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City park improvements please recreationalists

Tim Mutrie

A plan to revitalize many of the city’s 28 parks and recreational facilities was well received by representatives of various groups who use the amenities at a meeting Thursday night.

Parks Director Jeff Woods and Recreation Director Tim Anderson did receive some criticism from attendees, primarily concerning minute details of the ambitious, $14 million plan. The so-called community campus master plan calls for improvements to be made at Iselin Park, Moore Park, the Aspen Schools campus, Plum Tree Park, Wagner Park, Yellow Brick Park, Rio Grande Park, assorted trails and other areas.

Woods and Anderson hope to fund the various projects through a $14 million bond issuance. The funds will be paid back over a 20-year term from monies in the Parks and Open Space Fund. The City Council has said it will endorse the bond issue, but in order for it to be approved, voters must OK it in the May 4 election, Woods said.

“We have a real opportunity to accomplish some things that have been talked about for ten or fifteen years,” Woods said. “People are tired of talking about design and they want to get it built. We have a method where we can start this very summer.”

And if there were ever a time for a community to undertake such an endeavor, the time is now, Anderson said, noting that interest rates are at an all-time low.

“We’re not looking at any kind of a tax increase. Within our existing Parks and Open Space Fund we can finance this whole thing,” with the bond issue, he said.

The project “will not only be to create great recreational facilities, but also to enhance one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world,” Woods said, noting many of the facilities are along the road leading to the Maroon Bells.

“We need as a community to step up, if we want to preserve and better these facilities for our children,” Woods continued. “We’re looking at projects that will be active, passive, beautiful and functional all at the same time. We have a chance to make something special here, to continue the legacy that the original pioneers began.”

On Feb. 9, Woods and Anderson will give an open house presentation of the master plan at the Wheeler Opera House. The session will run from 5 to 7 p.m.

The public is encouraged to attend and comments will be welcomed. By the meeting, the final costs to be covered through bonding will have been determined, Anderson said.


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