Phillips County awarded $550,000 pavilion grant

The Phillips County Commissioners received a letter from Irv Halter, executive director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, awarding Phillips County $550,000 in Energy Impact Assistance funds toward the Phillips County Fairgrounds Pavilion and Education Center project.
    The County made the formal grant presentation before the Energy Impact Committee April 19 in Golden. It was the second attempt for this grant. The project scored very high the first round, but there was not enough money available to fund the project. The board is very appreciative of DOLA field representative Greg Etl, who provided advice and assistance as the County worked on grant preparation.
    The grant raises the total funds committed toward the project to $1,388,700 and leaves the County $211,400 shy of the original project cost estimate goal of $1,600,100. The fundraising committee continues to encourage individuals and businesses to make a monetary or grain pledge toward the project. All pledges, regardless of size, make a real difference in reaching the goal.
    Pledges can be made over a five-year period and provide a 25 percent tax credit toward Colorado state income tax liabilities. Individual and business pledges currently sit at $174,344. Pledge forms are available on the County website, lipscounty, under New Pavilion or can be obtained by calling the administration office at 970-854-3778.
    The Fairgrounds Fundraising Committee is currently discussing future fundraising events. They are working on a challenge for residents to help with the purchase of new livestock pens for the facility. The Fairgrounds Grants Committee continues to work on submitting additional grant applications to help reach the goal.
    The project has changed slightly since its original conception. Rather than an open pavilion, it is now planned to be entirely enclosed. That change lowered the cost of the pavilion. When the design included an open building, heavier steel structures were required to withstand the high wind forces that often occur in eastern Colorado. Because of that cost reduction, the plan now includes installation of bathrooms, a meeting/kitchen/office room, and a storage room.
    Assuming the fundraising campaign reaches its goal soon, the County will have two construction windows to build the project — fall of 2017 after the county fair and spring/summer of 2018 before the next county fair.
    The committed funds include $260,000 of County capital expenditure funds, $66,000 in County lottery funds, $155,000 committed from the Phillips County Recreation District, $174,344 in individual and business pledges, three grants totaling $655,000, contributions from 4-H and FFA livestock kids of $2,288, 4-H Coin Wars of $591, fundraising events at $22,699 and state severance monies of $3,261.
    The County plans to use County forces in demolishing the old buildings and preparing the site for construction. That cost is estimated at $49,500.

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