The Dolores Town board approved up to $300,000 in funding for new playground equipment at Joe Rowell Park.
After a bid process to choose a playground builder, construction is expected to begin in spring 2020. The new equipment will be installed by a contractor at the previous 9,500 square-foot playground site, which was dismantled in 2018 for structural concerns.
The board agreed to fund a “full build” on the former footprint that is lighted and is adjacent to the park bathrooms.
A community survey showed support for rebuilding to the larger scale of the previous popular playground, officials said during Monday’s board meeting.
“That is what the community has been working hard for and is expecting. We want to follow through on that,” said board member James Biard.
The town plans to apply for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant this fall to help offset some of the costs of the new playground equipment.
The board also agreed to apply for a $80,000 grant for playground equipment from KaBOOM!, an organization that partners with the Colorado Health Foundation and other groups to promote youth exercise and play.
It selected for the grant, community volunteers, including children, would be involved in planning, choosing equipment, and building the structure under the guidance of professionals.
The KaBOOM program equipment would be installed on a 2,500-square-foot portion of the Joe Rowell site, with the full-build project funded by the town filling out the remaining 7,000 square feet.
Playground contractors say they work together often with other vendors on playground project locations, said town manager Jay Ruybalid.
At first the board hesitated in agreeing to the KaBOOM! grant application, voting it down 4-3. Dissenting board members expressed concern that it would not be the larger playground the community is expecting.
But when new motion was made authorizing the expenditure for a full build-out up to $300,000, in addition to applying for the KaBOOM grant, the motion passed unanimously to applause in the audience.
In other news:
Efforts are ongoing to improve the baseball fields and overall park turf at Joe Rowell Park. Sixty tons of dirt was brought in to reduce a lip between the infield and the outfield on one field, and another 60 tons may be needed.To improve the grass turf at Joe Rowell, the town is considering pulling water from a different source other than the Dolores River to reduce filter clogging and improve sprinkler system coverage.The Dolores Chamber of Commerce said it would like to start a discussion with the Galloping Goose Society and Museum to potentially combine the Dolores Visitor Center with the museum.The town board authorized the hiring of Patricia Gibson as the new town treasurer. Gibson has a professional background in government finance.[email protected]