County gives $12,200 for ice rink


Pagosa Springs will soon be home to an ice rink, albeit a temporary one.

The rink will be located at the athletic field adjacent to Town Park, with the Multi-Purpose Pavilion board hopeful that the rink will soon be open, weather permitting.

The project was helped forward with a $12,200 grant from Archuleta County to purchase a storage shed ($6,000), lighting and shade ($4,000), and a hot water heater to run the Zamboni ($2,200) and help with ice maintenance.

The BoCC approved that grant, which will come from funding set aside for parks, recreation, open space and trails, during its Oct. 21 meeting.

But that grant was not approved without discussion.

BoCC Chair Clifford Lucero asked how much the Town of Pagosa Springs had given toward the effort, with an answer that the town had loaned the space where the temporary ice rink will sit this winter and other in-kind services.

“Yeah, we usually get that from the town,” Lucero said, later stating he believed the town should contribute funding, as well.

Commissioner Steve Wadley asked Brain Collabolletta, of the Multi-Purpose Pavilion board, what would happen if the group’s $12,200 request were not fully funded, with Collabolletta answering that, because it was the first year of operation for the rink, it could possibly be scaled down, adding, “Why not do it right the first time?”

Commissioner Michael Whiting suggested that the county’s funding be contingent upon other funding sources coming through.

Lucero asked if the rink would be accessible by young kids, with Collabolletta suggesting that the rink could be used for middle school physical education classes, after-school programs and nationwide programs.

“I think the kids are really going to dig it,” Collabolletta said.

In the end, the BoCC fully funded the request.

Construction on the rink, which will be open seven days a week, is set to begin soon.

For more information on the rink, contact Kristal Fortune at 264-3346.

At the same Oct. 21 meeting, the BoCC helped further another ongoing project and burgeoning industry — geothermal.

The board approved a geothermal feasibility study agreement with Pagosa Verde to complete a feasibility analysis for geothermal development on the Spring Creek Ranch, located 24 miles south of Pagosa Springs off of U.S. 84.

The board pledged support for the project earlier this year, when it agreed to participate in a Community Development Block Grant and committed $9,000 as match for the project.

After that grant was received, the county put the feasibility project out to bid, with only one response coming in by the deadline. That response was from Pagosa Verde.

The project directly relates to the goals of Pagosa Waters, a public/private partnership between the Pagosa Area Geothermal Water and Power Authority (the town and county) and Pagosa Verde, which is to utilize naturally heated aquifers commercially.

A “detailed project budget” from Pagosa Verde shows a total cost of $39,600.