Colorado Governor Announces Plans for Flood-Repair Funds

April 11, 2014

Gov. John Hickenlooper says $13 million from a state lottery fund will be used to help restore parks, trails and open spaces damaged by last year’s floods.

Hickenlooper and officials of lottery-supported Great Outdoors Colorado traveled on Wednesday to Lyons, one of the worst-hit communities, to announce $5 million in grants for 14 projects in Boulder, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Morgan and Weld counties. Another $8 million is for a trail from Lyons to Estes Park, a project that is a partnership between the state’s parks and transportation departments.

Tuesday, the federal government announced a new $4 million grant for nine more months of crisis counseling for survivors of September floods that killed nine people, destroyed and damaged thousands of homes and washed away hundreds of miles of road. Grants totaling $13 million from a state lottery fund will be used to help restore parks, trails and open spaces devastated by last year’s floods, Gov. John Hickenlooper said Wednesday.

Hickenlooper and officials of lottery-supported Great Outdoors Colorado traveled to Lyons, one of the worst-hit communities, to announce $5 million in grants for 14 projects in Boulder, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Morgan and Weld counties. Of those, 11 projects will use youth corps or volunteer workers. Grant recipients are leveraging the $5 million for an additional $13.5 million in matching and other funds, according to an announcement from the governor’s office.

Another $8 million Great Outdoors Colorado grant is for a trail from Lyons to Estes Park, a project that is a partnership between the state’s parks and transportation departments and will be undertaken along with a Highway 36 flood reconstruction project that already is underway.

Great Outdoors Colorado, created in 1992, invests funds earned by the Colorado Lottery to use to preserve parks, trails and other wild resources.

Hickenlooper said the grants will allow the state to “build back better, stronger and more sustainable access to our most treasured Colorado locations.”

In a statement, Lise Aangeenbrug, executive director of Great Outdoors Colorado, said, “In some cases, reopening damaged parks quickly is vital to a community’s economic recovery.”

The small mountain town of 300 has been cut off because of Boulder County flood. FEMA Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) teams deployed to the state to help in Search and Rescue operations. Steve Zumwalt/FEMA

The small mountain town of 300 has been cut off because of Boulder County flood. FEMA Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) teams deployed to the state to help in Search and Rescue operations. Steve Zumwalt/FEMA

In Lyons, $1 million from the grants announced Wednesday will be used to restore popular Meadow Park. Nearly all the public recreational areas in Lyons were washed away in the floods, and overall damage in the town is estimated at more than $50 million. Lyons is in Boulder County, deemed the county worst affected by the floods.

The governor also said Wednesday that more than $100,000 in private money from the Fund to Restore Colorado’s Trails, Waterways and Parks and Oskar Blues CAN’d Aid Foundation would also help restore outdoor recreation facilities.

Also this week, the federal government announced a new $4 million grant for nine more months of crisis counseling for survivors of September floods that killed nine people, destroyed and damaged thousands of homes and washed away hundreds of miles of road.

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