Voters in Grand Junction may decide sometime next spring on a ballot proposal calling for the construction of a new city community center.
As part of a contract with the city, the Louisville, Colorado-based GreenPlay LLC, a park and green space consulting company, has put together a proposed master plan that includes the center.
Planning for what is being called the Parks, Recreation, Open Space Master Plan was launched this summer and included a survey and public input process attracting responses from more than 3,000 Grand Junction residents.
That input indicated that roughly 63% of respondents, in a corner of the state where outdoor recreation is highly valued, selected the building of a new center among the public and park improvement initiatives they are most enthusiastic about.
A report on the survey presented to the Grand Junction City Council additionally noted the importance of trails, open space, and parks.
By contrast, noted the report, “shade structures and recreation programs and activities received above average importance ratings, but below average needs-met ratings.”
Among those selecting a center as a top priority, respondents said they most desired such a facility to have an indoor warm water leisure pool, as well as a fitness center, indoor track, and multi-use gymnasium.
Other respondents listed the creation of new walking trails with access to the north-to-south Green River, and the building of more park shelters.
Funding for putting together the master plan is coming from a $56,000 grant provided through the Great Colorado Outdoors, with the proviso that the planning process must be completed by next summer.
The Great Colorado Outdoors effort uses a portion of proceeds from the state’s lottery to pay for park, open space, and trail projects.
How the building of the center itself will be funded is a question that remains to be answered, although some Grand Junction officials, as well as survey respondents, have suggested tapping into revenue from medical and recreational marijuana sales, as well as raising local sales and property taxes.
By Garry Boulard