by Sam Klomhaus
Mail Staff Writer
A reader asked The Mountain Mail Wednesday for more information about the city of Salida’s Conservation Trust Fund, as it was mentioned in connection with the soaking pools project at Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center.
The Conservation Trust Fund is managed by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). It disburses funds to more than 470 entities throughout Colorado, including municipalities, counties and special districts that have set up conservation trust funds for themselves.
Money is disbursed quarterly and can be used for “the acquisition, development and maintenance of new conservation sites or for capital improvements or maintenance for recreational purposes on any public site,” according to DOLA’s Conservation Trust Fund website.
In the first quarter of 2019, Chaffee County received $73,132.37 total in CTF dollars. Salida received $21,395.96, Buena Vista received $10,737.11, Poncha Springs received $3,603.88, and the county received $37,395.42.
Salida City Administrator Drew Nelson said the city can use the CTF money in a number of ways – for example, for adjustments to the whitewater park or construction/renovations at the swimming pool.
Nelson said when he was town manager of Winter Park the town used its CTF money to build trails.
The Conservation Trust Fund fund does not have anything to do with Chaffee County ballot initiative 1A, passed last year, which added a 0.25 percent sales tax in Chaffee County to be devoted to conservation purposes.