People in Cortez want to see a park on the south side of town, renovations to the south softball complex and expansions to city trails in the city’s parks master plan, according to Parks and Recreation Director Dean Palmquist.
The parks department hosted two public input sessions Wednesday at the Cortez Recreation Center. People were invited to ask questions about the city’s facilities and to highlight specific projects they want to see as priorities in the master plan.
People can complete an online survey where they can identify projects they want to see completed. The survey will be up until mid-May. Parks Advisory Board members and parks department staffers will develop recommendations based on the survey, which they will present to the City Council in the master plan. The goal is to create a 10-year plan that will have some projects lined up before the council starts figuring the city’s 2017 budget this August, Palmquist said.
“It’s critical that we keep up our facilities,” he said.
The Parks Advisory board likely will discuss the master plan at its May 20 meeting, 7 a.m. at the Rec Center. That board’s meetings take place at that time on the third Friday of the month and are open to the public.
About 90 people so far have completed the survey online, Palmquist said. Those respondents identified expanding city trails, renovating the City Park stage and repairing the Centennial Park restrooms as top priorities.
Wednesday, however, people had different thoughts. Some wanted lighting updates and other improvements at the South Softball Complex. Others want to see the city skate park expanded. Many said they wanted to see a park on the south side of town, possibly on the site of the old Montezuma-Cortez High School building on Seventh Street, Palmquist said.
Some people at Wednesday’s meeting said people aren’t using many of the city’s existing trails, so building more wouldn’t be a good use of city resources.
Renovating the Centennial Park restrooms is already on the department’s maintenance schedule for this year, he said.
People want to see a multi-use trail from Cortez to Mancos in the Paths to Mesa Verde project, but that depends on cooperation of many government bodies and won’t happen overnight, Palmquist said.
Some other projects online survey respondents advocated include starting a community orchard, building an outdoor skating rink, constructing new playgrounds at City Park and Market Street, increasing lighting at Parque de Vida, increasing street pruning, improving restrooms and concessions areas at Rotary Park and building pickleball courts at Centennial Park, according to survey results.
The parks department gets between $75,000 and $80,000 in conservation trust funds per year. With additional money from the city’s general fund, the department receives $100,000 to $110,000 per year to spend on capital improvement projects.
Palmquist said Wednesday’s meetings went well and will be useful as the park staff and board develops the master plan.
“I thought we had some really good dialogue,” Palmquist said. “It’s good to hear people who have legitimate issues. We had a broad representation of the community.”
The survey can be found on the city’s website, www.cityofcortez.com.