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Dolores Town Board gets OK to remove playground structure

GOCO says contracts for playgrounds shorter now

The Town of Dolores has received final approval from Great Outdoors Colorado to remove playground equipment in Joe Rowell Park.

The organization helped pay for the structure through a $100,000 grant with Dolores, and a contract that it last for 20 years. But due to its deterioration, the 16-year-old structure was closed in September by the town, which cited safety concerns.

After an assessment showed high repair costs, the town decided that full replacement would be more practical long-term.

In December, the town board unanimously voted to request that GOCO release them from the grant contract so the structures could be removed and plans made to build a new playground.

GOCO program manager Jake Houston explained that the 20-year grant contract requirement for the Dolores playground is antiquated and has since been revised.

Due to Colorado’s weather impact on play equipment, GOCO funded playgrounds are now only expected to last at least 15 years, he said. The new policy has allowed other GOCO grantees to remove their projects as well.

The Dolores board formed a parks advisory committee to research and recommend ideas for a new playground to the town board and staff. On Monday, the board appointed the final member.

Lisa Holz will join Nikki Gillespie, Mike Riley, Kalin Grigg and Tracy Murphy on the parks advisory committee. Murphy is also a town board member. Meeting dates will be announced soon and the meetings will be open to the public. The town board is interested in again seeking grant funding from GOCO for the new playground, and has reserved $33,000 for matching funds.

The process of removing the playground structure will be completed by town park staff.

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