Update on Charlo Track Project

Hello Viking Nation:

I wanted to take this opportunity to give everyone an update on the status of the Charlo Track Project. It is appropriate from my perspective as we deal with the track project to think of it as a marathon rather than a sprint! It could also be considered the high hurdles or an obstacle course for that matter. Projects like these face many challenges and it almost always takes much longer than anticipated to accomplish. The Charlo Community Outdoor Complex (CCOC), volunteers, donors, the school board, and administration are still working to see the project come to fruition.

Funding remains the main focus and largest obstacle to the project. We have a set of plans and specifications which have been approved by the school board. We will be ready to go once there is funding. The CCOC continues to raise money through grants and the generosity of private donors along with area businesses. The administration applied for a large grant through the State Parks and Wildlife Division last Spring. Due to COVID 19 and its effects on personnel within the Parks Department that grant is just now getting back on its feet. As with many things, COVID 19 delayed funding cycles, slowed progress from previous years, and reduced the number of people working at the state level available to keep the grant moving forward. There is now a person in charge at the state who will work with us and the Federal Parks Service on making progress with the grant. It is a competitive grant but could result in matching as much as $250,000 towards the Charlo Track. Even though a person is in charge of it now there is still no timetable for the funding cycle. We hope things get rolling again by the beginning of 2022.

Another hurdle has been property ownership, easements, and rights of way. The area where the track is located neighbors private, county, and tribal property. The school has been actively communicating with the neighboring landowners, Lake County, a title company, and a surveyor about the project. We are currently waiting for a title report so we can address possible abandonments of old county rights of way, platted alleyways, streets, and avenues from the original town site of Tabor which eventually became Charlo. It has been quite the history lesson to say the least.

The bottom line is that the Charlo Track Project is still alive and well! We are still committed to creating a Track for our entire community to enjoy whether it’s for competition with Charlo student athletes or a casual walk in the beautiful Mission Valley among our citizens. Remember: it’s a marathon not a sprint. Thank you for the support of the project!