Tuesday, May 8, 2012 , 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.,
Natural Resources Administrative Offices (formerly known as the Bison Visitor Center),
1800 S. County Road 31, Loveland, CO
Steve Johnson, Commissioner
The May 8, 2012, meeting of the Parks Advisory Board was called to order by Chair Russ Fruits at 5:37 p.m. The minutes of the March 13, 2012, meeting were approved.
BOARD MEMBER REPORTS
Frank Gillespie praised the excellent preparedness of Education Program Assistant, Heather Young, for the Geology Walk classes for elementary students. There were 50 kids and 4 volunteer naturalists. She provided packets including magnifying glasses, photos, journals for the kids, and a 20-page teacher’s guide.
PUBLIC COMMENT: Items not on the agenda - None
5:45 GENERAL INFORMATION: (Questions – 5 min.)
§ Natural Resource Events for this month: See website http://www.larimer.org/naturalresources.
§ An open house was held at Hermit Park Open Space on May 4, from 5pm-8pm, to review the draft implementation plan for limited hunting at this site. All neighbors within a 1-mile radius were invited. The draft plan can be found at http://larimer.org/naturalresources/hermit_hunting_mgmt_plan.pdf . Larry Rogstad, from the Division of Wildlife was there, along with Dan Rieves and Chris Fleming. Five people showed up, of whom four were immediate neighbors. Emails received in advance totaled 2 adamantly opposed, and 4 enthusiastically in favor. Comments received will be presented to the Open Lands Advisory Board in June.
Board and staff comment:
Linda Knowlton: The newspaper indicated that the General Fund contribution to this department will be cut 50%, and made up by open space sales tax. She questioned whether this would be a legal use of these funds.
Gary: Yes – up to 15% of the total open space sales tax allocation for Larimer County could be directed to the Parks Fund; to date only about 4% has gone to Parks.
Russ Fruits: Where is the process to renew the open space sales tax?
Gary: We are currently in the process of hiring a consultant to perform a year-long regional study to identify needs throughout the county. All park agencies in the county are participating as partners.
Annual Park Permit Redesign – Dan Rieves, Visitor Services Manager
Board and staff comment:
Rob Harris: Auditing
compliance will be based on boat trailers? [Yes]
Gary: We’re all about customer satisfaction and convenience. We’re trying to streamline our entire fee structure.
Linda Knowlton: Hopes that staff will carefully track sales and revenues for the next two years to determine whether it matches projections.
Dan: Assured Linda that this will be done.
Rob Harris: What is the annual revenue generated by daily permit sales?
Dan: Annual sales are about 5% of total sales compared to daily permit sales. We sold 82,790 day permits at the reservoirs last year.
Russ Fruits: His buddies wanted a $10 annual pass for climbers.
Dan: There is an advocate for something similar for pedestrian anglers. The appropriate product for such users is the day permit. If they frequent the parks enough to warrant an annual fee, then that would be a better deal.
Chris Fleming: Most climbers use our climbing areas multiple times. These are definitely $7 climbing experiences.
Rob: There are enough “pros” to offset the possible “cons”. Sounds like it will be revenue-neutral. How will day permits work for the multiple jetskis or kayaks? [To be determined]
Dan: The permits must be ordered early enough to be ready for December sales. There has been very little public comment so far.
STANDING AGENDA ITEMS:
Park District updates and Parks Master Plan Implementation Progress report – Dan Rieves, Visitor Services Manager
§ The Airstream trailer is being built, and will be delivered in June.
§ The nine new full-service campsites are under construction, and will be completed soon.
§ Sail & Saddle Club license is up for renewal at the end of the year. Put it on the agenda for next month.
§ Volunteer clean-up day at Horsetooth for CSUnity Day was a big success. 500 boy scouts removed trees from the shoreline at Inlet Bay.
§ CAST event for disabled kids is June 2, at South Bay.
§ Youth mentoring fishing tournament – 24 teams participated last weekend.
§ Visitation has been overwhelming this year due to mild weather. Visitation has ballooned a month and a half early; but since water levels may be low due to early, low run-off, this may help offset that.
§ The upper road to the swim beach has been paved. This will greatly facilitate traffic flow through the boat ramp areas.
§ The triathlon scheduled for July will bring in $40,000. Bob Herrfeldt of the Ranch is overseeing the event for the County.
§ A new county payroll system went into effect on 5/3. This has required a major effort throughout the department to implement successfully with a large, widely dispersed seasonal work force.
Blue Mountain District:
· Consultant hired to work on establishing the market value of the buildable site at the Narrows in the Big Thompson Canyon.
· Glen Doughty resigned from the board last month.
· The County Commissioners will be interviewing to fill four vacancies by July 1.
· Gary solicited other topics the Board might light to hear about – no response.
· Kerri Rollins will be scheduled in the future to give an update on the Regional Study process.
The Board members expressed appreciation that meetings are canceled if there is insufficient business to justify a meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:00 p.m.
Next regular meeting: June 12, 2012, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., at the Natural Resources Administrative Offices, 1800 S. County Road 31, Loveland, CO.
Public can view agenda and minutes at www.larimer.org/parks