BOCC grant saves Wonderland School

GUNNISON – The Gunnison County Commissioners granted $60,000 to the nonprofit Wonderland Nature School. In doing so, the commissioners kept this early childhood education center from closing. The BOCC used COVID relief funds.

Problems related to the pandemic created a number of issues in Gunnison where child-care is scarce. The Wonderland Nature School took over the Seasons Schoolhouse and began a partnership with Gunnison Valley Health. Some $600,000 was invested through renovations. The expanded, 6,000 square foot education center has the license for 67 children, up from 14.

Telski plans infrastructure

TELLURIDE – Chad Horning, co-owner of Telski, announced a $102 million capital plan for the resort at a meeting Oct. 6 in the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village. Horning also noted that while local businesses and local government are enjoying increasing income, the affordable housing problem remains for Telluride workers and their employers

Telski is building 150 affordable housing units near Mountain Village. In San Miguel County, some 308 units are in some stage of planning or construction.

Capital improvements include snowmaking and lift replacement. This infrastructure upgrade accounts for $30 million. Other capital improvements coming are avalanche mitigation equipment, more snow grading equipping, new restaurants, trail construction, and renovation of the ski school. Money will also be invested in the resort’s summer activities.

Discussion at the meeting included two forthcoming ballot initiatives in Telluride which would limit the number of short-term rentals to 400 licenses and raise additional revenues on these STR licenses by doubling the fees. This revenue would be dedicated to building additional affordable housing for workers.

Rescue team receives award

SILVERTON – The San Juan County Search and Rescue Team had been awarded the first-ever Colorado Mountain Club Search and Valor award.

The honor recognizes how the rescue team has trained and participated in avalanche and recovery operations. They are supported by the Silverton Avalanche School’s education and prevention programs.

Peninsula park in third phase

LAKE CITY – Hinsdale County commissioners are moving into the third phase of Lake Cristobal’s Peninsula Park, using feedback from citizens, engineers and natural resource interpreters. The 10-acre island, which is adjoined by an iron bridge, was private property until the county bought it last year. Since then, an architectural team from Durango has been designing the future of the island with greater boat access, restrooms, hiking trails and other amenities. The island cost $1.45 million and most of it was funded by the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant. More than $200,000 was raised from private donations.

Ninety-six percent of Hinsdale County is public land, including much of Lake San Cristobal, Colorado’s second largest natural lake.

Ballots sent for OHV vote

SILVERTON – Ballots have been mailed out to local mailboxes regarding the fate of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) in town limits. The special election is Tuesday, Oct. 12. Ballot language gives voters choices in prohibiting all OHVs, allowing OHVs on town streets, or keep the current ordinance in place which allows OHVs to operate on current, designated streets.

Sources: Gunnison Country Times, Silverton Standard, Telluride Plant, Lake City Silver World.

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