Loveland Bike Trail
 

MINUTES

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 , 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.,

Bison Visitor Center , 1800 South County Road 31, Loveland, CO

Text Box: The mission of the Larimer County Parks and Open Lands Department is to establish, protect, and manage significant regional parks and open lands, providing quality outdoor recreational opportunities and stewardship of natural resource values.  We are committed to fostering a sense of community and appreciation for the natural and agricultural heritage of Larimer County for present and future generations.

Please call Deb at 619-4567 if you are unable to attend a meeting.  Votes require a quorum.  Thanks!

 

Present:

Frank Cada

Russ Fruits

Frank Gillespie

Vickie Traxler

Linda Knowlton

Forrest Orswell

Barry Lewis

Mark DeGregorio

Steve Schweitzer

 

Staff:

Gary Buffington

Dan Rieves

Mark Caughlan

Chris Fleming

Sue Burke

Steve Johnson

 

Absent:

Chad LaChance

Tom Miller

 

Minutes of the last meeting were approved. (Motion by Russell Fruits, second by Frank Cada)

 

 

GENERAL INFORMATION: 

§   Horsetooth Reservoir reconstruction project won a Colorado Lottery Starburst Award that will be presented to the Commissioners on November 9.  Parks Advisory Board members are invited to attend.  Engineering staff and Reclamation representatives will be invited.

§   The Reservoir Road fire occurred close to staff offices near Carter Lake.  The Visitor Center was used by evacuees and aid workers.  Many staff manned the Visitor Center to help, and rangers helped evacuate about 60% of area residents. 

§   The 6th Annual Northern Colorado Birding Fair took place at Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space on 9/25 from 7am – 3pm.  A multitude of agencies hosted.  The event went well.  Each year visitation goes up. 

§   A fire next to Horsetooth Reservoir on Sunday burned about 4 acres.  Cause has not been determined.  

§   Natural Resource Events for October. See website http://www.larimer.org/naturalresources

5:50     PRESENTATIONS:

§   Construction of the new swim beach on the east side of Horsetooth Reservoir and associated use of fill materials from the borrow area at the south west corner of County Road 23 and County Road 25G (Lory State Park road), north of Horsetooth Dam (old sport cycle track)  – Dan Rieves

DNR Staff (Dan Rieves and Mark Caughlan):  Construction contractor was selected.  GOCO grant required project be completed by December.  High water had delayed the start of the project.  When fill could not be taken from the reservoir, other immediate options were reviewed by DNR staff and Reclamation staff.  The option to take fill from old sport cycle track was selected and approved as it would add no costs and would cause the least amount of traffic on roads.  Neighbors who were directly affected were contacted in person.  Other neighbors were notified by flyers left in mail boxes so they would get the information quickly.  The Bellvue post master was notified the next morning of this action.

 

In the meantime, the hauling contractor, Gerard Excavating, proposed a new option which will be used instead of the sport-cycle-track option:  Dirt will be hauled, at no additional cost, from a Gerard project in Fort Collins. Dirt work should be completed within four weeks.

 

Public Comment
David Ruberg, lives near Lory State Park. Concerned that Army Corps of Engineer requirements have not been met, and how using fill from sport cycle track would affect future developments (archery), and how EPA approval could switch from use for “archery” to “removing fill.” 

 

Reagan Munson, Mill Canyon Estates:  Concerned about the moving of this much dirt in four days, and the effect of truck traffic on the neighbors and homes in the area.

 

Tim Reed:  Concerned about placing of fill dirt below high-water line at both new swim beaches, and compliance with the Clean Water Act. He has raised these issues with the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA.  (handout)

 

Board questions/discussion :

Vicki Traxler:  When we looked at cycle track option, did we quantifying numbers to the effects?  [Parking area---would be pulling back the 3:1 slope.]

Linda Knowlton:  What might neighbors expect in the future if the sport cycle track is a future fill area? [Dirt on Reclamation property is allowed for projects.  Mobility issues and trucking costs mean the first area to look for fill are on Reclamation property itself.  An example of this is construction at Carter Lake: fill from and to the quarry areas was measured, moved, used, and the areas reclaimed. Use of the fill at the sport cycle track was determined by pressing need as a best business practice.  The cycle track has not been listed as off limits: it is a possible area.]

 

Bureau of Reclamation Information (Kara Lamb and Brian Little):  Reclamation was involved in the Resource Management Plan (RMP) and the Environmental Assessment (EA).  During that process, the sport cycle track was considered as a possible fill area and was addressed in the plan. The area is recognized to be of important value to the people who visit and live around there.  Environmental mitigations are in place.  There were not concerns for past soil contamination.  This particular request to use fill from the parking lot area was coordinated with the Army Corps of Engineers.  The Corps did not require a permit. Nor is EPA involvement is required. 

 

Board questions/discussion :

Steve Johnson:  Did the previous EA cover this project?  What was the proposed use at that time? [Three recent EAs determined there were not problems.  Public comment was taken for all three of these.  The swim beach is planned in the RMP, and the sport cycle track was identified as a potential impact area, although unspecified in which way.] 

Steve:  What was the historical use of sport cycle track? [Borrow area during dam construction and before that as a quarry]

Steve:  Did the quarry operators dump oil or anything? [When dams were raised in 2007, it went under archeological review.  There was nothing found.  No test drilling has been done in the area.]

Mark DeGregorio:  Doing this testing would resolve some questions. 

Vicki Traxler:  Would the department do anything for future use of this area without public comment? [There are a few projects in the RMP which state that if they are to move forward and be developed, there will be individual and specific public processes: archery range at sport cycle track, cabins at Pinewood, swim beach at Carter Lake]

Vicki:  Has concern about the number of trucks and impact to traffic.  Are there county regulations in place? [This is fairly small as projects go, and will have little traffic impact so there is no need for traffic control.  The department maintains compliance with all County traffic impact regulations and rules.]

§  Master Plan Update – Gary Buffington

Gary presented a slideshow update on the parks master plan.  This will be presented to the commissioners in the next few weeks with a request for an extension on the loan from Solid Waste in order to continue updating facilities. 

STANDING AGENDA ITEMS:

§  US BOR Exclusive Use Policy –Dan Rieves (handouts)      

Dan attended a recreational partner meeting at the Bureau of Reclamation. As part of this meeting, the 429 document was reviewed, which includes “exclusive use.”  “Exclusive use” is an issue on most Reclamation properties and we have very little in comparison to other properties. The 429 document does not address clubs specifically, although it speaks to them.  Reclamation policy and directives are written for the properties specifically managed by Reclamation.  When there is a managing partner, the policy and directives are not regulatory and become guidelines or resource.  For these properties, the local understanding and master plan of the managing agency are what Reclamation enforces.  Reclamation policies and directives become the guidelines behind the local understanding and master plan.  If the managing agency goes above and beyond Reclamation’s requirements, they will enforce it.  What is specifically identified in the master plan becomes the local accepted law of operation.

Reclamation wants to get away from exclusive uses unless true business and public needs are identified which fit the exclusive-use definition. Reclamation prefers no contracts over five years, but that is a guideline depending on the local business need and master plan.  Our master plan states we will not enter into agreements longer than five years.  Reclamation wants to prohibit new exclusive use, and to provide public access to all facilities. 

 

DNR has never developed a separate document that talks about exclusive use, however, we can do so if the Board requests. The sail clubs are currently “approved-exclusive-use.”  What makes them exclusive is the building on Reclamation property that no one else can use and the slips that no one else can use.

 

Board questions/discussion :

Linda Knowlton:  Our master plan is consistent with what Reclamation has. There is not a need for additional policy.  Her question is how we treat these exclusive uses until they are no longer viable, Are we proactive?  At every opportunity, they need to be aware of the 14 points in the master plan.  [If we have problems, we would need to look at this.  Historically and politically, there is not need at this time.  As well, they pay fairly.]             

Steve Schweitzer:  Do they give back to the community?  [Yes, classes, regatta, instruction, events, etc.]

Frank Gillespie:  What do we do if a different group wants the same? [We would invoke Reclamation policy.]

Vicki Traxler:  What “exclusive use” could be construed to meet a public need through the Master Plan process?  [An example could be:  Coast Guard using a building exclusively. This could be construed as being of public benefit. A recreational club could be very difficult to access as to public benefit, and, there would have to be a revision to the master plan to accommodate.  ]   

Mark DeGregorio:  What is the wisdom of getting rid of existing uses?  At attrition, look at having someone else do the same thing or end the use. 

Linda:  We’re in good shape with only two clubs, who have gotten much better in their understandings.  With regard to the Rowing Club Facility:  how is that viewed since it is floating? [It is not considered exclusive use.  The trigger is a fence, barricade, building that causes the general public to feel it cannot access an area.]

 

§   Park District Updates

            Blue Mountain District:  Chris Fleming

·   BSA 100-year Camporee went well with over 2,500 participants.  Organization and planning, on the parts of both the staff and the scouts, to the minute detail made the event go well.  However, one of the vendor trucks ran into Elkhorn Cabin.  County Risk Management is working with the vendor’s insurance agency.

·   Hermit Park Open Space:  will be closed to the public January and February, 2011, due to limited staffing and use. Outdoor Buddies (mobility impaired hunters) and DOW are working together to provide limited elk hunting in late seasons in a management attempt to harvest ten cows.  Two grants have been submitted for an upgrade to Hermit Hollow Campground, and to add parking and an education area at Hermit’s Cabin (most popular campground programs in the entire department).

·   Reservoir Road fire:  most of the district staff was involved in the efforts and helped with incident command and evacuations.  It confirmed good relationships with neighbors and local agencies. 

·   Flatiron Reservoir:  Fishing Is Fun Grant has been submitted to improve fishing access\

·   Pinewood Reservoir: At dead storage for tunnel maintenance.

·   Estes Campgrounds: Mary’s Lake is closed now, and East Portal closes next weekend.  Staff met to plan what to do better next year. It is a tremendous amount of work to bring these campgrounds up to our standards.  The Estes Valley Recreation and Park District started construction on the new shower house at Mary’s Lake.  Final revenue numbers will be forthcoming. 

·   Ranger Will Talbott is moving from Horsetooth District to Blue Mountain District.

            Horsetooth District:  Mark Caughlan

·   Two successful special events were held: Blue Sky Trail Marathon and Horsetooth Ache Rowing

·   Received a Starburst Award for the swim beach and group use facility. Plan to have summer events, concert series, etc.  Chris and Mark are preparing a marketing plan for weddings here and at Hermit Park. 

·   In the process of hiring a Ranger II. 

·   Weekend use is still good, almost full from camping.  Fishing use good.  Water levels are dropping.

·   Looking at installing a trampoline deck in swimming area

 

DIRECTOR’S REPORT - Gary Buffington

§   Expressed appreciation for Board members’ participation in the Parks Advisory Board and all that entails.

Board comments :
Board members expressed opinions about the public comment session tonight.  The public needs to be made aware they have been heard, and that appropriate staff will address their concerns and get back with them.  The Board members’ roles in public comment are to listen and provide format. It is the job of staff to respond with their subject expertise. At future sessions, we will listen to the citizen, thank him or her for the input, and advise that the appropriate person(s) will get back to them to follow up.  This is a procedural issue to formalize:  listen, acknowledge, take action, and follow up.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION – To consider the purchase, acquisition, lease, transfer, or sale of any real, personal or other property interest; and/or to determine positions relative to matters that may be subject to negotiations; developing strategy for negotiations; and instructing negotiators, as provided by CRS 24-6-402(4).

 

Russell Fruits made and Vicki Traxler seconded a motion that the Board enter into executive session, pursuant to C.R.S.(24-6-402(4)(a), for discussion pertaining to the purchase, acquisition, lease, transfer or sale of any real or personal property interest.  The Board entered into executive session at 8:00 p.m. to discuss the Carter Lake Marina concession license.  Russell Fruits made and Vicki Traxler seconded a motion to exit executive session.  The motion passed and the Board exited executive session at 8:35 p.m.

 

Meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Sue Burke

 

APPROVED:

 

 

___________________________________________

Linda Knowlton, Chair

 

 

 

Next regular meeting:  Monday, November 8, 2010, Boyd Lake Room at County Courthouse Offices Building, 200 West Oak, Fort Collins

Public can view agenda and minutes at www.larimer.org/parks

 

 

Background Image: Loveland Bike Trail by Sharon Veit. All rights reserved.