From the Mayor: KSJD, beautification, asbestos, city of parks celebration

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 12:31 PM
Mayor Karen Sheek

KSJD and the Sunflower Theatre will soon join past historical landmarks, such as Denver’s Union Station, when it receives a Colorado “2017 State Honor Award” for the preservation and restoration of the old Montezuma Valley National Bank.

The award, one of five given this year, will be awarded at a gala “Evening of Celebration” in Denver on May 18. Shawn Collins, KSJD Development Director, will be on hand to accept it.

Montezuma Valley National Bank was built in 1908 from locally quarried sandstone, with an 1,800 square foot mercantile addition completed in 1910. It stands out from other buildings of its time because it was built of stone rather than wood. The restoration of this building became a labor of love for many in our community, beginning with the space that now houses KSJD, and expanding to the adjoining building that is now home to the Sunflower, a theater and meeting space for a variety of community activities.

Congratulations Jeff Pope and staff, and everyone who shared in a dream and worked to make it come true. If you have not had the opportunity to go through these buildings, put them on your list of “Things to do in Cortez.” I know you’ll will be impressed by the attention to detail and beauty of the completed project.

HHHCDOT has finished the North Broadway highway project, and the city is ready to begin landscaping the medians. With the exception of flaggers, all work will be done in-house. Plants have been ordered, and landscaping is scheduled to begin June 5th, requiring a week or less to complete. I know we’ll all be thrilled to travel that stretch of road without traffic cones!

HHHEarlier this year city council approved the “Business Beautification Incentive Project.” Business owners were invited to apply to the city for up to $500 in matching funds to add to or spruce up the landscaping around their businesses. At the last workshop, city manager, Shane Hale, informed council that the monies had been allocated and asked if council would be willing to kick in an additional $2,500.

Part of these additional funds would be available for businesses on a waiting list and part would be used to provide seed money for a senior residents’ program. The city has been in touch with a number of faith-based organizations in and outside of the community to determine interest in providing assistance to some of our senior citizens who are having difficulty maintaining their property. This program is just another way the city is working to improve the curb appeal in our community. Businesses interested in participating in this program should contact Dean Palmquist at 565-4081. Interested residents should contact Noel Cooley at 565-4048.

HHHThe auxiliary gym floor containing mercury has been removed and work has begun on asbestos abatement, The district is continuing to work with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to determine exactly what steps will be necessary for abatement in each part of the building. Hopefully, this will be completed in the next four to six weeks so the asbestos can be removed this summer with full demolition complete by fall. The district is carefully considering all options in an effort to complete the abatement and demolition as efficiently and economically as possible. Any funds set aside for this project that are not needed will be used to update and improve Panther Stadium.

HHHA celebration of our city parks, “Cortez, City of Parks,” will be held behind the Cortez Welcome Center at 10:00 a.m. on May 20th. A walking tour of the park will be held following the program.

Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Week-end – remember that school will be out soon, so be extra vigilant of young people on the streets and in public areas throughout the day.

I now hold office hours on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 12:30-1:30 p.m. I’ve really enjoyed visiting with those who have taken the time to stop by. Come by city hall and let’s talk!

Karen Sheek is the mayor of Cortez. Reach her at or during her office hours from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.