New Pueblo playground funded by excess marijuana revenue

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PUEBLO, Colo. — A popular sports complex in Pueblo will soon be receiving new playground equipment thanks to excess marijuana tax funds.

The new playground at Runyon Sports Complex is one of four marijuana excess revenue park projects that Pueblo County is working on with hopes that the playground will be another safe place for kids to have fun.

“We chose this project and we put it on the ballot so voters approved this along with all the other projects but we thought it was important to give kids an alternative for safe and healthy lifestyles,” said Sal Pace, Pueblo County Commissioner for District 3.

The Pueblo County Commissioners approved a measure to use the county’s excess marijuana tax revenue to fund the playground.

“We received more money from sales tax in 2014 than we projected,” said Pace.

The $60,000 project will be placed on the Ray Pusedu field — a space used by young families that currently has no place for small children to stay entertained.

“In particular on this field because they have to go a couple hundred yards to the existing little playground and so the way things are nowadays, you have to keep an eye on your kids and they’ll be able to do that,” said Dave Dudley, the general manager of Runyon Sports Complex.

The modern playground will consist of at least two slides, some jungle gym features and eventually a water splash park that will be open during the summer months.

“It enhances the whole ball park, you know another addition to it,” said Dudley.

As to whether or not the source from where the funds are coming from will be an issue, Pace says this is what the voters wanted.

“This is exactly what the voters expected with decriminalization and legalization of marijuana – was the benefits of the tax revenues since folks are going to be using it anyhow,” he said. “We might as well benefit from it.”

The project is expected to break ground in about 6 weeks and is projected to open to the public by mid-July.

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