DEL NORTE — Over the past year and a half, there have been several conversations about the Del Norte Community Athletic Fields located near the new high school and what, if anything, should be done with the property.
In original discussions, the Upper Rio Grande School District was planning to take on ownership of the 40-acre property and planning to use funding that was available through the district for a community park and walking trail.
After discussion between the school district, Rio Grande County, Town of Del Norte and D Mountain Parks and Recreation District, the school district pulled out of the negotiations after a deadline related to the funding came and went.
Since then, little has been discussed as to what the county wanted to see done with the location until a meeting on Wednesday, July 29, when the Rio Grande Board of County Commissioners was approached by a representative of the D Mountain Parks and Rec. District board.
During this meeting, D Mountain Parks and Rec. District representative Jessica Lovelace spoke to the board about funding a feasibility study to gauge if a recreation center would be beneficial to the community of Del Norte. During past conversations, the recreation center idea was floated.
D Mountain Parks and Rec. District wants to begin a feasibility study to see if the Del Norte community would support and benefit from a recreation center to be built on the property which consists of about 40 acres of land.
The Del Norte Athletic Community Fields currently has a walking trail and baseball diamond which have been used by the school for several years. Both the walking trail and surrounding property have fallen into disrepair and the community has voiced their support in seeing something done with the land.
The parks and recreation district was recently awarded a portion of the costs needed to complete the feasibility study from the Department of Local Affairs for $12,750 and is seeking matching funds to hire Ballard King Associates to complete the study. Representatives during the meeting with the county said they will also be seeking funds for the study from the Town of Del Norte.
Rio Grande County commissioners committed Conservation Trust Fund money to D Mountain Parks and Rec. District contingent upon the Town of Del Norte doing the same.