County doles out $20,000 in Colorado lottery funds |

County doles out $20,000 in Colorado lottery funds

Jeremy Heiman

Pitkin County has allocated more than $20,000 in Colorado Lottery funds to local nonprofit organizations for conservation, recreation and educational projects.

The money is from the Conservation Trust Fund, one of two programs used to distribute state lottery money. For the most part, the Pitkin County Commissioners followed staff recommendations for the grants, but added amounts to three of the 14 grants.

Jodi Smith, office manager for the county’s Public Works Department and county lottery officer, drafted recommendations for dividing $20,689 among the groups. Smith held an additional $2,000 in reserve for later requests.

All the groups requesting grants received money. But, because the requests far exceeded the available funds, none received a full request under Smith’s plan.

Groups as diverse as Aspen Junior Volleyball, The Aspen Historical Society and the Solar Energy International received funding.

The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, which asked for $3,500 for thistle management and work on a dike, will receive $1,500.

Three Rivers Little League Baseball will get $1,189 of the $1,902 it requested for equipment. Three Rivers tries to make certain that no player is left out of the league if they can’t afford equipment.

Board members agreed to add $500 to the $2,000 recommended for Sopris Therapy Services. The money will go toward horseback riding therapy for Roaring Fork Valley residents who are developmentally disabled, brain-injured or suffer from other disabilities or illness.

Solar Energy International of Carbondale, which requested $2,600, will receive $1,750 instead of the $1,000 recommended by Smith. The funding is for scholarships to put disadvantaged young adults through a program on renewable energy and sustainable building practices.

The only request to receive full funding is Rocky Mountain Electric Vehicles, LLC, a business operated by architect Jake Vickery. RMEV requested $1,750, the full cost of a starter kit for an Electrathon America race vehicle. Vickery’s intent is to start an educational program through a student electrical vehicle club. The club will build and race the vehicle against other student groups. Smith recommended a grant of $1,000 for the vehicle, but the board added $750 out of the reserve money.

The distribution of funds was discussed in a board work session Tuesday. The grant amounts will be finalized in a resolution to be placed on a consent agenda for the board’s next meeting.

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