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City of Cortez Will Take Public Input for New Park Starting Late Summer 2018

Austin Cope

The City of Cortez has nabbed a $170,000 Great Outdoors Colorado grant to help create a park on the city’s south side. The city will put the money toward buying 11 acres at the site of the former Montezuma-Cortez High School, which is being demolished. City Manager Shane Hale tells KSJD the park is needed because there isn’t one now on the south side.

“When we did our parks and rec master plan update, the community actually identified that as a huge opportunity for the city to put a park in," Hale said. "So we always try to listen to our constituents.”

The award, which was announced Thursday, was one of 14 projects chosen statewide for Local Park and Outdoor Recreation grant funding. Fewer than a quarter of the applications received funding. Once the purchase is finalized, which is expected to happen around August, the city will launch a public process to decide what features the park should contain.

City Parks and Recreation Director Dean Palmquist tells KSJD it’s impossible to say when the park will be ready for use, but the process will probably take several years. City officials will be seeking other grants to help with amenities such as restrooms and playgrounds. On Thursday the GOCO board also awarded a $41,000 mini-grant to the Town of Dove Creek to improve Weber Park’s baseball field.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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