The Clear Creek Metropolitan Recreation District is doing a little spring cleaning by working with Idaho Springs and Georgetown to return four properties it has been leasing over the years.
The district wants to return three to Idaho Springs and one to Georgetown because the properties are unused. While the rec district pays a nominal rent for the properties, it pays for maintenance, which doesn’t make sense when the property isn’t being used, according to Dane Matthew, recreation district director.
The Idaho Springs city council has planned a work session on June 25 to talk with the recreation board about potential uses for the tennis courts, multi-use courts and skate park.
“Something needs to happen there, but by us having this long-term lease, we’re holding your land captive here so that you can’t do the things that you need to do,” Matthew said. “The multi-purpose court needs a purpose.”
At the May 29 council meeting, council member Phyllis Adams asked Matthew what action the recreation board was asking of the city.
“We just need to open a dialogue of discussion about what desires you would have as a board for us to hand those facilities back to you,” Matthew responded.
Matthew said that when the recreation district completed its master plan process last year, its intergovernmental agreements emerged as a priority.
“There’s (lease agreements) in Idaho Springs … like maintaining the outdoor pool,” Matthew said. “Well, there hasn’t been an outdoor pool in how many years?”
However, the leases continue to make sense for properties such as the Idaho Springs ball field that the rec district actively uses, and the district is making more than $500,000 in improvements to it.
Matthew used the 10-year-old skate park on the east end of town as an example of a property that the he believes city should take back and renovate.
“It is a liability nightmare just waiting to happen. Your police department hates it down there, it is constantly being vandalized and tagged, there’s broken glass everywhere. The sharp edges on the metal ramps — they need to go away yesterday,” Matthew said.
The council gave Matthew permission to remove the metal skate structures for safety reasons.
“I would like to find someplace in the community for a nice high-quality molded-concrete skate park that really fits the modern desires for skate parks,” Matthew said.
Mayor Jack Morgan asked whether the former city pool, which lies below the tennis courts, could be turned into a skate park.
In addition to Idaho Springs, Matthew also is approaching Georgetown about a lease the district has for the tennis court and an agreement to irrigate Werlin Park.
“We want to provide activities for you like the skate rink in Werlin Park. We bought that, we provide it to the city, they run it,” Matthew said. “I see that as a much better role for us to work with the community, to say, ‘How can we help you help yourselves to provide for your residents’ needs?’”