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In a project outlined during the Sept. 11 regular Buena Vista Trustees meeting, Buena Vista Recreation Director Emily Osborn explained the parameters of two recreation asset projects that might attract matching grants. Trustees ultimately decided to support a grant effort that would help create a park in the Sunset Vista Filing No. 4 subdivision.

“We received a similar grant to complete the baseball fields last year,” said Osborn. “This $50,000 grant request could be followed by another $60,000 grant. This park concept has been on our list for a while. It has the potential to tie the park into the nearby trail system.”

When fully built-out, Sunset Vista Filing No. 4 will be a subdivision of 640 homes. In 2005, when the original 274-lot Sunset Vista began, the developer did a cash-in-lieu-of-park land for the subdivision, putting $50,000 in the bank toward a future space. The original developer went bankrupt after the first 80-lot phase of the project. A new developer, Dallas Campbell, took over, adjusting the construction into 10 phases that will take several years to build-out. Currently Phase 2 is done, and Phases 3 and 4 are underway.

“The lots the town owns were donated by the bank who took over after the original developer went bankrupt. The bank which donated Colorado East, has merged into TBK Bank,” said Buena Vista Planner Mark Doering. The four, adjoining regular-size lots will be combined into a 30,280-square-foot neighborhood park, which translates to 0.69 acres.  “We’ve got the cash funds and the donated lots, so that will be our match for the grant application.”

“Now that the adjacent lots surrounding that designated park space are selling for $40,000 each, the future park land can be valued at $160,000,” explained Osborn. “We can use that as a match to apply for up to $350,000 from GOCO (Great Outdoors Colorado) dollars. They potentially match local contributions at a minimum of 25 percent of local dollars.”

The other project outlined by Osborn, a new pickleball court set-up, carries a project cost of $177,000. Applying for a GOCO grant would require matching funding commitments from the town, the county and the 170-member Peak to Peak Pickleball Club. Osborn said the popularity of pickleball is growing in the county, and more court space is needed.

Osborn said the Sunset Vista park is still an abstract idea. “We don’t know what is going to go out there. Is it only recreation? Or should we put bathrooms there, maybe include trail maps, or courts? The components could be big or small.”

Asked by the trustees to recommend one project or the other, the recreation staff recommended moving ahead with the Sunset Vista park, and City Administrator Phillip Puckett clarified it as a priority.

“The bank donated those four lots to be created as a park; because they were donated, that’s why that can be used as the match,” Puckett said. “We have to use the value of the lots within three years of the donation, which means we need to do this now.”

The trustees scheduled a Sept. 20 public meeting following the trustees meeting to get input on what people want to see in the proposed park area. Around 20 people showed up for the meeting.

“I’d say they were fairly positive,” Doering said. “We got input from them on what they want to see so we can generate a park design. “The biggest thing is people want amenities like what would be in a suburban park – green grass, picnic benches, play stuff for kids.”

The GOCO application is due Nov. 1, and GOCO will make its decision by March 2019.