The director of the Economic Development Foundation told the county commissioners at their April 4 meeting that the community round tables that she has instituted have been a great success.
Sammie George said the four sessions began in January, with the next two set for July 11 and Oct. 3.
George said the round tables are promoting open discussion about community issues, community engagement, information sharing and improving communication.
George also updated the commissioners on the proposed Las Animas Disc Golf Course at the Las Animas Golf Course, which is waiting funding from the the Bent County Recreation Board headed by Sonny Smith. The cost of the project was not given.
George, who owns the disc golf company, The Good Day Company, said the course would serve Bent County and surrounding counties, and would have an economic impact on the area in that it would be affordable recreation for residents, attract out-of-town disc golfers, be able to host tournaments and charity events and after-school/Friday programs.
Smith had somewhat of a surprising report. He said the recreation board has a capital reserve of $156,900. The board budgets approximately $28,000 a year for community requests, but in 2018, the board only received two requests for funds, which are derived by the Colorado Lottery's GOCO proceeds. So far in 2019, requests have been received to fund improvements at the Bent County Fairgrounds in the amount of $6,800, and $13,000 to fund disc golf equipment for the golf course. Other requests mentioned were a new diving board at the swimming pool, window replacements for the golf course club house, a catch fence at the Las Animas ball fields, improve electrical equipment at McClave Park (owned by the county), and playground equipment at the ball park.
Another topic discussed was whether to allow alcohol use at county facilities. The county policy prohibits alcohol, marijuana or drug use on county-owned premises. Commissioner Jean Sykes suggested that County Attorney Sam Vigil study that policy.
The commissioners also heard about the Kit Carson museum building on 8th Street, as the building's roof was damaged in a recent storm and the electricity to the building was disconnected. The cost of the roof repair is at least $8,900. Before proceeding or whether to proceed, commissioners will meet with the Bent County Historical Society regarding its continued use of the building. It is believed that the society still has items stored in the Kit Carson building. A previous board of commissioners voted to demolish the building. However, it is a historical building as it served as a German prisoner of war camp during World War II.
Some good news came from County Treasurer Kathy Brown, who stated there were no foreclosures in the county during January, February and March.
County Administrator Calvin Feik said he has received an inquiry about purchasing the old playground equipment at the Early Learning Center. Commissioner Kim MacDonnell said the equipment was only two years old and the county may have use for it. She suggested that a long-term plan for the Community Center and the ball fields be done before a decision is made regarding the use of the playground equipment.