Rifle and New Castle-area trail planning among $100K Garfield County 2nd quarter funding requests | PostIndependent.com

Rifle and New Castle-area trail planning among $100K Garfield County 2nd quarter funding requests

A view of the Rifle Arch from the end of the trailhead. A field of boulders preceeds the entrance of to the arch, which overlooks the Roan Cliffs north of Rifle.
Jon Mitchell / Citizen Telegram file|

Over a dozen discretionary funding grant requests were made to the Garfield County commissioners this quarter, leaving the commissioners to decide if they want to burn through almost all of the available funds set aside for the year before June.

With $120,000 budgeted for 2019 grants, the county already awarded $33,000 for the first quarter. Among the organizations that received funding that quarter included Garfield County 4-H, West Elk Trails and the Northwest Colorado Heritage Program.

On Monday, 24 organizations presented their discretionary funding requests to the board, ranging from $2,500 to $5,000, for a total of $97,114.

Should the board grant all of the latest requests, it would leave just under $25,000 for the rest of the year.

Among the organizations that presented to the board on Monday was the Rifle Area Mountain Biking Organization (RAMBO), along with Rifle city and Rifle Regional Economical Development Center officials, who sought $5,000 for trail studies at Rifle Arch.

Rifle resident Erik Villaseñor, representing RAMBO, said the money would be used to conduct archeological and paleontology studies that the Bureau of Land Management requires for new trails.

He said the end goal is to bring a world class trail system for Rifle in the Rifle Arch area, and the studies are the first step.

Rifle Planning Director Nathan Lindquist said organizers have raised $24,000 for the current planning process.

According to the grant request, Rifle, RAMBO and the Rifle EDC have engaged BLM an IMBA on a plan for 10 to 20 miles of trails near Rifle Arch. The next step will be environmental studies.

The archeological and paleontology studies are expected to cost $10,000 total.

Commissioner Mike Samson of Rifle called the project a win-win.

Rifle organizations weren’t the only ones seeking discretionary funds for trail grants. Lower Valley (LoVa) Trails Director Jeanne Golay also asked the commissioners for $5,000 on Monday.

She updated the commissioners on the LoVa Trail project, a portion of which seeks to connect Glenwood Springs to New Castle through non-motorized trails.

The current focus of the project is creating a safe, separated, non-motorized path through the South Canyon and Canyon Creek areas.

Golay said the project is healthy and moving forward, with hopes to bring the 8.5-mile South Canyon Trail into a shovel-ready state in order to be eligible for the upcoming Federal Lands Access Program grant cycle.

Members of the New Castle Trails group were also before the board on Monday seeking discretionary grant funding. They hoped for $5,000 to help start the New Castle Rides and Reggae Festival in 2019.

The event, which is to be held Aug. 10, hopes to bring in money for future trail projects in New Castle and feature a music lineup of bands from across the country. It will also include a bike demo and mountain bike races as well.

Garfield County discretionary funding requests, 2nd quarter 2019:

  • Symphony of the Valley – $5,000
  • Rifle Heritage Center – $5,000
  • Bookcliff Council on the Arts and Humanities – $5,000
  • New Castle Trails – $5,000
  • Liberty Classical Academy – $5,000
  • New Ute Theater Society – $5,000
  • Glenwood Springs Historical Society – $5,000
  • Aspen Global Change Institute – $2,714
  • Town of Parachute – $5,000
  • Rifle Rendezvous – $5,000
  • Youth Water Leadership Program – $5,000
  • Compassion Fest – $4,400
  • Rifle 3rd Annual Western Adventure Weekend – $5,000
  • Western Slope Rural Philanthropy Days- $2,500
  • Glenwood Springs Youth Hockey Association – $5,000
  • Family Resource Center of the Roaring Fork School District – $2,500
  • Lower Valley Trail Association -$5,000
  • Glenwood Springs Summer of Music – $5,000
  • Masonic Lodge $129 – $5,000
  • Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment Program – $5,000
  • Rifle High School Skills USA – $5,000
  • Apostolic Assembly Church – $5,000
  • Rifle Area Mountain Biking Organization – $5,000

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