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  • Dylan Anderson

Yampa looks to create nonprofit community trust

Organization could open up funding from sources the town cannot access for projects like redevelopment at the old Royal Hotel site.

As the town of Yampa works toward approving its first new comprehensive plan in more than 20 years, one of the recommendations that is part of that plan is already in the works.

At its meeting last week, the Yampa Town Board decided to move forward with creating a new community trust that would help the community leverage additional funds for town needs that may not be available to government organizations.

“It’s a way to bring additional resources to the table for thinks like, say for instance, redevelopment of the Royal Hotel site,” said Mary Alice Page-Allen. “As a local government, you have access to certain funds. As a private, nonprofit, you have access to others.”

Page-Allen said she has so far modeled the current plan for a community trust on the West Routt Forward organization that Hayden created in 2021. There are numerous similar organizations through Routt County, and it could be used for projects like the restoration and preservation of the Yampa Egeria Museum, community events and support for local businesses.

In its meeting last week, the Town Board decided to move forward with the creation of the trust with the name being the Yampa Egeria Community Trust.

The board decided to set the boundaries for this organization as the Yampa Fire Protection District boundaries, which start just south of Phippsburg and extend to the southern Routt County line. The board will have two members from the Yampa Town Board, one from the local historical society, one from the South Routt School District and then three other community members.

The proposed mission statement for the trust is “Helping Yampa flourish by leveraging and distributing resources that improve and advance the community.”

It will cost the town about $2,000 to get everything up and running, but after that the trust would be kept at “arms-length” from town government. While the town board will approve appointments to the governing body of the trust, it wouldn’t make any decisions on where the funding would flow.

Page-Allen said the hope would be the town and the trust may be able to partner on projects that the community needs but may not have the ability to fund on its own.

“I’ve had a couple situations come up where (donors) don’t want to donate to a government and they are looking for a 501c(3) to do that,” Page-Allen said. “You could ask for donations to the community trust and that could be passed through to a town project.”

The board will take a more formal step to create the trust at a future meeting. The board will hold its final meeting to draft the Yampa Comprehensive plan at 6 p.m. on June 21. The current draft of the plan can be found here and comments can be submitted here.

Top Photo Caption: The Yampa Egeria Community Trust hopes to open up funding opportunities to the town of Yampa to help with town projects and support local businesses. (Dylan Anderson/The Yampa Valley Bugle)


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