More people are asking for donations from the town of Gypsum, and for the first time in about 10 years, during 2012 the town doled out all the money set aside in its approximately $15,000 donation fund.
The last $900 for 2012 was awarded to the Eagle Valley High School Speech and Debate Team at last week's town council meeting. Council member Beric Christiansen was absent.
"This is the first year we've spent all the money in our donation fund," remarked Gypsum Town Manager Jeff Shroll when the council voted to award the sum.
Council member Tom Edwards clarified later that the fund was cleaned out once before.
"That was about 10 years ago, when we actually spent more than we had set aside in the fund, which was something like $500 at the time," Edwards said. "These days we budget more like $15,000 for the fund."
The EVHS Speech Team requested $1,000 to help pay for the team's lodging when about 40 members compete in Denver.
Gypsum Council member Pam Schultz encouraged the team to come back in January and ask for the remaining $100.
"Understand that we're not giving a pledge, only that we're encouraging you to come back once we're on the 2013 budget," she said.
The decision prompted talk among the council about organizing the donation fund a little more stringently. The fund is currently a lump sum of money distributed at the council's discretion. It is separate from budgeted donations the town makes every year.
Edwards suggested looking at past donations to see how much of the fund was going where.
"Maybe we could ask people to make their requests a year in advance so we can budget for them," he said.
Council member Tim McMichael didn't like that idea but agreed there might be some changes made to the way the account is handled.
"Like the speech team right now, I'll bet they didn't know they were going to need this money until recently," McMichael said. "I think it's best to give donations as we can and when the fund is gone for the year, it's gone. Otherwise, it gives the bigger organizations an advantage for getting donations and then the little guys don't get anything."
McMichael also suggested looking at the amount of money the town gives to the schools - particularly the high school - and seeing if the town of Eagle might contribute.
"It'd be nice to split the tens of thousands of dollars we donate to the schools with our neighbors," he said.
- Derek Franz
Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory are inviting the public to an informational presentation to learn more about the northwest portion of the new, statewide Colorado Birding Trail.
The presentation is planned Monday, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m. at the Gypsum Recreation Center.
The Colorado Birding Trail features a series of driving loops providing the public with a variety of wildlife viewing opportunities across large portions of the state.
The presentation will also include details about how landowners can participate by allowing their property to be part of the trail.
"If you are a landowner looking for a way to diversify your property and share the excellent wildlife viewing opportunities on your land, we invite you to attend," said Trina Romero, Watchable Wildlife Coordinator for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "Partnering with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory gives you a great opportunity to see how ecotourism benefits a landowner and wildlife."
The trails in the southwest and southeast portions of the state are complete, and the northwestern phase of the birding trail is under way, and scheduled for completion in June 2013.
To participate in this fun event, and also enjoy refreshments and dinner, please RSVP to Jeff Birek with Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory at 970-482-1707 ext. 25, or by email to: email@example.com
For more information about the Colorado Birding Trail, please go to www.coloradobirdingtrail.com.
- Enterprise staff report
The Gypsum Library is hosting a Memory Tree lighting ceremony from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Friday.
The event includes children's crafts, hot cocoa and cookies, holiday readings on the lawn and a very special visit from Santa. Admission is free.
- Enterprise staff report