government “mini grant” program, designed to assist small communities with public improvement projects of $30,000 or less.

Great Outdoors Colorado is the result of a citizens’ initiative that redirects a portion of lottery proceeds to preserve and enhance parks, wildlife, trails, rivers and open space through strategic grants. Since 1994, GOCO has awarded $295 million for 1,750 projects throughout the state and more than $1.4 million for projects in Summit County.

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