The Evergreen Legacy Fund initiated by the Downtown Evergreen Economic District has grown from $10,000 in December 2012 to $45,000, said Dean Dalvit of EV Studio, who is coordinating the program.
The revenue, designed for downtown improvements, is generated by a voluntary 1 percent donation that customers pay at retail shops, restaurants and hotels. Other businesses, such as Dalvit’s architectural firm, also make contributions
The fund has a membership of more than 30 businesses and an annual revenue stream currently estimated at $70,000, said Dalvit.
“These funds are specifically designed to be used as cash match funds for grant-funded improvement projects,” said Dalvit. “DEED has built this program from scratch, and continues to operate, maintain and grow the program to provide the necessary funds for these projects.”
“We are moving forward, and trying to solve one of downtown Evergreen’s biggest problems: a lack of public restrooms,” Dalvit said. “That’s our next intended project.”
To keep down expenses, DEED members are considering installing temporary toilets in a semi-permanent enclosure. Permanent facilities would be cost-prohibitive in the near future, he said.
“We want to focus on what we can do right now,” Dalvit remarked. “We know that vision is a long way off.”
The toilets could be placed in a central downtown location, either near the parking lot or by Evergreen National Bank, Dalvit said.
Other projects that the ELF could undertake in the future are downtown trail connections, pocket parks and lighting in the downtown area.
“Our core mission is to provide amenities,” said Dalvit.
To facilitate development of connecting paths, DEED submitted a trails master plan grant to Great Outdoors Colorado this past spring, which was rejected.
DEED is rewriting the grant application for submittal this month, Dalvit said.
This planning grant reflects a partnership with Jefferson County Highways and Transportation and additional support from the Evergreen Park and Recreation District.
“We feel confident that we are able to address the concerns of GOCO in a convincing way and hopefully be successful in this round,” said Dalvit.
Matching funds to produce the trails master plan would be provided by ELF.
Dalvit also is immersed in a project to create a connecting trail from downtown to Evergreen Lake, an effort that has been years in the making.
“It’s such an important link,” he said, even though it is only 200 feet of trail.
Dalvit created a workable design for the trail, which will be built alongside the metal steps on the highway side of the lake.
The project is facing caused by right-of-way issues.
“We have spent two months trying to find out on whose property the trail is located,” he said.
Dalvit and EPRD staff recently learned that the trail path is on Denver Mountain Parks land. Now the Colorado Department of Transportation has to get approval from Denver Mountain Parks, he said.
After one more approval, Dalvit said, he is hopeful a construction date will be set and work on the trail can begin this fall.
“I’m the eternal optimist,” he said.
Funding for the project is provided through a $250,000 GOCO grant and through in-kind donations of services and materials. Dalvit’s firm made a pro bono contribution for the trail design.
While discussing cooperative efforts with governmental agencies, Dalvit said that DEED has secured a position with Jefferson County Planning and Zoning to respond on behalf of the downtown community on every land-use submittal that is proposed in and around the downtown Evergreen area.
“Other relationships that have been developed throughout the course of our efforts include the Colorado Department of Transportation, Denver Mountain Parks, Evergreen Metro District, Bear Creek Watershed, Jefferson County Open Space, Evergreen Area Chamber of Commerce, Evergreen Downtown Business Association, Evergreen Pathfinders, Leadership Evergreen, the Audubon Society, TEAM Evergreen, and numerous other nonprofit organizations,” Dalvit said in a recent report to DEED.
Contact Sandy Barnes at email@example.com or call 303-350-0142.