Steamboat briefs: Grand Mesa’s Vega State Park opens boating May 1 |

Steamboat briefs: Grand Mesa’s Vega State Park opens boating May 1

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is preparing to open Vega State Park to boating May 1. Located on Grand Mesa, the park features fishing, water skiing, sailing, windsurfing, jet skiing, biking, camping hiking and much more. CPW reminds the public that swimming is not permitted in Vega Reservoir.

Boaters are advised that safety on the water is critical. All regulations are strictly enforced, including having all required equipment on board.

"Each year, the most common citation we issue to boaters is for not having the required number of life jackets," said Park Ranger Ashlee Wallace. "The good news is that if you need to borrow some, we have them available at the park for free. All you need to do is come by the office and ask."

Wallace reminds boaters that park staff is available to perform a free boat inspection to ensure everyone has the proper equipment on board. Boaters can take their vessel to the Visitor Center between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

A valid pass is required to enter the park. Anyone 16 or older who plans to fish will need a current fishing license, available for purchase at the park. For more information about Vega State Park, visit

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Tread of Pioneers closed Monday, set to reopen Tuesday

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Oak Creek bank food drive continues through month

Oak Creek's Bank of the San Juans is hosting a food drive for LiftUp's South Routt Food Bank through April. Collection boxes for non-perishable food and personal items are located at Bank of the San Juans, 319 E Main St., Oak Creek, Select Super Market, 103 W. Main St. Oak Creek, and Montgomery's General Merchandise, 24 Main St., Yampa.

Community Ag Alliance accepts local food orders

Buy local food and products online at, then click on "Shop the CAA Marketplace" tab.

Locally grown fresh produce, meat, eggs, jelly, sauces, granola and more are available.

Order online from noon Monday through noon Thursday. Orders may be picked up Friday afternoons at CAA offices in downtown Steamboat Springs.

For more information, call 970-879-4370.

Donation center, food bank, thrift store need volunteers

LiftUp of Routt County is seeking volunteers to work in the organization's donation center, food bank and thrift store. Duties include sorting donations, stocking shelves, greeting the public and pricing merchandise. Benefits include bonus bucks to spend in the thrift store. To volunteer or for more information, call Jackie at 970-870-0727.

LEAP offers more than help with home heating bills

The primary mission of the Low-income Energy Assistance Program is to help Coloradans pay winter home heating costs but that program is complemented by the Crisis Intervention Program and the Weatherization Assistance Program.

LEAP is a program of the Colorado Department of Human Services that helps eligible Coloradans from November through April with cash assistance for their home heating bills. As of Jan. 21, LEAP had approved more than 53,078 benefits, and the average benefit was $387.

CIP operates year-round and provides assistance with the repair or replacement of the home's primary heating system, such as a furnace or wood-burning stove. The Weatherization Assistance Program is a program from the Colorado Energy Office and is designed to improve energy efficiency in homes throughout Colorado, thereby helping to reduce heating costs permanently.

For CIP, households that qualify for energy bill payment assistance through LEAP and have a non-working heating system can call 855-469-4328 toll-free to request repair or replacement, as well as snow removal for fuel delivery in rural areas.

The Weatherization Assistance Program, which supports cost-effective improvements and upgrades to reduce energy usage, save money and improve the overall comfort of a home year-round, can be accessed by calling 1-800-462-0184 or visiting

LEAP applicants must be Colorado residents and U.S. citizens or legal aliens. They also need to provide a copy of a valid identification and a completed affidavit to comply with Colorado Revised Statutes regarding documentation of lawful presence.

Applicants also must be responsible for paying heating costs, either directly to a utility company or to a landlord as part of rent. Applicants' income cannot exceed 165 percent of the federal poverty index.

LEAP accepts applications until Sunday.