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South Platte River Trail to move forward in 2017

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MetroWest Report

Fort Lupton officials plan to start building the South Platte River Trail this spring from Pearson Park north to 14th Street along the South Platte River.

Various state and federal grants could be used to start the project in 2017, said Aaron Herrera, assistant city manager.

Some day, the trail is planned to link up to similar trails to the north and south along the river that could ultimately stretch across Colorado from the Wyoming border to the New Mexico border.

State Conservation Trust Fund money may be used on the South Platte River Trail project. It also may be spent on the Coyote Creek Golf Course this year, since such funds can be used for parks and open spaces, Hanes said. Fort Lupton has $130,000 saved up from the state fund, which comes from a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds.

In a related note, Fort Lupton received $86,542.40 from the Conservation Trust Fund in 2016, up from $73,616.15 in 2015. Money can be saved up for bigger projects, but the state requires city officials to account for spending in year-end reports, Hanes said.

Under the state regulations, the proposed Fort Lupton shooting range complex could be eligible for such state funds, too.

“Funds can be used for the acquisition, development and maintenance of new conservation sites or for capital improvements or maintenance for recreational purposes on any public site,” said Denise Stepto director of communications for the state Department of Local Affairs, which oversees the funds.

The funds go to more than 470 Colorado communities. The Department of Local Affairs sends out money quarterly. More information on the Conservation Trust Fund program is available at www.colorado.gov/dola.