Chaffee County commissioners met with Salida School District R-32-J Superintendent David Blackburn to consider the future purchase of land for the school district in the Poncha Springs area.

Blackburn said the district was interested in 36 acres north of Chaffee County Fairgrounds, off CR 128 and Pahlone Parkway.

They talked about the best way for the district to purchase the land, with Blackburn mentioning a purchase paid for by the fees developers pay to the school district.

Commissioner Rusty Granzella suggested a lease-to-own program set up with similar payments, which Blackburn said would also work, so the county would not be financing the school district loan.

They also talked about the water rights, with the school district using some for irrigation and the county retaining some. Commissioner Greg Felt suggested the split, using water from Poncha Springs for the building and getting an augmentation from the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District for irrigation use. Felt said the Cotopaxi School District does that to water its sports fields.

The issue of roads in the area, specifically CR 128 and Pahlone Parkway, was also brought up, as both roads are currently gravel roads, and Jon Roorda, county planning manager, said there were some issues with CR 128 and whether all of it had been properly dedicated to the county.

They finally settled on a plan of action that would include:

• County Attorney Jennifer Davis looking at having the land appraised.

• Blackburn meeting with representatives from Poncha Springs.

• Granzella to talk with the fairgrounds board, of which he is a member.

• Felt to talk to the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District.

• Roorda to look into the rights to CR 128 and sit in on the Poncha Springs meeting.

Blackburn said he hoped they could get this going before the end of the year.

Commissioners met with Donna Rhoads about some projects that Salida-area Parks, Open-space and Trails (SPOT) is interested in working on.

Rhoads said the Boys Scouts of Salida Troop 60 were interested in adding a shade structure over the bench at the intersection of CRs 160 and 144.

She said SPOT was also interested in extending the trail that runs along CR 140.

That trail currently terminates at CR 144. Rhoads said they would like to extend it west to the Valley View Schoolhouse, 90510 CR 140. She said they are interested in putting the trail on the north side of the road, which does not have any driveways on that side of the road past CR 144 up to Valley View. SPOT was looking to the county for permission to survey the area.

The commissioners said they could put both items on the Dec. 10 agenda.

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