On behalf of the board of directors and the membership of the Cedaredge Area Chamber of Commerce, I am writing to endorse the reauthorization of Colorado's Lottery Division by the General Assembly in 2018. Reauthorization of the division will ensure that parks, trails, rivers, wildlife and open spaces within our state continue to receive Lottery proceeds, giving our communities much-needed financial assistance to continue to offer and improve the premier outdoor recreational and tourism opportunities found in Delta County.
Each year, the Conservation Trust Fund receives 40 percent of Lottery proceeds; Colorado Parks and Wildlife receives 10 percent for state parks; and Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) receives up to 50 percent, and that amount of funding is capped at $35 million, adjusted for inflation. Most years, the GOCO cap is met, and surplus funds go to the Colorado Department of Education's school capital construction fund Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST). [Information gathered from www.KeepItCo.org].
This is a program that has very real benefits in the Surface Creek area and in Delta County, having contributed millions of dollars to our communities in the past 24 years. Our beautiful elementary school has benefitted from BEST dollars. GOCO dollars have paid for the Surface Creek Trail improvement, extension and connection project. Our neighboring communities in Delta County have also received GOCO dollars to improve and maintain park, trail and outdoor recreation initiatives. We also have several chamber members whose businesses benefit from the sale of Lottery tickets. Outdoor recreation and tourism brings significant money into Delta County, and improving our recreational and tourism opportunities, with help from GOCO funding, is vital to our continued economic success.
Most importantly, we think, is that this funding source does not come out of the taxpayer's pocket. Instead, it is funded by those who choose to purchase Lottery tickets. Additionally, we think it's important to note that this is an issue that has wide bipartisan support.
The chamber is proud to support this initiative, because we recognize the significant, positive economic impact this legislation has on our communities. We also encourage you to reach out to your representatives and encourage them to reauthorize this funding mechanism. You can also show your support and learn more by signing the online petition at www.KeepItCo.org.
Board of Directors