Town receives grant for proposed river corridor campground



Potential benefits include revenue source for Town of Rico, campground host employment, and sales boost for local businesses

· Campground,Housing,Subdivisions,Trustees Meeting
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In memory of Cortez CO Police Department Sargeant Michael Moran, who also served as Rico Town Marshal. A memorial service for Sgt. Moran was held December 6, 2023 in Cortez.



Rico Board of Trustees Meeting
December 20, 2023


In this report

  1. Campground proposal
  2. CHFA State Proposition 123 affordable housing next step
  3. Temporary moratorium extension on subdivisions and PUD applications - second reading
  4. Other items



1) Campground proposal

Town of Rico was recently selected to receive a grant award for a proposed campground near the Dolores River.

San Miguel Power Association representative Terry Schuyler reported via video-conference link during the Rico Board of Trustees December 20, 2023 meeting that the SMPA board of directors approved a Sharing Success Economic Development Grant for “Town of Rico Campsites” at its regular monthly meeting the previous day (December 19, 2023). Rico was one of two selected from a list of 25 applications submitted. The award amount is $15,000.

Notes in the Trustees Meeting Packet suggest that grant funds for the campground project are also available from other unnamed sources.


Campground description

The Trustees Meeting Packet describes the proposed campsite project:

Each site would consist of a railroad tie and gravel tent platform, picnic table, fire ring, and site signage. Sites would share bearproof food boxes, porta-potty, water spigot, and a dumpster. Guests of the campground could utilize the new parking lot that will be constructed as part of the town shop project. They would also have access to the bathroom and water station at the new building as well.

The target demographic for this campground would be a family of 3 – 5 who would like to visit the area but due to children and/or limited camping experience would be more comfortable camping with amenities instead of utilizing the National Forest. They would be able to park within 1/10 mile of the tent site, walk gear on an improved path to their site, while still having access to restrooms, potable water, and electricity. They would be able to walk to local businesses, drive to destinations within the area, and access the National Forest within our valley.

Campground season Memorial Day weekend through mid-October allows for about 145 “bookable days.” If 50% of campsites are booked for the season resulting in 572 nightly stays, a nightly fee of $30 would create revenues.

Campground estimated beneficial financial impact

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If each stay spent an additional $15 on average per day within town (coffee, breakfast, dinner, gas, beer/wine/liquor) there would be an additional $8,580 spent within the community. Generating another $600 in sales tax for the town. The cumulative direct and indirect financial impact a campground could have totals $28,500.

Campground employment

To ensure guests are compliant with the campground rules and requirements a camp host site could be constructed to accommodate a van or small camper. Traditionally the camp host position is unpaid, and their site is provided at no cost in exchange for their services. . . . . revenue from reservations could be used to pay a full-time summer seasonal employee:

  • cleaning and maintaining park facilities and campground
  • helping with check-ins/outs, overseeing and monitoring campground reservation website
  • watering flowers
  • emptying trash receptacles
  • other as needed

Early summer and fall when campground reservations may be less, full-time position may nor be necessary and workload could be absorbed by current Town staff.

Trustees Meeting Packet



2) CHFA State Proposition 123 affordable housing next step

Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) is a non-profit organization with several board members appointed by Governor, and offers:

  • home purchase loans and grants for affordable housing through a statewide network of approved lenders.
  • loans and tax credits to build new, or renovate existing, multifamily rental housing.
  • business lending . . . for-profit or nonprofit with unique programs for manufacturers, rural businesses, and healthy food grocers.

Chris Lopez is the CHAFA Community Relationship Manager for nine southwest Colorado counties. He described in-person for Rico Trustees the next steps if Town of Rico wishes to pursue options available in the Colorado Proposition 123 ballot measure which voters approved in the November 2022 election:

  • housing needs assessment
  • technical assistance
  • grant funding

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) explains the local government process to apply to the Proposition 123 Colorado Affordable Housing Financing Fund:


Proposition 123 - Colorado Affordable Housing Financing Fund

Proposition 123 created the State Affordable Housing Fund, dedicating 40% of funds to the Affordable Housing Support Fund administered by the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and 60% to the Affordable Housing Financing Fund overseen by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) to fund housing programs. OEDIT selected Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) as the third-party administrator in a public process, defined by Proposition 123 statute under CRS 29-32-104.

Visit the Colorado Affordable Housing Financing webpage to learn more about Proposition 123 Affordable Housing Finance Fund Programs. This site is dedicated to the Affordable Housing Financing Fund, which supports land banking, equity, and debt investment to advance affordable housing across the state. To learn more about DOLA's Proposition 123 programs, visit DOLA's Proposition 123 Implementation webpage.

The initial step in qualifying for access to these funds is a Local Government Affordable Housing Commitment which includes a requirement to increase existing affordable housing units by 3% a year and an expedited review process for Affordable housing developments. More information and the Local Government opt-in form can be found on Proposition 123 Affordable Housing Commitment.

In addition, HB23-1304 established a process for rural resort communities to petition DOLA's Division of Housing (DOH) to use different percentages of area median income than those percentages
specified for eligibility for certain affordable housing programs funded through the Financing Fund. For more information, sign up for DOH email updates and sign up for CHFA Community Connections eNews.



3) Temporary moratorium extension on subdivisions and PUD applications - second reading

Ordinance 2023-07, extending the current moratorium 6 months until June 30, 2024, and amends the current moratorium to allow:

. . . for consideration of applications that will not increase current water demands, wither it be a minor subdivision to vacate interior lot lines or reduce density, or a major subdivision or PUD application that has already been allocated water.

Trustees Meeting Packet

Trustees approved the first reading of this ordinance at the November 15, 2023 meeting, and voted unanimously to approve the second reading.



4) Other items

2024 Town of Rico budget
Board of Trustees approved the first reading of an ordinance to adopt the proposed 2024 budget at its October 12, 2023 meeting. Trustees voted unanimously to approve the second reading at tonight's meeting

Water billing online
Rico water customers may pay their monthly bills online. Paperless billing is also available.