Dec 7, 2010 2:59 PM by Greg Boyce

Section 16 purchase finalized

An informal reception to commemorate the purchase of Section 16 will happen tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. at Kinfolks in Manitou Springs, 950 Manitou Avenue.

The sale is final today.  This adds 640 acres of open space to Colorado Springs' westside network of parks and trails.  The city's lease on the property was set to expire at the end of December.

"Section 16 is a key parcel in our beautiful mountain backdrop and is well-loved by the residents and voters of Colorado Springs," said Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera. "For these reasons, City Council gave its unanimous support to this purchase."

The foothills parcel, held in trust by the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners, has been leased for public recreation since 1972, first by El Paso County then the City, and was nominated to the State Land Board's Stewardship Trust in 1998. The City assumed the property lease in 2004 in order to pursue permanent preservation of the parcel through the City's Trails and Open Space (TOPS) program.  That is funded by a .1 percent sales tax.

The $3.8 million purchase was largely funded through the TOPS program and a $1 million grant from Great Outdoors Colorado.  That money comes from lotto and lottery proceeds.






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