Brighton parks officials eye new grants

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By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — The parks and recreation department continues to seek grant funding to make its parks and open spaces enjoyable for residents. During city council’s July 15 regular meeting council gave its approval for Parks and Recreation Director Gary Wardle to submit two grants with Adams County Open Space and entered into a grant agreement with Great Outdoors Colorado.


Pheasant Ridge Park Beautification Project

Wardle will be submitting an application for a $3,600 Adams County mini-grant for Brighton High School seniors annual beautification project. Over the past three years, BHS seniors have been teaming up with parks staff to participate in improvement projects instead of having a senior ditch day.

“Next spring we’ve selected Pheasant Ridge Park to be the site for the seniors to go do their volunteer work at the end of the year,” Wardle said. “We had some xeric gardens that were out there that have not fared very well and we’re going to go in and replant all of those. We’ll also be planting a large number of trees to enhance the park also.”

The total cost of the project is estimated to be $6,000 and the city would be contributing $2,400 towards the project. 

Councilwoman Joan Kniss said this is an example of how the city is inclusive.

“It gives our youth – our high school students – an opportunity to make a real difference in the community. In addition to the youth commission and the youth corps....,” she said. “I’m just very proud of this project. I think its very unique for a city to really partner with high school students in a way that really beautifies the community.”


Northgate Park
Construction Project

The city will also be applying for $180,000 in Adams County Open Space grant funding to design and construct a park in Northgate subdivision. The park, which is three acres, is the second park that was provided for by the developer when the subdivision was build.

He said the city collected $425,000 in neighborhood and community park fees from residents and that the park was supposed to be built a few years ago but the cost of building the park has increased since then. The city will need the $180,000 in grant funding to be able to fund the construction of the park, which will cost $605,000.

“We also have another park – Cherry Meadows Park – which the subdivision is rapidly being constructed and our development agreement with them says the city is going to build that park at this point,” Wardle said. “I didn’t feel it was fair not to build Northgate and build Cherry Meadows, so we’re going to both of them next year but we’re going to need additional funding for the Northgate park.”


Colorado Front Range Trail

Council unanimously entered into an agreement with Great Outdoors Colorado for a $950,000 grant to help fund the Colorado Front Range Trail which will run from E-470 to Veterans Park. The total cost of the project is estimated to be around $2.4 million. Construction on the trail would begin around 2016 when all of the projects around Ken Mitchell Park and Open Space are out of the way.

The city will ask for $910,000 in funding from Adams County in the spring of 2015 and will be contributing $567,40 towards the project, with the funding coming out of the Recreation Capital Fund.

The city is having a difficult time securing an easement for one piece of property. Wardle explained if the city can’t negotiate the easement, two bridges will have to be constructed to cross the Platte River, which adds to the cost of the project.

Councilman Mark Humbert wanted to know whether this would complete Brighton’s portion of the Colorado Front Range Trail. Wardle said the city would still have to construct the trail from Veteran’s park north to Weld County Road 2 and they still need to get access across a number of parcels to be able to build that piece. 

Northeast Greenway Corridor Restoration Plan Project

In a unanimous vote, council also approved the amendment to allow Sand Creek Regional Partnership manage the Northeast Greenway Corridor Restoration Plan project and approve a $2,000 payment to pay for its share of the Northeast Greenway Corridor master plan.

Wardle explained the agreement would give the city access to recovery funds that would fund improvements in the Northeast area of Brighton. He said the city would submit a $2 million grant to the Natural Resources Damages Trustee to fund a $5 million project that would help fund landscape improvements to Ken Mitchel Open Space.

According to Wardle, the mining company has agreed to re-seed the area once they’re finished with their mining but that it will not replace any of the trees, shrubs or wildlife habitat that should be there.

“Our $2 million grant then will replace all of the trees that were taken down and replant (them) to make it a wildlife habitat. Some of the grant funds will also buy some land,” he said, referring to 16 acres of property the city would like to purchase near the Aichelman house.

Wardle expects the project to get underway sometime in 2016 or 2017 when the mining is complete.


In other business: 

— Full- and regular part-time city employees will be seeing a 2-percent market rate increase starting on Aug. 3. Council approved the adjustment unanimously, which will help (bring employee salaries up to market rate. The city also amended a number of accounts so money from the general fund fund balance can transferred to cover the expense.

— Council also gave its approval to purchase seven shares of the Fulton Ditch from C&J Sutton LLC. The purchase secures water rights for the portion of the ditch which could be used for irrigation  with non-potable water. The shares are anticipated to cost $105,000 and will come from the Recreation Capital Open Space Fund.

— Council unanimously approved the donation of a steel yucca plant sculpture to Eagle View Adult Center. Local artist Gene Goff is donating the sculpture in honor of his parents, who frequent the senior center. Director Sue Corbett said they would cover any installation or lighting costs associate with the sculpture.

— Council also proclaimed July 15 as Hannah Reynolds Day, in honor of her 100th birthday; proclaimed the city’s support of the Brake for Bella campaign, which started June 1 and ends on Aug. 31; recognized all of the team captains who participated in Help for Homes; and heard about the Brighton Sister Cities trip to Zeibice, Poland.