From The Pagosa Springs Sun (Clayton Chaney):
At its regular meeting held on Thursday, Sept. 23, the Pagosa Springs Town Council unani- mously approved two resolutions which approved $150,000 in matching funds needed for grants for river improvement projects in the San Juan River along Yamaguchi South Park and a portion of the river northeast of town.
Planning Director James Dickhoff presented the resolutions to the council, beginning with Resolution 2021-13, supporting submitting grant applications to the Colorado Water Conservation Board for recreational and ecological enhancement of the San Juan River adjacent to Yamaguchi South Park.
With this resolution, the council approved $96,000 of matching funds needed for the grant.
Town Manager Andrea Phillips explained in an email to The SUN that the council approved those funds to be taken out of the reserves for the 2021 budget.
“However, due to the timing of the grant application and notification, it may need to be included in next year’s budget instead. This would require additional council action in the future,” Philips wrote.
Dickhoff noted during the meeting that the total budget for the project along Yamaguchi South Park is $664,720 and the grant application is for $498,540.
Dickhoff explained that the Upper San Juan Watershed Enhancement Partnership ( WEP) has been working on identifying projects that are eligible for grant funding from the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
He noted that the town will administer the grant, if awarded, with help from the WEP…
The initial proposal presented by Dickhoff was structured in a fashion that contemplates the project over three years.
However, the council determined that it would have a stronger application for the funds if the entire amount of matching funds from the town is committed up-front…
Dickhoff explained that a total of $166,180 in matching funds is need- ed for the grant to be awarded.
Along with the $96,000 committed from the council, the WEP will also be requesting funds from other local entities.
He explained that WEP is planning on requesting $22,500 from the tourism board, $30,000 from Archuleta County, $10,000 from the Southwest Water Conservation District, $3,000 from Trout Unlimited, $750 from Friends of the Upper San Juan, $750 from Weminuche Audubon, $1,500 from the Nature Conservancy and $2,500 from Great Outdoors Fund…
The second resolution presented by Dickhoff during the meeting was Resolution 2021-14, supporting grant applications to the Colorado Water Conservation Board for recreational and ecological enhance- ments of the San Juan River upstream of town.
Dickhoff explained that the WEP is also assisting the town with this grant application as well, and that Trout Unlimited would be the entity to administer the grant “on behalf of the community.”
With the resolution, the council unanimously approved $56,000 in matching funds to be taken from the town’s 2022 budget and is contingent upon Trout Unlimited being approved for the grant.
Dickhoff explained that this grant is for river cleanup projects along the section of the San Juan River stretching from Bob’s LP to the Running Iron Ranch…
Dickhoff indicated that the WEP will also be presenting this opportunity to the other entities for requests for matching funds.
He explained that the WEP is planning on requesting $86,859 from the RESTORE Colorado Grant; $300,000 from the Bureau of Reclamation Watersmart Program; $22,500 from the tourism board; $30,000 from Archuleta County; $10,000 from the Southwest Water Conservation District; $3,000 from Trout Unlimited; $750 from Friends of the Upper San Juan; $750 from the Weminuche Audubon; $1,500 from the Nature Conservancy at $1,500 and $2,500 from the Great Outdoors Fund.
Agenda documentation on the topic also indicates funding being requested from the San Juan Water Conservancy District.