Last updated 8:17PM ET
December 12, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Council Defends Regional Park Vote, Talks Bond
(2007-10-17)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: A regional park for Durango in Grandview, which two months ago appeared doomed, may now be on a fast track to being built.
City councilors were put on the defensive last night by sports club leaders over council's August rejection of funding for phase one of the regional park.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: Representatives of Durango soccer, lacrosse, football tennis and bmx programs confronted councilors who, in August, voted 4-1 against applying for a state grant to help fund a 4-million dollar first phase of the regional park in Grandview.
That phase would have included a large playing field which the sports groups say is badly needed.
John Bernazzani is President of Durango Youth Soccer. He and others presented strongly worded resolutions.
BERNAZZANI: DURANGO YOUTH SOCCER ASSOCIATION INSISTS, THAT THE DURANGO CITY COUNCIL RECONSIDER ITS RECENT DECISION TO NOT FUND THE FIRST PHASE OF THE DURANGO COMMUNITY PARK, AND BRING THE REQUEST BACK IMMEDIATELY FOR RECONSIDERATION.
Councilors, who have taken considerable heat over the August vote, were quick to defend themselves.
Councilor Scott Graham said councils vote was actually about getting the 75-acre, 20-million dollar park developed faster.
And the way to do that, he says, would be to ask voters to approve a 20-million dollar bond that would be repaid by sales tax money collected for parks, open space and trails.
GRAHAM: IT JUST SOUNDS LIKE WE'VE GOT THIS WIN WIN SITUATION GOING HERE. WHAT I'M SEEING TONIGHT IS THAT THE POLITICAL WILL IS THERE TO DO THIS BOND, AND SO I JUST THINK IT'S WONDERFUL.
Councilor Leigh Meigs agreed saying we need to avoid turf wars.
MEIGS: WE ALL HAVE LOTS OF INTERESTS THAT ARE UNIQUE TO OUR OWN SPORTS, BUT WE CAN ALL AGREE ON ONE THING IS THE BEST WAY TO SATISFY ALL THESE DEMANDS IS TO BUILD THIS REGIONAL PARK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Emphasizing it would be a "regional" park, Councilor Renee Parson says she favors spreading the financial burden for the park, and recreation programs in general, beyond city residents.
PARSONS: ONE OF THE THINGS I WOULD JUST LIKE TO PUT ON THE TABLE IS SOMETHING I'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR MORE THAN A YEAR NOW IS THE FORMING OF A RECREATIONAL DISTRICT, BECAUSE I DO BELIEVE IT IS TIME FOR THE COUNTY TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE AS WELL.
Councilor Michael Rendon says there's been too much misinformation about the regional park being circulated that needs to be corrected.
RENDON: I'M HEARING YOU LOUD AND CLEAR THAT WE NEED NEW FIELDS, SO I'M HEARING THAT, AND I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT. BASICALLY WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO IS FIGURE OUT WHAT'S FAIR.
Mayor and councilor Doug Lyon, who cast the lone vote in favor of the regional park funding, questions whether a bond issue to build the park using 2005 2A Parks Open Space and Trails tax dollars.
LYON: THAT QUARTER CENT DOES NOT THROW OFF ENOUGH MONEY TO BUILD THE WHOLE PARK AT THE SAME TIME WITH A BOND. THAT WOULD BE EVEN IF WE TOOK ALL OF THE QUARTER CENT.
City parks director Cathy Metz says they're looking into a bond to pay part of the cost and still seek grants and other funding for the balance.
METZ: WE HAVE SHOWN BONDING TEN MILLION DOLLARS AND OVER A FIFTEEN YEAR PERIOD THE PAY OUT FOR THAT WOULD BE ABOUT 900-THOUSAND A YEAR FOR FIFTEEN YEARS.
After the hour long discussion, Bernazzani said he's more hopeful about the regional park funded by a bond issue.
BERNAZZANI: I FEEL A LITTLE MORE POSITIVE TONIGHT. IF IT IS UP TO THE COMMUNITY, REST ASSURED THAT THERE'S A LOT OF PARENTS, A LOT OF VOTING PEOPLE AND PEOPLE WHO SPEND MONEY IN THIS TOWN THAT WOULD CERTAINLY BACK IT UP, THAT'S MY FEELING.
Council will look deeper at bonding for the park, as part of it's 2008 budget deliberations which resume next week.
From KSUT, Four Corner's Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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