|City Council opts for ballpark GOCO grant|
|Written by Chris Lee|
The final phase of upgrades at Holyoke Ball Park will be highlighted in a Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant application.
Council members decided to go ahead with the application at the Tuesday, May 3 meeting. They had to make a decision between the ballpark project or help write a grant application for the track and field project at HHS.
The GOCO grant will help fund the construction of a building that will house the concessions stand, restrooms and announcers’ booth at the ballpark.
Kim Killin of the Holyoke track committee addressed Holyoke City Council members at their meeting to discuss the idea of having the city be the applicant for a GOCO grant to help fund a portion of a new track and field project at HHS.
Killin personally wrote a letter to council members requesting the City of Holyoke be an applicant for the GOCO grant. She said the school board is in support of the project but won’t be leading the charge. It will be the track committee and Re-1J Foundation.
The track committee is coming together to begin moving the project forward, Killin said. The hope is to obtain a GOCO grant for $200,000 to help with a big portion of funds. Additional fund raising would need to be done, Killin added. She noted she wasn’t there asking for any money from the city, but instead that they be the applicant for the grant.
Since the track is sometimes used by people not affiliated with the school, Killin said it might be nice for the city to help apply for the grant.
With a new track, the school would have the potential to host numerous track meets in Holyoke which would also benefit the town, Killin said.
Council members said they are in support of the idea but would like to go ahead with a grant for the new concessions stand. The project would also allow the city to have handicap accessible bathrooms at the ballpark.
City Supt. Mark Brown said he is waiting on some plans from a contractor on possible ideas for a new building. Councilman Jessica Cumming wanted to make sure the city has everything in line to even apply for the grant. “If we are going to put ours in first, we need to be very sure that we can get it in, have a good application and make a good run at it,” Cumming said.
Council members said they will see about the possibility of applying for the track grant once the ballpark grant is complete. They noted they would like to get the grant ready for the fall deadline in case they need to reapply next spring.
Councilman David Churchwell said it would be nice to see the ballpark project completed since they have already started on it. The replacement of the concessions stand is the final step of the project.
Search for police chief begins
The police committee said they have begun to take applications for the chief of police position. Mayor Orville Tonsing said he had received three applications as of last Tuesday’s meeting with two other contacts inquiring about the job. The committee is taking applications until June 1.
In addition, council members voted to increase Doug Bergstrom’s salary for serving as interim chief of police retroactive to April 20.
Reports of city officials
City attorney Al Wall said issues concerning medical marijuana will again become a topic of discussion throughout the state and country. “This stuff is back on the table,” Wall said. He provided council members with some information on the topic should they need to act on it in the future.
Cumming reported on behalf of the library committee and said the library staff would like to look into the possibility of adding panic buttons in the library. She said there still seems to be some problems with visitors and the staff would feel more comfortable with the buttons.
City clerk/treasurer Kathy Olofson said she has spoken with the Comm Center to see if adding more buttons will work with the current system.
JC Peckham announced the cemetery committee has changed some bylaws and the cemetery will officially only be open from sunrise to sunset. In addition, there will no longer be any pets allowed in the cemetery.
Council members were also presented with an issue of hazardous material containers being parked in residential areas. There was a recent situation where an anhydrous ammonia tank was parked in front of a home, which could pose a problem. There currently isn’t an ordinance dealing with the issue, and council members agreed to look into it should another issue arise.
In other business May 3, council members:
—held a 30-minute executive session for the purpose of determining positions relative to matters that may be subject to negotiation.
—approved request to turn water on for the Holyoke community garden and waived the usage fees.
—set summer help wages at $8/hour for new hires, $9/hour for returning hires and $10/hour for Mike Simms in the Parks Department.
—renewed option to all elected and appointed officials to join the health and dental insurance group plan.
—agreed to contribute inkind labor to the extension of the utility line for Phillips County’s Harvest Park. The county is working to add additional power hook-ups to allow a mass of campers to be hooked up this summer when the Red Dale camper group visits town for a week.
—voted to allow Mayor Tonsing to proceed with negotiations for real estate on behalf of the city.