CREEDE— The City of Creede Board of Trustees opened their first of the year meeting on Jan. 2 to discuss a pending memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Days of ‘92 Mining Competition Committee.
In a letter submitted to the board, committee member and official announcer for the mining competitions Tom Donavan explained that the committee was asked in 1988 to host the state mining competitions in conjunction with the local competitions and would like to continue the tradition by entering into a MOU with the city that would give the committee control of the property.
At the beginning of the meeting, City Clerk Randi Snead proposed that the board move the public hearing for the consideration of the Days of ‘92 MOU to the beginning of the night, due to the fact that the majority of the attending audience were present for the discussion. Board members agreed and moved the public hearing in order to deal with the MOU prior to the rest of the night’s agenda.
In one letter submitted to the board, it explained some of the history of the portion of Basham Park known as the Days of ‘92 arena. Originally, the area in question was once a right of way for the railroad when it was still in city limits, before being passed to the city. It was later that the arena was built to host the state and local mining competitions as part of the Fourth of July celebrations in Creede.
A discussion was opened by the board with a question by Trustee Catherine Kim who asked why a MOU was needed for this particular event, when the city did not ask that one be created for any other event held in the area. Mayor Jeffery Larson explained that one of the reasons for the MOU is because the mining committee leaves their equipment and property at the arena year-round and it would serve to ensure its safe keeping.
Larson continued to explain that this MOU was something that was offered to the committee in the 1970s as a “hand shake” agreement and the current MOU would be an affirmation of that agreement. In the MOU it states, “The Days of ‘92 shall have exclusive use of the arena annually for a period of time that will include the mining event itself and a 10-day setup and breakdown period proceeding and following said mining event. Other arena uses are permitted within this time frame but must be approved by the city and Days of ‘92 by an authorized designee in writing prior to the event.”
Another issue with the MOU brought to the board is that the document states that any changes to the arena couldn’t be made without prior approval of the Days of ‘92 committee. Trustee Lori Dooley spoke up and stated that by approving it the way it is written, she fears that it will set a precedent that other entities could dictate what happened on city property. “I don’t know that this is necessary, but we do not want the event to go anywhere,” said Dooley.
It was later clarified by a member of the committee that the reason they asked for control of the property and any changes that may come about is to ensure that their mining equipment is not moved or altered during other events. Dooley suggested that the wording be changed to reflect the purpose of the MOU rather than leaving it so vague.
Board members decided that the language in the document was over broad and the document needs to be changed to fit the needs of both parties. The board asked Town Attorney Karen Lintott to review the document and have it ready for presentation during the next meeting in February.