The Cortez City Council on Tuesday approved a land trade with powder coating company STR Custom Coating that will provide more public access to the Geer Natural Area from the Cortez Industrial Park.
The city will trade a vacant, residential corner lot at 519 N. Texas St., obtained as payment for unpaid assessments, for a piece of STR Custom Coating land adjacent to the Geer Natural Area, home to 60 acres of bike trails and open space.
“We have no plans or use for the Texas Street property, and we could use the one to expand Geer, so council decided to go forward with that,” City Manager John Dougherty said.
Parks and Recreation Director Dean Palmquist said the land swap will open up a trailhead and provide direct access to the lake at Geer Natural Area.
But Palmquist said there hasn’t been a decision yet on what, if any, improvements will take place at the trailhead. He said the city might use milling, concrete or asphalt to install a few parking spots in the cul-de-sac down Sagebrush Circle, which is just off Industrial Road.
Just as the city doesn’t have definite plans for the land at the Cortez Industrial Park, Sheldon Randall, owner of STR Custum Coatings, said he doesn’t have plans for the suburban lot on North Texas Street.
He said the exchange is a win-win. The city got rid of a piece of land that wasn’t producing any taxes and his company received a new piece of land.
“We’re both gaining something from it, so, like I said, we just wanted to keep it as even as possible,” Randall said.
City Attorney Mike Green, at the City Council meeting, said the deeds will be processed in April. Palmquist, in an interview, said there isn’t a definite date for when the public can access the new trailhead.