The Winter Park town council approved $15,000 in funding for a bus to deliver East Grand School District students involved in after-school activities in Granby to the Grand Park Community Recreation Center in Fraser.
The bus ride will be available to any student enrolled in the district and is expected to start running sometime next week.
This bus ride offers tangible benefits to students and parents in Grand County as it will save them time and money as well as offer a safe way for children to return to the Winter Park and Fraser area after they complete extra-curricular activities, Nelson said during the council's Sept. 4 meeting.
The ride is not limited to students involved in officially sanctioned school sports and is available to any child enrolled in the East Grand School District as long as the student can catch the bus before it leaves, Nelson said.
The bus is expected to leave around 6:30 p.m. and make pick ups around the Granby area, including the middle school, high school, and sports dome, depending on demand.
Nelson hopes the school district will establish the details of where the pick up stops should be and finalize departures from Granby by collaborating with coaches, teachers, and other involved parties.
"The one thing that could spoil this would be if a parent has one kid who can ride the bus home and one kid they would have to pick up," Nelson said.
As the bus ride will be new, future input from parents, the schools, and others is expected, so some changes may take place in the future if the town of Winter Park approves them, Nelson said.
Improvements to be made at FVE
In other school-related business, the town council approved the East School District's use of $66,000 of the school impact fee fund for the installation of a fence and decorative pavers at Fraser Valley Elementary School.
"The town approved the use of $66,000 for safety and esthetic improvements at Fraser Valley Elementary School with the ability to provide more funds if the project exceeds the preset costs," Nelson said.
The money for the fund is collected by the town of Winter Park through the collection of fees from home builders and other developers that are intended to offset the impacts to the school district of new residential homes.
(See related story on this issue on this page)
Council approves Kings Crossing trail easement
The Winter Park Town Council also approved an $11,000 easement across private property to connect a trail from Kings Crossing Road to Forest Trail.
"The council has really been pushing the construction of new trails and the improvements to existing trails," said James Shockey, town planner for Winter Park.
The property is located west of Snowcreek Townhomes, where the town currently has an existing easement. The owner of the property is James Lahrman, who is a member of the Winter Park Town Council.
The $11,000 easement will be used to install landscaping between the home and the trail to provide a buffer between the two as the trail is located in proximity to the home.
The landscaping planned for installation consists of blue spruce, aspen, and a variety of shrubs and will cost $10,000, according to two bids the town received.
Lahrman has proposed to install the trail as an in-kind donation to the town if the town will pay the material costs of the installation of the trail, expected to be $1,000.
The Kings Crossing negotiation set a precedence on how the town will address compensation for future trails, which will be discussed on a case-by-case basis, Shockey said.
Some property owners may want a cash payment for the easement, while others may want property improvements, still others could request a tax credit, he said.
The town of Winter Park plans to approach each situation individually to allow the best results to be attained by both parties, he said.
"We are really excited about the trails we have been building and improving," Shockey said. "They will be great amenities not only to visitors to Winter Park, but also to our residents."
Council makes steps toward settling trees dispute
The Winter Park town council approved a draft of a settlement agreement related to a lawsuit the Winter Park Village Center Homeowners Association brought against the town regarding trees that block the business signs of Re/Max, Coldwell Banker and The Library Restaurant in the town.
The five spruce trees in question were installed with public money in 2001.
Town Planner James Shockey previously recommended the denial of the request to remove the trees.
Winter Park sales tax peaks in July
Winter Park's sales-tax collections in 2012 for the month of July increased by 9 percent from 2011, according to the town's latest collections report.
The July 2012 sales-tax totals mark the fourth highest July collections in the town's history.
July is the largest summer month for Winter Park in terms of sales tax collections and tourism revenue.
"The summer events certainly did benefit the community," said Winter Park Town Manager Drew Nelson.