D Mountain Parks and Recreation continues to seek funding

RG County approves $25,000 request from group

DEL NORTE — Representatives from D Mountain Parks and Recreation met with Rio Grande County Commissioners on Wednesday, Jan. 18, to discuss plans for Voss Field and Centennial Park which are also known as the Del Norte Athletic Fields.

D Mountain Board members Karie Lichtenfeld and Grace Young gave a brief update on work that has been done at the fields in the past year and shared the hopes of the organization as they move forward.

Lichtenfeld stated that the organization has met with the Town of Del Norte and gained support for future projects atDNAF that will continue to improve the area for public use. According to Lichtenfeld, the meeting with the town went great and D Mountain has their support.

“We met with the Town of Del Norte’s Trustees on Jan. 11, 2023, and they approved our request to support the application to MLB-YDF in the amounts of $9,000 cash and $6,300 in-kind,” stated Lichtenfeld.

Major League Baseball's Youth Development Foundation (MLB-YDF) has invited D Mountain to submit an application for grant funding that would help with costs associated with improving the baseball field at Centennial Park.

“They liked our letter of inquiry, and they invited us to apply with a full application. A requirement of their grant, unlike GOCO, is that you have to have 50% of the cost secured. We are asking the county for a little bit more money than we have before for this reason,” explained Young.

Originally, D Mountain requested about $15,000 from the county to help with costs to improve the baseball field and surrounding park, but now, with the request to submit a full application to the MLB-YDF for the potential of more funding, decided to ask for an additional $10,000 in order to meet the required 50% secured funding.

If the application for the MLB-YDF is approved, D Mountain will then be asked to submit a full grant request. According to Young, they would know whether they were approved to submit a grant request through MLB-YDF by mid- to late-February.

“We are sure that the invitation to submit a full application to MLB-YDF will greatly increase our chances of being asked to submit a full proposal to GOCO. Luckily, we will know whether MLB-YDF has awarded us the grant by the end of February, beginning of March when they hold their next board meeting. If we get the grant, this means that we will be able to have more funds for the baseball field that we will integrate into the GOCO grant application. However, we must have a local match of at least 50% for MLB-YDF,” explained Young.

Young added that even if they do not get funding through MLB-YDF, D Mountain is still applying for grant funding through GOCO which will help with improving the ballfield and park. The hope is that D Mountain will secure both funding sources and be able to finish the proposed improvements much faster than previously hoped.

Rio Grande County Commissioner Scott Deacon motioned to give D Mountain Parks and Recreation the $25,000 request, it was seconded by Commissioner Tyler Ratzlaff and passed by Commissioner Chairman Gene Glover.