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State denies funds for upgrade to?Colfax's Veterans Memorial Park

By: Nancy Hagman gold country news service correspondent
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COLFAX ? There?s no joy for Colfax when it comes to funding for youth facilities and parks. California State Parks and Recreation has turned down the City of Colfax?s $2.9 million grant application to upgrade Veterans Memorial Park and build a swimming pool. According to Colfax City Manager Bruce Kranz, the request for federal Community Development Block Grant funds to turn the old county courthouse into a youth center is also out of consideration. Kranz said the CDBG grant denial is due to a bureaucratic detail that is being appealed. During the city council meeting of April 25, elected officials, staff and several members of the public discussed park alternatives. Mike Hynrichs, representing the Sierra Foothills Little League, said, ?We stand ready to help out. For instance, the light poles need to be of a safer metal material rather than the current wood. We can get help for that project.? Representatives from the Colfax Area Chamber of Commerce, the American Bear Ridge Recreation Alliance and Weimar Applegate Colfax Municipal Advisory Council to the Placer County Board of Supervisors all gave comment. Council members discussed keeping the pool project on hold, but Councilwoman Donna Barkle suggested completing a project now. ?We should at least be able to install some sort of water feature for the children,? Barkle said. In the end, council members directed staff to pare down the plans and return with an affordable project proposal. At a special session on April 30, the council officially rejected all the bids for the park project as it is currently planned since they were at least 50 percent over the architect?s estimation. Kranz said the ?$220,000 state grant was rolled over and we have until 2013 to encumber those funds.? But, he added, ?We will keep plugging away at finding grant money ? It?s a gamble ? community involvement is still a factor.? The $90,000 that has been designed for the pool are by the county Parks and Recreation Commission is currently still available. Kranz said he intends to inquire if it could be used for a children?s water feature. As is stands, the closest option for water safety instruction is the Meadow Vista Pool. The Colfax High swim team travels to Recreation Park in Auburn to use the Sierra Pool.