Town’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan outlines next decade

Cover for Big Mine ice rink a top priority

A thick and thorough Parks and Recreation Regional Master Plan is expected to be adopted by the Crested Butte Town Council at its next meeting on Monday, April 5.

 

 

As expected, in the short term, the plan calls for moving toward projects like improving the existing Big Mine Ice Rink with a cover and in the long term looking at promoting a regional recreation district to fund and operate big projects like a swimming facility.
The 113-page document is the culmination of work over the last eight months by the town staff, community members and Pros Consulting. The overriding message from Pros consultant Brian Trusty was that the town has a great parks and recreation system that is extensively used by the vast majority of people in the surrounding area.
The report states that over the next decade the town should improve or upgrade aging facilities and infrastructure; continue development of trails and connectivity to and throughout town; continue to support the preservation of open space in the region; develop new parks and facilities in new residential areas that may arise; and continue the current standards of maintenance and care for facilities, infrastructure and grounds.
“This plan is meant to provide a lot of organizational support over the next ten years,” Trusty told the Town Council at their meeting Monday, March 15.
The report gives some estimates of costs for some of the recommendations. To improve the existing ice rink for example would cost between $850,000 and $1.5 million. Developing a new campground for town would cost between $75,000 and $500,000. A new swimming facility would cost more than $5 million, while a new indoor hockey rink would cost at least $3.5 million.
The report lays out various funding mechanisms to cover the costs of such projects. They include a dedicated sales tax initiative, a general obligation bond, local fundraising partnerships and grants.
“I think it is a good report with a lot of common sense,” said Councilperson Jim Schmidt. “I think we can start looking toward improvements at Big Mine and set aside some money so the town can start pursuing grants for a cover for the rink. I think that’s a thing we should go for.”
Councilperson Dan Escalante agreed and suggested the staff look into putting in the plumbing infrastructure that could turn the wall of a new covered rink into an ice climbing venue. “It makes it more of a winter-time attraction and gives another option for people in town.”
The idea of starting on a campground at the Avalanche Park just south of town was also broached. Trusty recommended starting small with a primitive, tent-oriented camping facility and growing it from there.
Town Parks and Recreation Director Jake Jones suggested allowing the interested public a few weeks to read the completed report. He hopes the public will then submit final comments. He then asked the council to embrace the plan at the April 5 meeting.
“I think this is a good plan and the public is generally ready to adopt this,” said Mayor Leah Williams. “Let’s put it on the next council agenda and consider adopting it as a resolution.”
And that is what will be done. The public can read copies of the report at the town hall or the Old Rock Library, or online at the town of Crested Butte website, www.townofcrestedbutte.com.

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