Grand Lake approves 2016 budget |

Grand Lake approves 2016 budget

With 2015 drawing to a close municipalities throughout the state spent the month of December performing a number of perfunctory actions from passing resolutions levying property taxes to ordinances setting fee schedules. The Grand Lake Board of Trustees had their own year-end house cleaning session during their last official meeting of the year. During that meeting the Board approved the town's 2016 budget. Board members and town officials have been developing the budget for some time now and have been conducting budget work sessions for several months. For 2016 Grand Lake's General Fund will begin the year with a leftover fund balance of $1,201,623. The leftover fund balance represents the amount of money remaining in the Town's General Fund at the end of 2015. Grand Lake Town Treasurer Erin Ackerman has budgeted $2,641,747 in revenues for 2016 with the town expected to take in approximately $1,702,900 in General revenue and $938,847 in Capital revenue, or revenue that can be attributed to specific capital expenses. For 2016 Grand Lake is projecting General Fund expenditures totaling $2,873,125. After taking in account both the projected revenues for 2016 and the 2015 General Fund ending fund balance Grand Lake expects to end 2016 with a General Fund balance of $970,244. Budgets for municipalities are developed a year in advance and many of the specific figures within the budget are projections or estimates that can and do change over the course of the year. The projections are based on a number of factors including the future economic outlook and ending tallies from previous years. Grand Lake collects taxes and has expenditures through the end of December every year. Similarly the town has a two-month time frame between the end of any given month and when official figures on revenues and expenditures for that month become available. The budget presented to the Board during the December Trustees' meeting includes projections for 2016 and 2015 year-end totals. The 2015 year-end totals use estimates on expenditures and revenues for November and December. Grand Lake further breaks down their General Fund expenditures by the various departments within town government. The department with the single largest budget is the Grand Lake Public Works Dept. with a total 2016 budget of $577,321. Of the total for the dept. $342,271 is applied to personnel costs while $235,050 is designated for operations. The town's Administrative department has the second highest departmental budget with a total of $553,818, of which $294,709 is for personnel costs while $259,109 is for operational costs. The Public Safety department. had the next highest budget for 2016, though the totals for that department, $193,840, are significantly lower than the totals for both Administration and Public Works. The Parks department. has a 2016 budget total of $119,102 broken down between $48,402 for personnel and $70,700 for operations. The Town has projected a total cost of $90,787 for the Board of Trustees with the entirety of that budget designated as operational costs. The Greenway Committee has a total projected budget of $41,197. The Town's remaining departments; Cemetery Committee, Post Committee and the Planning Commission/BOA, each had projected budgets less than $10,000 with the Post Committee having a projected budget of zero. Grand Lake has projected $130,007 in debt service payments in 2016. The town is projecting $113,961 in debt service payments on Administrative work and $16,046 in debt service for public works projects. The town also sets aside a Tabor Reserve Fund which is set at three percent of the overall General Fund, or $57,566. Grand Lake's 2016 budget is a part of the public record.

Spend Fourth of July in the U.S. Forest Sulphur Ranger District in Grand County

GRANBY — The Fourth of July weekend will draw thousands of people to the mountains of Colorado to enjoy recreating in America's National Forests. The Sulphur Ranger District — located near Winter Park, Fraser, Granby and Grand Lake — offers opportunities ranging from camping and hiking to mountain biking in the Winter Park area, riding ATVs in the Grand Lake area and enjoying world-class recreation opportunities on the Arapaho National Recreation Area's five reservoirs, six developed campgrounds, six picnic areas, four trailheads and six boat launches near Granby. All 14 of Sulphur Ranger District's developed campgrounds are currently open for the season. These campgrounds have a limited number of walk-in sites, so plan to arrive early or book ahead at For a full listing of developed campground and services visit Power boats can be launched at Stillwater, Sunset Point or Arapaho Bay to access Lake Granby. Shadow Mountain Reservoir access is available from Green Ridge boat ramp. Canoes, kayaks, and other non-motorized craft can enjoy quieter developed launch sites at Willow Creek Reservoir or Hilltop boat ramp on Shadow Mountain Reservoir, or launch from the shores of Meadow Creek Reservoir or Monarch Lake. Day use passes are required for boating, camping, picnicking, fishing and other uses at our 13 developed sites. Purchase a pass at automated machines located near the entry points to the ANRA or at the Sulphur Ranger District office in Granby. Dispersed camping, for those who prefer to avoid the crowds, is available across much of the Sulphur Ranger District within 300 feet of most Forest Service roads. Maps and a visitor's guide are available online at or for purchase at the visitor's center in Granby, which will be open from 8-6, seven days a week, including the holiday. Please note that due to a snowy winter, and cool, wet spring, most Sulphur Ranger District roads are currently open only to the mid-slope gate. Snow and soft road conditions linger at higher elevations. For a complete listing of roads open and available to the public at this time, please visit: Many towns put on fabulous fireworks displays in celebration of the Fourth of July, including Grand Lake, Granby, Fraser and Kremmling; but please remember that fireworks of any sort are not allowed on National Forest System lands. Enjoy one of the fireworks displays offered in town instead. For a full listing of events, check out the calendar at Enjoy your Fourth of July holiday on the Arapaho National Forest. Please don't leave campfires unattended; and when you pack up, remember what Smokey Bear says: "Make sure those campfires are out cold!"

Campgrounds open on U.S. Forest land in Grand County

GRANBY — Eight campgrounds on the Sulphur Ranger District will be open by Friday, May 23, for Memorial Day weekend. Spring comes late to the Colorado mountains, so be prepared for cool weather and snowy or muddy conditions on roads and trails. The Arapaho National Recreation Area is an ideal place to recreate at this time of year with seven developed picnic areas, six campgrounds (all of which are open), great fishing, boat ramps and trailheads. Lower than average water levels at this time of year on Lake Granby have created expansive beaches where the family can play. Monarch Lake loop is a very popular early season trail and there is a visitor's cabin where hikers can learn more about the history of that area. Portions of that trail, as well as many others on the district, are still snowy and muddy, so if you plan to hike the entire loop, be sure to wear appropriate footwear. In the Winter Park area, St. Louis Creek and Sitzmark campgrounds will open this weekend. Denver Creek Campground on Colo. Highway 125 will also be open. Water may not be available in all campgrounds, so be sure to call ahead or check the Sulphur Ranger District recreation web page. Late spring snows and rain have left the District's road system with snow on most roads, and several roads have sustained major damage beyond gates and barricades due to spring flooding. According to the district's Motor Vehicle Use Map, which can be obtained for free at the district office in Granby or online, the majority of National Forest roads become available for use around June 15, if conditions allow. Seasonal closures are still in place to protect the road surfaces. Dispersed camping opportunities will be very limited. Dispersed campers may find dry spots on lower Beaver Creek Road (FSR 133), Big Meadows Road (FSR 253), lower Meadow Creek Road (FSR 129) below the 128 intersection, and "Tent City" before the gate on Little Muddy Road (FSR 134). Dispersed camping will also be available at Bull Mountain Campground on Stillwater Pass Road (FSR 123), but the trails around the campground are not ready for use. The road just beyond Bull Mountain has been barricaded since it sustained major damage in the spring floods, is unstable and is not safe for public use. Due to the wet and snowy conditions, off-highway vehicles are currently restricted from riding on motorized trails and roads until the season closure is lifted June 15. And, while mountain bikes may not be prohibited from various trails, please allow muddy trails to dry completely before attempting to ride them to protect our trails system for a higher quality experience later in the season. Enjoy a safe holiday, and stop by the Sulphur Ranger District office at 9 Ten Mile Drive in Granby to pick up maps, information about wildlife, souvenirs and books. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and holidays. For more information, call 970-887-4100 or visit our website at http://www.fs.usda.govarp.

Natural resources: Park buys burner to dispose of beetle-killed wood

The impact of the mountain pine beetle may have doubled over last year’s 40,000 acres in Rocky Mountain National Park, officials estimate. “We’re not going to be out of the woods for another five to 10 years,” said Jeff Connor, the natural resource specialist for the Park who has overseen the forest health program the last five years. So to help with disposal of the substantial amount of wood that comes along with tree-removal projects within Park boundaries, the Park purchased an air curtain burner last month. The 300-foot long, 12-foot wide fire box can burn as much as four to 10 tons of wood per hour. The park chose the state-of-the-art equipment, which cost $81,000, for its ability to burn cleanly. Especially on the east side of the Park, air quality has long been a concern with nitrogen deposition on the rise. The air curtain reduces smoke and particulate emissions by about 90 percent when it runs at full capacity, which is around 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. “It’s part of our commitment to keeping the Park clean,” Connor said. Wood, slash and at times noxious weeds sit in the fire box while a curtain of air sits over the top of it. An air blowing system circulates air below, keeping smoke and heat contained in the fire box to help burn fuels and compound heat. Connor said the box takes about an hour to heat up. “It creates smoke when you first light it up in the morning. Once fuels are cooking well, you won’t see any smoke at all,” he said. A large burn is reduced to nothing but ash. Obtaining county and state permits for the air curtain burner is less a stringent process than permits for burn piles, another reason the Park opted to purchase its own burner. Even though the Park still plans to have safeguards on site, the danger of fire escaping is much less with a burner, Connor said. Next spring, the new air curtain burner will be transported to the west side of the Park to a site in the Kawuneeche Valley. The box is presently on the east side where crews are removing and burning about 300 dead or dying trees in the Timber Creek campground. Recently acquired funding associated with wildland fire will allow work on the west side of the park at its boundaries about 300 feet in, according to Mark McCutcheon, Colorado River district ranger. “There will be no clear cutting of the forest,” McCutcheon said, but “fire crews will come in and thin out dead and dying lodgepoles along boundaries.” The purpose of taking out trees and ladder fuels is to slow down any wildfires that may occur there. Park crews already have been working with property owners along the boundary to remove hazardous trees, he said. Neighbors who have concerns about specific trees are encouraged to call the district ranger, he said. The air curtain burner will also be available to the town of Grand Lake next summer for a duration ranging from two to four weeks, McCutcheon said. “We want to be good and caring neighbors with gateway communities including Grand Lake,” he said. Grand Lake plans to negotiate use of the air curtain burner in conjunction with its new policy that dead and dying trees be removed from private properties, under the town’s nuisance ordinance. The burner would be available to private landowners in town who do work to get their properties into compliance, according to Town Manager Shane Hale.

Free camping near Winter Park has its costs

Shannon Gilmour and some friends from Centennial were looking for a place to camp this summer and ended up next to Vasquez Creek. They found a campsite to accommodate their group of 12 people and two dogs the first weekend in August. "A friend of mine who has a condo up here told me there was camping up this way, but I really have to give credit to the uncovercolorado blog. He rated it fifth in the state," Gilmour said. Indeed, "Vasquez Ridge" appears fifth on the list of Best Camping in Colorado from a June 2013 entry on the blog, after the Maroon Bells and before Guanella Pass. The blogger describes it as: "Free Camping only a few miles from downtown Winter Park." The close vicinity to town is a draw. But it may contribute to the crowding on certain weekends, according to Sulphur Ranger District Public Affairs Officer Reid Armstrong. "The number of campers in the Winter Park area has increased with the amount of marketing and events," she said. "Increased use has been reflected on the National Forest whether it's for biking or camping or people walking their dogs." The free camping on upper Vasquez Road is "dispersed camping," so there is no designated number of sites nor is there a limit to the number of users that can be in the area. There are also no fees associated with camping there because the Forest Service does not provide amenities such as water, trash service, nor toilet facilities. The Forest Service did not quantify the amount of the increases, but Recreation Manager Nick Schade said that he can confirm use is growing, based on employee observations. "Free camping comes with a price," he said. "We have trash issues and sanitation issues and increased patrols needed." New facility in the works Bruce Hutchins, district manager for Grand County Water & Sanitation District #1, has also observed greater numbers of campers near the district's Big Mac water treatment plant on Vasquez Creek. "I think it is increasing with the amount of events in town. During the festival weekends, the town is packed and the camp sites get the overflow." Grand County Water and Sanitation District #1 operates the only portable outhouse available in the Vasquez Creek dispersed camping area. The district empties it weekly, at a cost of $95 per month. Although it was installed for employee use when the treatment plant was expanded in 2006, the district leaves it unlocked for the campers because it contributes to better sanitary conditions along the waterway. "There aren't any real facilities up there for them. It seems like nobody wants to walk uphill to do their business. People will drive down the road to use it," he said. The district is planning to install a higher capacity vault toilet like those used in other forest service camp areas. The estimated installation cost is $25,000. "We're really close. It was supposed to get done this summer but it may get pushed until next year," Hutchins said. The district is always concerned with water quality, which it tests on a monthly basis. Officials have seen the fecal coliform counts go up in the raw (untreated) water samples. Fecal coliform are bacteria found in human and animal feces. Its presence can indicate other, more dangerous pathogens are present. The water treatment facility is designed to clean the water and make it safe for consumption, and Hutchins is confident that the water quality is not at risk. "It's still a lot better watershed than 99.9 percent of the country uses," he said. Grand County Water and Sanitation District #1 serves downtown Winter Park including Beaver Village, Leland Creek, and Hi Country Haus. The Forest Service also wants to keep the impacts near the creek minimal. Rangers carry "leave no trace" information and try to discuss proper care of public lands with users. High on their list is using established camp sites rather than creating new ones, and disposing of all human waste at least 200 feet (70 adult paces) from any water source, trail, or camp site. Length of stay limited The Gilmour party had little trouble finding a nice spot to camp when they arrived mid-day last Friday. But some weekends cars troll Vasquez Road searching for an available site. Casey, a young man who relocated to the Fraser Valley three years ago, doesn't feel that he has an unfair advantage by holding his site for longer periods of time. "There are so many campsites," he said. "There is plenty of forest for everyone to camp in." The Forest Service policy states that 14 days is the maximum time allotted to campers in one location. "It's not legal to reside on the National Forest," said Armstrong. "This is the public's land, and it's not meant for people to make it their personal home. If someone takes the best spot to set up their tent for the summer then no one else gets to enjoy that spot." Violators can face fines from $275 up to $5,000 and possible jail time of up to a year. Repeat offenders have been banned from using the National Forest. Long-term solution According to Colorado's department of local affairs, the state's population is expected to grow by half a million people in the next five years with 77.39 percent (379,250 people) of that growth on the Front Range. Recreating on public lands is part of Colorado's culture and a reason people move here. "People just love to go camping," said Winter Park-Fraser Valley Chamber Director Catherine Ross. "Especially a year like this when the fire danger is lower. You can have a campfire and everyone loves that." The pine beetle has required many resources for the past several years. Now the Forest Service is ready to move forward with other plans. "We're working on a master trails plan," said Armstrong. "That's something that we've been able to turn our focus to now." As for camping, the discussions are preliminary but the vision is forming. "The best model — the one we think would be ideal — is to have enough developed campsites close to town," said Armstrong. "We think it's important for the Town and the Chamber to be part of comprehensive planning for camping." The Town of Winter Park and the Chamber have indicated they are willing partners. "It's a great experience but I think we can make it better," Ross said.

Middle Park girls alpine team skis to first place at Loveland

Four Middle Park alpine ski racers on the girls team finished in the top 10 in races at Loveland Jan. 30: Khyla Burrows, Taylor Grauer, Kristina Krone and Sarah Williams. Of 118 competitors, the top 39 racers qualified for the state competition. In second place was Burrows with times of 46.07 and 50.20 seconds for a combined time of 1:36.27. Behind her in third place was Grauer with 42.88 and 53.46 for 1:36.34. Krone took seventh place with a 46.64 and 52.05 for 1:38.69. In ninth place was Sarah Williams with 46.53 and 53.49 for 1:40.02. Rylee Burrows came in 13th place with a 46.66 and 56.93 for 1:43.59. In 48th place was Suzannah Mikol with 57.92 and 1:09.10 for 2:07.02. Hannah Davidson finished in 53rd place with a 1:00.03, 1:11.06 and combined time of 2:11.09. Brenna Dee and Tracie Kroneberger did not finish. Middle Park High came in first place with 171 points, Steamboat Springs High was second with 169 points, in third place was Evergreen High with 158 points, Battle Mountain High had fourth place and 140.0 points, in fifth place was Summit High with 137 points, Aspen High had 133 points for sixth place, in seventh was Eagle Valley High with 121 points, Nederland High was in eighth place with 120 points, Colorado Rocky Mountain High was in ninth place and had 111 points, Clear Creek High followed in 10th place with 100 points, Platte Canyon High was in 11th place with 61 points, Vail Christian High took 12th place with 58 points, and Vail Mountain High’s team requirements were not met. The state competition will take place Feb. 19-20 at Ski Cooper. Boys Out of 117 alpine ski racers, Middle Park’s Hans Berggren and Nick Isaacs finished in the top 10 at the final season competition at Loveland on Feb. 6. The top 39 racers qualify for the state competition. Berggren’s times of 40.62 and 43.67 for a combined time of 1:24.29 put him in eighth place. Nick Isaacs followed in ninth place with runs of 40.73 and 44.27, which added up to 1:25.00. Jake Charland and Nick Stenicka did not finish. Battle Mountain High took first place with 162 points, Evergreen High came in second with 161 points, Steamboat Springs High won third place with 156 points, Summit High had fourth place and 147 points, Aspen High came in fifth place with 145 points, Nederland High came in sixth place with 130 points, Eagle Valley High finished in seventh place with 109 points, eighth place and 106 points went to Vail Mountain High, Middle Park High took ninth place with 105 points, in 10th place was Vail Christian High with 102 points, Platte Canyon High had 89 points and 11th place, Clear Creek High came in 12th place with 53 points, and in 13th place was Colorado Rocky Mountain High with 40 points.

Grand County: Four mountain golf course offer fun, challenge

In addition to its excellent wintertime skiing and great mountain biking in the summer, Grand County has become a Mecca for golfers with some of the best mountain courses to be found in the Rockies.Grand County has a total of four courses for golfers to enjoy. The oldest is the Grand Lake Golf Course, which opened in 1968, followed in 1985 by the Pole Creek Golf Course located outside of Tabernash in the Fraser Valley.The countys opportunities for golf were further enhanced in recent years by the opening of two courses in the Granby area. In 2001, the Headwaters Golf Course at Granby Ranch opened its fairways to golfers, followed in 2002 by the Grand Elk Golf Course.Grand LakeCourse name: Grand Lake Golf CourseWebsite: http://www.grandlakegolf.coAddress: 1415 County Road 48, Grand LakePhone number: (970) 627-8872 or (970) 627-8008Type: Public, 18 hole regulationGreen fees: 18 holes, $64; 9 holes, $49Tee times: Call 970-627-8008 for reservations. Weekdays: call seven days in advance.Weekends & Holidays: Can call at 7:00 a.m.Dress code: Shirt and shoes required.Designer: Dick PhelpsTee boxes: Women Red 5,678; Front 9, 35.1/128; Back 9, 35.9/131; 18-hole, 71.0/129Women White 6,310 yards; Front 9, 36.9/135; Back 9, 37.4/141; 18-hole, 74.3/139Men White 6,316 yards; Front 9, 34.6/118; Back 9, 34.9/115; 18-hole, 69.5/117Men Blue 6,542 yards; Front 9, 35.1/121; Back 9, 35.4/117; 18-hole, 70.5/119Practice: A driving range and putting green are available.Amenities: restaurant/lounge, pro shop, beverage cart.Misc. info: Known as the Crown Jewel of Mountain Courses, the Grand Lake Golf Course is an 18-hole championship golf course, carved out of the woods at an elevation of 8,420 feet bordering Rocky Mountain National Park. Its narrowly rolling fairways surround well-tended, subtle greens. The majestic Rocky Mountains, some still capped by the winter snows, tower high above golfers offering exclusive and unique panoramic views. Directions: From Denver or Steamboat, take US Hwy 34 East at the intersection of US Hwy 40 and Highway 34 and go 16 miles to County Road 48 and turn left at the sign marked Golf Course Road. From Estes Park, take the road over Trail Ridge Pass, after leaving the park exit gate, go to County Road 48 and at the Golf Course sign, turn right at the sign marked Golf Course Road.Pole CreekCourse name: Pole Creek Golf Club – Meadow/RanchWebsite: http://www.polecreekgolf.comAddress: 5827 County Road 51, Tabernash, CO 80478Phone number: 800-511-5076Type: Public, 27-hole regulationGreen fees: $69-$99Tee times: Call 970-887-9195 for reservations. Registration can be done 30 days online. Call for reservation if further out than 30 days.Dress code: Collared shirt, spikeless shoes, no cut-offs.Designer: Denis GriffithsTee boxes: Women Red 4,928 yards; Front 9, 34.4/124; Back 9, 34.6/130; 18-hole, 69.0/127Women Gold 5,497 yards; Front 9, 35.4/138; Back 9, 36.1/138; 18-hole, 71.5/138Women White 6,398 yards; Front 9, 38.0/151; Back 9, 38.6/155; 18-hole, 76.6/153Men Gold 5,571 yards; Front 9, 33.0/117; Back 9, 33.5/128; 18-hole, 66.5/122Men White 6,413 yards; Front 9, 34.9/137; Back 9, 36.1/131; 18-hole, 71.0/135Men Blue 7,107 yards; Front 9, 36.6/142; Back 9, 37.1/148; 18-hole, 73.7/145Practice: Grass driving range, putting green and separate chipping green with sand bunker.Amenities: Pro shop are available. On-site catering with clubhouse, restaurant and beverage cart service.Misc. info: Golfers can treat themselves to 27 holes of classic mountain golf on Pole Creeks three distinct courses: The Ranch, The Meadow and The Ridge. Pole Creeks design incorporates existing lodgepole pine, valley meadows, sagebrush and a variety of water hazards including five lakes to create a diverse course appealing to a wide range of golfers. The Ranch 9 and The Meadow 9 wander through lush fields, while The Ridge 9 showcases what golf pro JT Thompson calls the most spectacular view in Colorado.Directions: Take I-70 to Exit 232 (Hwy 40), and go north through Winter Park. At the 220 mile-marker, turn left and follow signs to the course.HeadwatersCourse name: Headwaters Golf Course at Granby RanchWebsite: http://www.granbyranch.comAddress: 2579 County Road 894, Granby, CO 80446Phone number: (970) 887-2709Type: Public, 18-hole regulationGreen fees: $60-$80Tee Times: Available online or call the pro shop.Dress code: Traditional golf attire.Designer: Mike AsmundsonTee boxes: Women Rose 5,310 yards; Front 9, 34.3/118; Back 9, 33.8/123; 18-hole, 68.1/121Women Green 6,024 yards; Front 9, 36.3/123; Back 9, 35.9/131; 18-hole, 72.2/127Men Green 6,024 yards; Front 9, 33.9/115; Back 9, 33.3/111; 18-hole, 67.2/113Men White 6,602 yards; Front 9, 35.1/122; Back 9, 34.9/120; 18-hole, 70.0/121Men Gold 7,210 yards; Front 9, 36.5/131; Back 9, 36.4/122; 18-hole, 72.9/127Practice: Grass driving range and putting green.Amenities: Driving range (double-ended), 3 practice greens, John Jacobs Golf School, snack bar & grill, indoor/outdoor seating, GPSMisc. info: The Headwaters Golf Course is set amid the beauty of the Fraser River Valley just outside the town of Granby. Headwaters provides a beautiful and challenging round of golf for players of all abilities. Elevated tees offer splendid views of mountains, wetlands and lush alpine meadows. Its groomed fairways wind around strategically placed bunkers, lakes and ponds.Directions: Take I-70 to U.S. Hwy 40. Go west about 42 miles to the Headwaters Golf Course/Sol Vista Ski Area entrance. Follow signs east 1.5 miles to course. Grand ElkCourse name: Grand Elk Ranch & ClubWebsite: 1300 Ten Mile Drive, Granby, CO 80446Phone number: 887-389-9333Type: Semi-private, 18-hole regulationTee Times: Call 970-887-9122 for reservations. Seven days in advance. Members only until 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.Dress Code: Collared shirt, no jeans.Designer: Craig Stadler and Tripp Davis Tee boxes: Women Gold 5,092 yards; Front 9, 34.5/120; Back 9, 35.0/128; 18-hole, 69.5/124Women Green 5,611 yards; Front 9, 35.5/126; Back 9, 36.1/134; 18-hole, 71.6/130Women White 6,233 yards; Front 9, 37.5/132; Back 9, 37.4/145; 18-hole, 74.9/139Men Green 5,611 yards; Front 9, 32.9/116; Back 9, 33.9/114; 18-hole, 66.8/115Men White 6,233 yards; Front 9, 34.6/126; Back 9, 34.7/116; 18-hole, 69.3/120Men Blue 6,608 yards; Front 9, 35.4/126; Back 9, 35.8/128; 18-hole, 71.2/127Men Black 6,997 yards; Front 9, 36.1/127; Back 9, 36.4/132; 18-hole, 72.5/130Practice: Grass driving range and putting green.Amenities: Clubhouse and restaurant, on-site catering and GPS included with cart fee.Misc. info: The Grand Elk Golf Course is a par 71 masterwork playing 7,144 yards from the back tees. Echoing the attributes of traditional Heathland courses in the British Isles, the course features gently rolling fairways and strategically placed hazards. The variations in tee boxes will provide a test for the low handicapper or a fun round for the recreational golfer.Directions: Take I-70 west to Hwy 40. Take Hwy 40 north to Granby. The course is southwest of Granby off of Hwy 40. Turn left on Thompson Drive (at City Market), then right on Ten Mile Drive and follow to clubhouse.

Grand Lake Bowling League Results

Las Vegas LeagueJan. 27For the women, Kathy Burke bowled the high scratch game (231) and high scratch series (576). Suzi Maki scored the high handicap game (279), and Brenda Freeman and Melissa Humble tied for the high handicap series at 667.For the men, David Freeman took both high scratch game (226) and high scratch series (598) honors. Kenneth Clark bowled the high handicap game (276), while Garey Sutherby turned in the high handicap series at 712.The latest standings were:TeamWLDiamonds in the Ruff43 25The Rollers4226Bear It All3731It Happens Shhh36.531.5Just Sizzlin3038Up Your Alley2939Grand Lake Lanes27.5 40.5Ace Pluming2642Louies Ladies LeagueFeb. 2Monday Night Louies Ladies Leagues Just Us stayed on top of the team rankings, while Autumn Fisher dominated the lanes with high scratch game (217), high handicap game (257) and high handicap series (668). Rhonda Busse took high scratch series honors with a 551.The post-Feb. 2 standings were:TeamWLJust Us5628Fallen Angels4638Frickin Five Pin4436Lane Hoppers41.542.5Spare Me4143The D Team4044The Gumballs36.547.5Plumb Bobs3153Feb. 9Krys Boy dominated Louies Ladies League knocking over the most pins in every category with high game scratch of 211, high game handicap of 248, high series scratch of 541 and high series handicap, 652 .The post-Feb. 9 standings were:TeamWLJust Us5929Fallen Angels5038Lane Hoppers45.542.5Spare Me4543Frickin Five Pin4439The D Team4048The Gumballs36.551.5Plumb Bobs3256Wednesday Mens leagueBobby Blea had the hot hand, bowling the high handicap game (280) and the high handicap series (732). Arnie Johnson bowled the high scratch game (237), and John McDowell turned in the high scratch series at 650.The latest standings were:TeamWLAlpine Taxidermy35.520.5Heckerts Cleaners31 wins25Power World30.525.5Grumpys Old Men2927BAll Nite Long2828Team Five2333Drink Pillage & Plunder2214 lossesGapers028Thursday Morning Lady BugsFeb. 5Terry Pratt bowled the high scratch (195) and handicap (229) games and high series scratch (500). Yvonne Prather kept her high series handicap title with a score of 622.The post-Feb. 5 standings were:Team WLTeam Rufra137Batman & Robin119Spare Mades1010Jill & Janet812Terry P. & Cindy812Debbie & Yvonne713Feb. 12Terry Pratt had the hot hand again bowling high game scratch (176), high series scratch (513), and high series handicap (615). High game handicap honors went to Sharon Iacovetto with a score of 223.The post-Feb. 12 standings were:TeamWLTeam Rufra1410Batman & Robin1410Terry P & Cindy1212Jill & Janet1113Spare Mades1113Debbie & Yvonne717

Optimism builds for Grand County construction industry

The scars from the 2008 financial crisis still dot the Grand County landscape. The Highland Lumber building in Tabernash sits mostly vacant. The frame of the James Peak Lodge development in Winter Park was torn down, but the remaining dirt lot leaves a gap in the town's commercial strip. A large golf development property in Granby was never built. Diminished property taxes left government agencies, schools, and libraries scrambling to maintain services. But there may be a silver lining. Or at least one on the horizon. "We've been pleasantly surprised with respect to the amount of new projects and future interest in remodels and new construction. It seems like it's been steadily increasing over the last three years, and especially between last year and this year, we've seen a jump," said Scott Munn, founder of Munn Architecture, in Granby. . "I think it has skipped off the bottom. It may not go right to the surface, but it's increasing," he said. According to the January through April building department report for the towns of Winter Park, Fraser, and Granby, there is no clear trend in upcoming building prospects. Total permits issued are slightly down for this year, but the valuation of projects is up. So there are fewer projects to date, but the ones that are being built are worth more, and bring in more revenues in fees. The Grand County Building Department's permit report year-to-date for May, 22, 2014, yields almost identical trends. The number of permits issued is flat, 113 this year to 2013's 112 for the same period. But the valuation of the projects in 2014 is $521,990 greater than the prior year. The report accounts for all types of building projects, not just new construction. The county building department oversees the towns of Hot Sulphur Springs, Kremmling, and Grand Lake, as well as all of unincorporated Grand County. According to the department, the types of projects being built are bigger — more single-family dwellings rather than remodels and smaller repair jobs. Craig Kobe, regional manager for JVA Inc, an engineering firm in Winter Park, has plenty to do. He believes building departments and contractors aren't seeing the extent of the growth yet because many of the projects are still in the planning phases. "We're slammed. We basically went from four to six in the office. And then we added an intern, so we're seven. And we're still understaffed. We're cranking right now through a lot of projects," he said. When asked if it is a trend that will last, Kobe is hopeful. "Honestly, right now, it sure feels like it's here to stay. I can't say for how long. Denver's been hot for about five years now, and we typically follow Denver." But caution at this point is prudent, as plans don't necessarily materialize into projects. "Things are certainly improving," said James Shockey, Winter Park town planner. "Developers are coming back and showing interest in developing property. We have a lot of interest, but we'll see if those discussions turn into permits." Builders start to see signs Les Watkins, president of L.D. Watkins Construction Services Inc in Granby, speaks like a man who has weathered a storm. "It's been rough here. There really hasn't been a lot of work going in Grand County. I am not expecting a great year because there's too much used inventory." The downturn in building jobs after 2008 caused Watkins to get creative. The majority of his recent work has been remodeling and restoration. He was also forced to expand outside of the county about five years ago. But just in the past week, he has seen a sudden improvement. "Our bid load is doubled right now," he said. "It has definitely picked up just recently." Watkins' crew also broke ground on a new home in Grand Lake, the first home he's built in five years. "It's going to be a down year, but compared to the last five years, it's going to be an improvement. We haven't had a home through the recession," he said. RE/MAX Winter Park broker associate Monica D. Anderson believes a lot of that used inventory is disappearing. "We are definitely seeing an increase in buyer activity this year," she said. Anderson explained that much of the inventory on the lower end, such as homes between $150,000 and $300,000, as well as the lower-priced condos are drying up. Carpenter Mike Brannagan decided that the timing is right to start his own company, after years of working for other contractors. Last spring he started Brannagan Builds LLC, specializing in interior trim work. "I was looking for a new challenge and wanted to stay small but also run projects. I always figured I would have my own business," he said. Brannagan sees an upside to the slower growth, because many of the companies that were here to take advantage of the boom have since packed up and left town. "As far as the building rebounding, it may not be as strong. But we're back to that core group of locals who have always built up here and know what it takes to build up here. They do good work," he said.

Laurie Henderhan – Everyone is Irish Today

Cook up the corned beef and cabbage, wear something green and eat our favorite things with a strange green tint, it’s St Patrick’s Day. I hope you are wearing green so you don’t get pinched. No matter what our true nationality, everyone is Irish today.   The 2010 United States Census is underway. Grand County is understaffed and census workers are desperately needed. The hours are flexible and you are paid for your training time. If you could use some extra income, consider a census job for the next few weeks. Check out the web site at or call 1-866-861-2010.   The Blue Valley Sportsman Club and 4BarD Training Inc are holding a concealed carrying firearms training class. The class by certified instructors will be this Saturday, March 20 from 8 to 4:30. The cost of the program is $75 and you must pre-register, as the size of the group is limited to 20 students. For more information call 724-3311, 970-333-4909 or email You can also visit the website at   Attention all Grand County Veterans: There will be a Veterans Dinner on March 25th at the Extension Hall at the fairgrounds. The dinner is at 5 p.m. and is for all veterans and a guest. There is no agenda, just dinner and good conversation. RSVP by March 18 to Dave Jones at 970-509-9024 if you would like to attend.   A 4-H Spring Break Camp is planned at the extension hall for ages 8 to 13. The camp will be on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 22, 23 and 24. The cost is $10 a day or $25 for all three days.  Contact the extension hall soon at 970-724-3436 to sign up your campers, as space is limited. Bring a lunch with you, a snack will be provided.   The West Grand School District will be holding community meetings to get your input on the budget concerns affecting the district. The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. on April 1 at the High School Auditorium. The West Grand DAC would like to have your input on ways the district could save money. You can take a 5-10 minute survey by going to the district website after you call the district office at 724-3217 for the password. If you would like to receive information throughout the budget process, contact the district office or email to request being put on the email list. There are flyers at the post office and other places around town with more info about the meetings and some of the changes being considered.   The 9 Health Fair is coming up on April 10 at the West Grand High School.  The hours of all three Grand County health fairs will be 7:30 to 11:30am. The Health Fair in Granby will be on April 17th and in Fraser on April 24. You can pre-register on-line at for the Kremmling health fair at the Kremmling Memorial Hospital conference room from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7. Volunteers are always appreciated at all sites. Contact Sherri Solawetz at 970-724-3442 if you can volunteer as a medical professional or a non-medical volunteer.   Contact me with your events, programs or questions at or 970-531-231 or 970-724-9575. Have a good week.