MONTE VISTA - City Manager Forest Neuerburg stood before Monte Vista city council Dec. 1 with information about a financial agreement for the Ski Hi project. “We’re partners with the Friends of Ski Hi and they are working diligently to raise an amazing amount of money to do this project over at Ski Hi,” said Neuerburg. The project to rebuild a new Ski Hi complex has been the result of many years of work and discussion. The recent passing of the City’s one cent tax initiative will be part of the funding going forward with this project.
Neuerburg went on to tell the council about enterprise zone designation for the Ski Hi project. “That essentially means that people could make donations and get a Colorado tax deduction for their donation,” explained Neuerburg. The minimum donation to receive the tax deduction would be $100, and they would need to write the check to the city. “It’s the same as writing it to a nonprofit but if they are wanting the tax deduction then we’re the authorized agent for that,” said Neuerburg adding, “There is an Enterprise Zone fund strictly for the Ski Hi project. People wanting to donate if they still want 2019 tax credits, they can get those through March 15 of 2020 as long as their check is dated Dec. 31 of 2019. If they want the deduction for 2020 all they have to do is date it to whatever the date is of 2020 and they’ll get the tax deduction for that,” said Neuerburg.
Earlier Neuerburg shared how the city has set up a separate account for the donated funds they collect, “To make sure that those funds were segregated we have actually set up a separate banking account over at Rio Grande Savings and Loan association. It’s only for the enterprise zone qualified funds that the city receives. However the friends of Ski Hi also have an account there for nonenterprise zone donations, grants, etc.,” Neuerburg added, “They’ll have the bulk of the project but then the project itself will be contracted to the city. We’re anticipating going back to DOLA for a larger million dollar construction grant so there’s a lot of pieces to it. We wanted to be able to make sure we could account for all the funds that went in and went out just in case anybody has any questions or issues it’s very transparent. That’s the basis of what this agreement is about.”
Karla Shriver shared information about the agreement with the council saying, “We’ve got a wonderful collaboration project going here and we are going to be dealing with a very large sum of money. We want to make sure our groups understand what is going to happen and that the public understands what’s going to happen. We want this to be a very transparent process and in doing so this memorandum is just outlining that yes there are two accounts because when we go to do our grant applications for foundations most of them will want to contribute to the 501 C3. Which is the one account that Forest mentioned that’s at Rio Grande and it is actually the Monte Vista community fund. But it’s a separate account only for Ski Hi funds. It does not include any of the other funds that the community fund administers. Then the city setting up their capital account for Ski Hi assures that these project funds are accounted for when the city goes to make payments, we have a paper trail. Again it’s just for transparency and that we can account for all these dollars and be responsible to the public for their money that they’re giving to us.”
Shriver also shared that the Friends of Ski Hi will soon have a website which will explain in more depth the type of donations. “Our website will be live here shortly and again it will outline the two accounts and whether a donor wants to donate to the 501 C3 or should they want to donate and get an enterprise zone tax credit they would write it to the city,” said Shriver.
Shriver respectfully asked that the council approve the financial agreement saying, “It’s an understanding of how the funds will be administered. When we need to pay invoices the city sends us a letter and we’ll send them the money. It’s just a good tracking system for the accounting of the money. That is what we’re asking for in this particular agreement.
Mayor Pro Tem Victor Sigala made a motion to pass the agreement and Councilor Gary Johnson seconded. The motion was passed without opposition.
Shriver thanked the council, city staff and the community saying, “This is going to work and this is going to be a great thing for this community. I think we should all be proud of the grass roots effort that’s taking place and the momentum that’s underway as we go.”