Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park
 

LARIMER COUNTY OPEN LANDS ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

MINUTES

Thursday, October 28, 2004 – 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Loveland Library MP Room

 

The mission of the Larimer County Open Lands Program is to preserve and protect significant open space, natural areas, wildlife habitat, develop parks and trails for present and future generations.  These open lands provide opportunities for leisure, human renewal and protection of our natural and cultural resources.

 

 
 

 

 

 

 


Present:

Open Lands Board Members:

Brian Hayes

Mark DeGregorio

Jean Carpenter

Peter Kast

Sue Sparling

Duane Pond

Bill Newman

Bob Streeter

Jim White

Eric Hamrick

Lori Jeffrey-Clark

 

 

Staff

Jerry White

Kerri Rollins

Meegan Flenniken

Charlie Johnson

K-Lynn Cameron

Charlie Gindler

Gary Buffington

Amanda Cook

Ann Montoya

Travis Rollins

 

Absent: 

Ted Swanson

 

 

Chair, Peter Kast called the meeting to order at 5:11 p.m.

 

Duane Pond motioned to approve the minutes of September 2004; seconded by Sue Sparling.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

No public comment

 

INFORMATION ITEMS

§  Welcome to Amanda Cook who is now on board as the Blue Mountain Open Lands Ranger.

§  Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space Grand Opening was held on Saturday, October 23, 2004 - it was a great day!

§  Board of County Commissioners’ Boards and Commissions Appreciation held on Monday, October 25.  Many Board members attended.

§  As a follow up to the Conservation Easement Workshop on October 28, there will be a Conservation Easement Field Trip to Sylvan Dale Ranch on Friday, October 29, 2004.  Meet at the K-Mart in Loveland at 3:00 returning at 5:15.  Please rsvp to Kerri for the workshop and the field trip.

§  Larimer County’s 1847 acres of the Chimney Hollow property will close on November 18, 2004.

§  2004 S permits were distributed to Board members.  2005 permits will be distributed in February or March.

§  The 2005 calendar will be sponsored by Harrison Resources.

§  Volunteers of Outdoor Colorado (VOC) has selected the 2-mile trail connecting Rimrock to Indian Creek as one of their 2005 Trail Construction Projects.

§  The Colorado Department of Highways (CDOT) Transportation Enhancement grant for the 38E trail underpass is ranked in the top 3 for funding.

§  Adopted Neighborhood Access Policy – signed copy was enclosed in October packet.

§  2005 Meeting Schedule – copy was enclosed in October packet.

§  Parks and Open Lands Activities for November – copy was enclosed in October packet.

§  Christmas Party at Peter & Penny Kast's will be on 12/16 in Fort Collins.

§  Volunteers for naming subcommittee for Jacoby property (Brian, Eric, Jim and Jean volunteered)

 

ACTION:

·  Pantano Conservation and Trail Easement – Jerry reviewed details of the Pantano property (lot 19 of Indian Creek) which is a 35-acre parcel that separates the Hunter property from Indian Creek.  Jerry has been negotiating with a bank, who is foreclosing on the property. The cost for a conservation easement and a trail easement on 9.7 acres of the property is $50,000.

Duane motioned to recommend to the Board of County Commissioners to purchase a conservation easement and a trail easement on 9.7 acres of the Pantano property for the amount of $50,000.  Jim seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

·  Royce Hopkins – Brian reviewed the conservation easement project. Loveland is asking for 10% of the cost for an easement on 59 acres, valued at 340,000.  This project complements Loveland's other 3 conservation projects in Ryan Gulch.  This is a bargain sale.  The historic saw mill will continue to run until the owner is deceased or chooses not to run it anymore.  There will be no public access on this easement.

Duane motioned to recommend to the Board of County Commissioners to partner with Loveland on a 59-acre conservation easement of the Hopkins property for the amount of $20,900 or 10% of acquisition cost.  Mark seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

·  Soderberg Education Plan – Ann Montoya reviewed the highlights of the plan, including that this is the first education plan to come to the Board for approval.  The Soderberg Homestead area is rich in local ranching history.  Ann reviewed the types of interpretation and methods of delivery proposed in the plan.  Bob asked what the annual operating costs would be beyond the installation of signs and brochures.  Ann said we will rely on volunteers to implement the majority if not all of the programming.

Bob motioned to accept the Soderberg Education Plan, noting it is to be implemented by volunteers.  Jean second the motion and it passed unanimously.

·  Letter of Support for GOCO trail grant proposal for Rimrock Open Space Recreational Trail Phase II. 

Duan motioned to submit a signed letter of support for the Rimrock Open Space Trail Phase II project proposal to the State Trails Program.  Eric seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

 

Discussion Items

·  Laramie Foothills: Mountains to Plains Partnership – K-Lynn reviewed the highlights of the GOCO Board site visit and the following Roberts conservation easement celebration.  Approximately 35 people attended, and everything went smoothly and it was an enjoyable time.

 

K-Lynn and Kerri then presented a power point presentation about the Laramie Foothills Mountains to Plains project that was given to the GOCO Board on October 14th.  The presentation took about 15 minutes.

·  Open Lands Finances

§  K-Lynn explained the sales tax summary changes based on the addition of Johnstown and Windsor that began in January 2004.  The county’s portion did not decrease as the result of adding these two cities as the dollars are taken out of the portion allocated to the cities.  K-Lynn reminded the Board that the portion of Johnstown and Windsor receive is based on the portion of population in Larimer County and can only be spent in Larimer County. 

§  2005 Budget proposal for Acquisition and Development and for the Management Fund – Lori reviewed the packet enclosure entitled “Open Lands – Administrative, Acquisition/Develop. & Regional Fees”.  This shows the revised 2004 budget and the proposed 2005 budget.  One change is that staff salaries were initially taken from General Admin but now that properties are open to the public much time is being spent on management so salaries are allocated based on the percent of time spent on acquisition/development and management.

 

Lori said with the purchase of the Ackerman conservation easement all bond funds have now been spent.

§  2004 Acquisition and Development Fund Cash Flow and Management Fund Projections:

First 2 pages are non-bond dollars.  Sales tax is projected at 2% increase for next 2 years and 4% from 2006-2018. 

Lori handed out another sheet that highlights in red the deficit for management funds from 2016-2018.  K-Lynn explained the cash flow relating to the Management Fund Projections.  We have the management funds available to cover costs on all current and future open spaces through 2015. 

 

Lori handed out another sheet outlining five various options regarding the acquisition and development fund and the management fund.  For example, if we go back to the voters in 2007 for management funds, how does that impact the program? How much of the sales tax should be set aside per year? What happens if we charge user fees?  What if we do both?

 

The fee column shows fees collected at open spaces adjacent to fee-charging parklands that already collect fees.

  • K-Lynn handed out a spreadsheet showing potential acquisition and development projects currently not budgeted and how much they might cost.  This sheet is to be discussed at a future date.

 

·  Draft policy regarding Memorials on Parks and Open Lands - deferred to next months meeting.

·  Butler Management Plan – Meegan reviewed the location and history of the Butler property.  She held two neighborhood meetings (10/6 and 10/8) to discuss trail location.  The Butler family will stay on the property till February 2006.  The existing house could be demolished, rented or removed in the future.  Meegan then reviewed the resources of the property.  A future trailhead is provided for in the plan and could be built in 5-10 years. Mark clarified that Field of Dreams access will not have fees charged so that visitors would not crowd on to the Butler trailhead that would be free (if built).  Meegan will be taking comments through December.  The draft plan is also featured on the website for public comment.

 

Director’s Report

See enclosure.  Gary commented on what a great day the grand opening was at Fossil Creek on 10/23.  Gary quickly reviewed the budget revenue summary of Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake.  He said that each campsite brings in about $2,000 per year.  Mark asked if Gary would need to increase patrol if he increases the number of campsites.  Gary said he would try to increase seasonal staff to cover that need.  Carter concession license is taking some time due to political reasons. 

 

Gary has nominated and received two dates for the OLAB box seats for Eagles hockey games at The Ranch.  Possible dates are 11/24 or 11/27, 12/31, 1/1 or 1/22, 2/9.  We need to pick two dates for Board, their spouses and key staff can attend.  Please let Gary know which dates work for you.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION: Duane moved to go into Executive Session.  The motion was seconded by Bill.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

The meeting was adjourned by a motion from Duane.  The motion was seconded by Sue and carried unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

 

Background Image: Rocky Mountain National Park by Sue Burke. All rights reserved.