Cline Ranch House

The architectural design and construction documents to rehabilitate the historic Cline Ranch house was awarded to BVH Architects by Park County commissioner April 20. (Photo by Lynda James at State Wildlife Area dedication)

Park County commissioners took the first step to implement the Cline Ranch headquarters master plan April 20 by awarding the design and construction documents to BVH Architects based in Denver.

Four bids were received that ranged from BVH’s $98,230 to the highest bid of $143,000.

The ranch headquarters is located on the 1,635-acre Tarryall-Cline Ranch State Wildlife Area. The SWA is located north of U.S. Highway 285 where the highway crosses Tarryall Creek east of Como.

Park County purchased that portion of the ranch in 2010 with grants from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Great Outdoors Colorado and Park County Land and Water Trust Fund.

It became a SWA in 2011 and the 10-acre headquarters was placed on Park County’s register of historical places in 2016. It was also listed on Colorado Preservation Inc.’s Most Endangered Places 2018.

The former owner placed a conservation easement on that portion of the original ranch which extended on both sides of the highway.

The ranchhouse was built in 1928 by Foster Cline, a Denver attorney. He used a Pueblo adobe style which was popular in the southwest at that time. The property was a working ranch until in the early 2000s.

Future plans are to covert the house into office space and a visitor’s center. The second floor may become a caretaker’s apartment or more office space.

Commissioner Amy Mitchell said the architectural contract will be paid by the Land and Water Trust Fund and the one percent county sales tax.

Andy Spencer, director of the department of heritage and tourism, presented the proposal for the design and rehabilitation of the ranchhouse to the LWTF board August 2020.

The three-phase proposal was for the entire project with a price tag of almost $800,000 with no matching funds and about $91,000 of in-kind work by county personnel.

The LWTF board recommended on a 4-to-3 vote that the proposal be resubmitted, asking only for funds that would be used for any related outdoor recreation and to find other funds that could be used as a cash match.

Three LWTF members voted no to any funds being used, saying restoration of a building did not fall under the allowed uses.

The county commissioners at that time voted two-to-one to fund phase one of the project, which was about $293,500, of which $247,400 came from LWTF and $46,100 in-kind by county personnel.

Phase one includes the architectural design and construction documents and foundation work, insulation and exterior work on the ranchhouse.

Former commissioner Mike Brazell had cast the no vote, stating the project was a historical preservation project, not an outdoor recreation project.

BVH’s submittal of the design and construction documents is scheduled for mid-September. It will include an estimate for completing the rehabilitation of the ranchhouse.

No new county health order

The state Department of Public Health COVID-19 dial stages and restrictions changed from mandatory to voluntary mid-April.

Two restrictions remain: They are wearing a face covering in some indoor places and keeping a social distance of six feet. It also gave businesses the authority to require a face covering inside the business by posting a sign.

The order stated the state could reinstate restrictions if cases increased significantly. Counties have an option to continue with their own health orders and restrictions. Park County decided not extend the county health order or mandate any restrictions other than six feet social distancing and face coverings.

“Engage your brains and do what’s best for you,” Mitchell said. “Respect others and take personal responsibility to protect yourself.”

 “Masks are still a requirement,” Commissioner Dick Elsner said. He said the county supports businesses requiring patrons to wear masks and for businesses to call the sheriff if maskless people refused to leave.

“If a business asks you to wear a mask, please respect that,” Commissioner Ray Douglas said.

More information about the state’s requirements and recommendations by the county can be found at

New ambulance station

The commissioners approved an exemption from subdivision for South Park Ambulance District to build its third station at the intersection of U.S. 285 and County Road 34. It’s about half way between Como and Jefferson.

The main ambulance station is in Fairplay. The second, located in Hartsel, will open in June, according to District Chief Paul Mattson.

Mattson said three acres of land were being donated to the district by Paul and Lorri McDaniel, who own a ranch there.

The ambulance district’s station will have a treatment room and space that can be used by medical and mental health providers.

 Mattson said about 20 percent of the district’s calls come from the eastern area of the district’s boundaries, 20 percent from the southern area and 60 percent are within 15 minutes of the main station in Fairplay.

Mattson said the district has added a third crew because calls have increased to the point that both ambulances would be out at once when an emergency call would come in.

He also said the seriousness of the calls have increased, so response time is critical. With two new stations operating by the end of 2021, he said response times would decrease.

Mattson also said calls from renters in short-term rental houses and cabins who are suffering from altitude sickness are also increasing.

The district is waiting for a highway access permit from Colorado Department of Transportation. Mattson said construction should start by the end of May.

Emergency services IGA

An intergovernmental agreement was signed with surrounding counties to update the agreement signed in 2000 that formed a Central Mountain Regional Emergency Medical and Trauma Advisory Council.

Besides Park County, the IGA includes Summit, Lake, Chaffee, Eagle and Pitkin Counties. The council consists of three members from each county who are appointed by position, rather than by the person’s name.

The council provides recommendations concerning regional area emergency medical and trauma service plans in compliance with Colorado Trauma Care Systems Act.

Elsner said the council meets four times a year and the IGA is much like a mutual aid agreement.

Appointees from Park County are Southern Park County Fire Protection District Chief, South Park Ambulance District Chief and Platte Canyon Fire Protection Chief.


Vouchers were approved for $187,408 paid April 13 and $71,539 paid April 20.

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