Feds request more info on Palisade whitewater park | AspenTimes.com

Feds request more info on Palisade whitewater park

Marija B. VaderGrand Junction correspondentAspen, CO Colorado

Grand Junction Free Press fileThe Colorado River near Palisade in western Colorado is the site of a desired whitewater park, but the town has yet to win federal approval for the project.

PALISADE, Colo. Palisade officials will consider Tuesday the towns next move on a hoped-for whitewater park on the Colorado River after receiving additional correspondence from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.The federal agency again wants yet more information, said Palisade Town Administrator Tim Sarmo.Theyre still not satisfied with the design.Im starting to become concerned that this is an unending request for additional information, Sarmo said. No matter how much you give them, theres always a request for more.Maybe at the federal government … money is no object.So far, the town of Palisade has spent more than $125,000 on plans for the whitewater park without any in-river improvements. It still needs permission from the Fish & Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.We have to take a practical look at this and determine if we can afford to move forward, Sarmo said. I really dont know what the towns reaction will be to that.Well be evaluating the potential cost for that action.The stretch of the Colorado River that Palisade wants to use is part of a sensitive area for four species of endangered fish the pikeminnow, razorback sucker, humpback chub and bonytail chub.Last weeks correspondence from the federal agency requested additional modeling based on a new design the town gave the Fish & Wildlife Service a month ago.No one from that federal agency was available for comment Friday.The town received a $700,000 bid to build the project last year a sum that covers just in-river improvements. The town may want to build a parking lot, changing rooms and possibly bathrooms.I have not spent a great deal of time planning the out-of-river improvements until we build the park itself, Sarmo said.mvader@gjfreepress.com

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