DEL NORTE— Del Norte Board of Education President Neal Walters announced that the school will be working with the Town of Del Norte in order to keep a Get Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant that was awarded to the school to purchase a piece of land and develop it for recreational use. “We have great plans made out for the area which will benefit our students and the community,” said Walters.
In conversations with Rio Grande County Commissioners, Walters stated that the commissioners no longer want to be the fiscal agent for the grant and asked the school board to find a new entity to help filter the money through to the school. Typically, organizations like the school need a fiscal agent to help administer monies from a state or federal grant in order to qualify for the grant in the first place.
Commissioners stated that the reason they no longer want to be the fiscal sponsors for the grant is because the land is going to be annexed into the city once negotiations are complete, so it would no longer be county property. “Originally, the land was within county property but once the annexation is complete, it is no longer county property and we will not be fiscal sponsors on the grant,” explained Rio Grande Commissioner Gene Glover.
The school recently reached out to the Town of Del Norte and asked that they consider being the fiscal agents for the GOCO grant and to continue to help them in future grant applications, serving as their fiscal sponsors.
“The school used funding from the GOCO grant to purchase land located behind the Mormon church so that we could have a walking trail and soccer field. We need a government agency on the grant in order to keep using the funds and the town has graciously agreed to work on an intergovernmental agreement,” explained Walters.
The town and school attorneys are working on the intergovernmental agreement and will have a draft made up by the next town board meeting later this month. “Though no votes were taken on the topic, we have faith that everything will move forward and we can continue plans for the land outside of the new school,” said Walters.
The new school is scheduled to be finished and full of students by December of this year.