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County commissioners OK fundraising for Bear Creek Park easement

       The Board of County Commissioners gave unanimous approval at its Jan. 21 meeting to allow $17,500 to be raised privately for a conservation easement on the county's Bear Creek Regional Park.
       "We are hoping six months to raise the dollars working with neighborhood, advocates and businesses," Commissioner Sallie Clark estimated afterward. Clark, whose District 3 includes the 573-acre property off South 21st Street, has led the easement effort, with the goal of guarding against an uncertain future when a tight county budget might make otherwise selling the park tempting.
       Nine years ago, in a similar situation, a county staffer had raised that possibility, although the commissioners never put it to a vote. An easement, as a legal document, would take away such a possibility altogether.
       The commissioners gave Clark the fundraising nod after hearing a report from Community Services Director Tim Wolken, who also oversees the county parks system. According to Wolken, surveys at easement-discussion meetings in 2012 and 2013 showed strong support for the concept.
       The easement would also govern amenity-related park development by the county itself, in keeping with the park's master plan.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 1/22/14)

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