Evergreen Park & Recreation District briefs

Posted 8/5/22

Bear-proof trash coming to area parks; Dog-park plans; Strategic plan; and Salary survey

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Evergreen Park & Recreation District briefs

Posted

Bear-proof trash coming to area parks

Evergreen’s Bear Aware and the Evergreen Park & Recreation District have received a $67,000 grant to purchase bear-proof trash cans for area parks.

In addition, some of the grant money will be used to provide bear awareness training for homeowners associations, according to Liz Cohen, EPRD’s grants and development coordinator.

Priority areas for the trash cans will be at Evergreen Lake and at Kittredge Park, where bears have been actively getting into trash cans, Executive Director Cory Vander Veen said at the July 26 EPRD board meeting.

Any traditional trash cans that are still usable will be refurbished and repainted, and donated to other groups.

Dog-park plans

Plans for creating an off-leash dog park in Evergreen are moving forward, according to Don Rosenthal, Evergreen Park & Recreation District board president.

He told the EPRD board on July 26 in the next two months he hopes EPRD will host a public meeting to tell the community where the dog-park location will be with a broad outline of how it will operate, noting he expects the public to have varying opinions on the plan.

He said he has been meeting with Friends of Evergreen Dog Park to work on a plan.

Strategic plan

Evergreen Park & Recreation District staff members are working on potential scenarios that the board can use to create a strategic plan.

The plan will be what the board is calling “fast and light,” intending to create a blueprint for both new projects and maintaining existing facilities, and the public will be included in the process.

“Cory (Vander Veen) and I had a chance to discuss envisioning your planning process and some of the elements that you want to see in the process, including robust community engagement, cost analysis (of potential projects), something to support a potential bond and what we are calling an implementation plan,” said Liz Cohen, EPRD’s grants and development coordinator, at the July 26 EPRD board meeting.

She said she wants to ensure that board members agree on the approach to create the plan, including how much it will cost for a survey of district residents.

Board members hope they can get a grant to help pay for costs associated with the strategic plan.

Salary survey

Heather Facer, the Evergreen Park & Recreation District’s human resources manager, is doing a salary survey to see how much other recreation districts pay their employees.

The salary survey is done every three years, and Facer is comparing positions, salaries and benefits with the Edwards, Apex, Golden and Clear Creek rec districts. The survey also will look at what the other districts charge for annual passes and fees.

Facer told the EPRD board on July 26 that she planned to have the study done in time for the Aug. 23 board meeting, noting that district officials would need the information as it moves through the budget process for 2023.

She said EPRD’s wages typically lag behind other districts, and EPRD has difficulty filling some positions. Ideally, she added, it would be beneficial if raises were tied to the Consumer Price Index.

Board members agreed that they would look closely at salary increases, especially with the current economic climate and inflation, though they doubted they could increase salaries equal to the CPI, which is at about 9%.

“With the high level of inflation, realistically we can’t do a 9% pay increase,” Executive Director Cory Vander Veen said. “From a district perspective, we can’t keep up with that. Ultimately, this expense will have to come from somewhere such as user fees or something else.”

Vander Veen said looking at other rec districts’ organizational charts and position descriptions will help EPRD look at how it is structured to see if changes would make more sense for the district.

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