1A Ballot Measure
October 14, 2016
While the Open Lands ballot measure 1A does not specify a breakdown of percentages for what the funds will be used for, Headwaters Trail Alliance Executive Director Meara McQuain believes the measure could be a huge asset for Grand County. McQuain said she would be going to the committee every year to ask for funds for trail maintenance projects if the measure passes.
The measure would impose a countywide sales tax levy of 0.3 percent that expires in 10 years to be used solely for: keeping water in the Colorado River and other rivers (such as the Fraser River) available for agriculture, ranching, and outdoor recreation; conserving agricultural lands, natural areas, scenic open lands, wildlife habitat, wetlands, and river access through acquisition; and maintaining hiking and biking trails.
"Grand County is unique in that we do not have at any municipality or anything at the county level that addresses open space, but all of our neighbors do," McQuain said.
She said one possible reason that percentages were not identified in the measure could be because it would put a limitation on what the funding is for, so it was left open. She said even if the committee evaluates what the funding would be used for on a yearly basis, she will be putting forth proposals for trail maintenance projects every year regardless of the process.
McQuain said that being part of a trails organization she initially had some concerns that the trail maintenance part of the measure would get pushed out, but that she has hope that the measure will have the ability to impact trail projects significantly in Grand County. McQuain said that we have more open space than our neighboring counties who have similar measures, and Grand County needs funding for these projects because it has everything to offer.
If the question passes, the Board of County Commissioners will appoint an Open Lands, Rivers and Trails Advisory committee called the "Open Lands Advisory Committee.
The committee would be composed of nine members—three residents from unincorporated Grand County, one from each commissioner district, and a person nominated by each municipality in the County.
The committee would convene twice a year to make recommendations to the BOCC regarding the disbursement of money from the Open Lands Fund, review applications for money, and discuss major trail maintenance programs. The committee would be all volunteer.