The Elbert County Board of County Commissioners signed a contract with the State of Colorado on April 13 for a $75,000 Department of Local Affairs grant to develop a master plan to replace the previous one completed in 1994.
Along with a 100 …
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Along with a 100 percent match from the county, the DOLA grant will allocate around $150,000 for the county to assemble a professional team to guide the process, collect data, and hold public forums.
“We focus on rural Colorado,” said Clay Brown, DOLA regional manager for the Central Region counties. “I’m like a consultant to local governments. I cover eight counties … My clients are cities, counties and special districts. My job is to come out and see what you guys need and give you some guidance.”
In addition to the hired consultants and Brown’s general knowledge, the county will also have access to other experts at DOLA to help guide them through executing the grant.
“The grant is to develop the master plan,” Brown said. “There are statutory requirements in there, and then our RFP (request for proposal) … pretty much outlines what everyone needs to be doing.”
Brown said he has worked with small towns that have a $150,000 budget for developing their master plans, and for a county the size of Elbert it is not a lot of money.
“It’s going to be tight,” he said.
If the county cannot complete the master plan project with the $150,000, DOLA does provide an avenue for additional funds, provided the BOCC can come up with a match. It is likely to grant supplemental request without requiring that the county reapply.
For the county to finalize the DOLA match it needs to complete intergovernmental agreements (IGA) with the three municipalities in the county. The BOCC completed an IGA with Elizabeth last fall, and a template from that agreement has been presented to both Kiowa and Simla.
DOLA awarded the master plan grant in June 2015 and the county budgeted $75,000 in matching funds in December. The BOCC has one year from the award letter date to complete the final steps or it risks losing the grant.
Brown said that the BOCC needs to keep moving forward, but Brown wants to work with Elbert County to complete the grant and the master plan.
“We’re not going to abandon them; we’re going to be here to work with them,” Brown said.
DOLA is the only state agency that grants funds for master plans.
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