Public input being sought for athletic facilities in El Jebel |

Public input being sought for athletic facilities in El Jebel

Two meetings will be held this month to tap public opinion on final refinements of a plan for athletic and park facilities at the Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel.

The first forum will be held Saturday, Nov. 15, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Eagle County Community Center in El Jebel. The second meeting will be held Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 6 to 9 p.m., also at the community center.

Both meetings will be informal, with materials outlining the proposed plans. Members of the Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District board of directors will be on hand to collect opinions, as will design consultants for the district.

Members of the public will be urged to join interest groups on topics near and dear to them, such as what surface to use on tennis courts or what type of equipment to install in playgrounds, according to Mark Fuller, co-director of the district.

Once the refinements are finalized, the recreation district will seek Eagle County’s blessing for amendments to its previous land-use approvals.

With luck, said Fuller, the district could be in a position by next spring or summer to start additional construction of facilities. A soccer field already went into play this fall.

Crown Mountain Park is located behind the Amoco station in El Jebel. About half of the 125-acre site will remain open space. The other half will eventually be developed with ball fields, tennis and basketball courts, playgrounds, picnic areas and other facilities.

Midvalley voters approved creation of the recreation district in November 2000. The district can borrow up to $5.1 million to develop facilities. Bonds will be paid off through a property tax increase.

The district’s board of directors hired Ross Stepp last month to serve as co-director along with Fuller, a consultant who has been acting as interim director. Stepp will oversee construction issues; Fuller will handle planning issues. Fuller said he will stay with the district for the foreseeable future.

The district also selected DHM Design Inc. of Carbondale and Denver to provide comprehensive planning, design and technical services.

The district has also negotiated a lease for the park land with Eagle County, which owns the old tree farm. A memorandum of understanding that is related to the lease prohibits the county from doing anything with the five existing buildings on the site for three years. The deal is designed to give the district a chance to come up with a long-range plan for use of those facilities. The plan would have to be approved by the county.

The recreation district’s board of directors meets at 6 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of every month at the community building in El Jebel. Those meetings are open to the public.

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