The town of Dolores is advertising for an interim manager to replace departing manager Jay Ruybalid, who resigned this month.
Mayor Chad Wheelus said the interim manager will be charged with temporarily taking over day-to-day operations and will help guide the town in the application and selection process of hiring a permanent manager.
The town will advertise for the position in the coming weeks. Trustees plan to review applications and appoint an interim at the Sept. 9 regular board meeting with a six-month to one year contract.
In the last six years, Dolores has had three managers, two of whom departed in the last two years.
“By appointing an interim, we are in a better position to hire a permanent manager that is a good fit for our town,” Wheelus said.
Trustees reported they were approved 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. The town’s match is $1,500, and is required to organize volunteers for the project.
This spring community volunteers, including children, will be asked to join 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.
Earlier this month, the Dolores Town board approved up to $300,000 in funding for new playground equipment at Joe Rowell Park. They are applying for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant to help defray some of the costs.
Plans are to put out bids to choose a playground builder with construction to begin in spring 2020 at the former playground site in Joe Rowell Park.
The board continued discussions regarding a request by the Dolores School Board to move its football field to town-owned Joe Rowell Park. The school also wants to add an eight-lane competition track, with public access for the field and track shared between the town and the school.
School officials are restructuring the school campus to reduce exposure from a nearby bluff they fear could be used by an active shooter. New campus security designs will encroach on the current football field, so a new location is needed for the field, according to school officials. With town support, the district could include the potential to relocating it to Joe Rowell in a long-term strategic campus plan that would be used for applying for grants.
Some trustees supported the idea of moving the football field to the west side of Joe Rowell, an idea that has been floated for decades. But there would be many details to be worked out regarding use agreements, costs and maintenance. Some trustees were undecided until more details were worked out. Trustee Val Truelsen said if needed on a temporary basis, it would not take much to stripe in a football field on the west side of the park for use by the school.
Trustee Melissa Watters was not in favor, suggesting other uses such as incorporating a botanical garden would be a more aesthetic fit and attract visitors.
No decisions were made on whether to move the football field to the park. The board agreed the west side of the park is underused. It used to host youth soccer games, and if portable goals and some field striping were installed that could happen again.
Trustee Jen Stark wants the town to consider re-starting organized youth activities that were once popular at Joe Rowell.
“Cooperation with the school to build a youth program for the park is a tangible goal,” she said.
Town attorney John Kelly was directed to investigate whether any deed restrictions on Joe Rowell exist after it was transferred from the U.S. Forest Service to the town in the 1990s.
The school currently has an agreement with the town to use the baseball fields at Joe Rowell, but the agreement is outdated and too vague and needs to be updated, Truelsen said.
Trustees want school officials to meet with the Dolores Parks Committee and planning and zoning board about the plans to locate a football field and track at Joe Rowell.