to study downtown Fruita issues

Monday and Tuesday will be big days for the future of downtown Fruita.

City staff are hosting a cadre of consultants called Downtown Colorado Inc., a group that will take an intensive look at the issues facing the downtown area and develop a plan that the city can use to deal with those issues.

“We know that our downtown has a lot more potential than what we’re currently achieving,” said Dahna Raugh, the city’s director of community development. “We know that we can be much better than we are.”

Raugh is the point person for the effort and said it is critical that residents and officials gave the consultants ideas as they tour the town and meet with city staff.

“They want to hear from everybody — even people with conflicting comments. They want to hear it all,” she said.

Meetings with community members set for Monday have filled up for the most part, but Raugh is encouraging people to call her at 858-0786 or email the city at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with their comments or ideas. She said all feedback will be relayed to the group, which will consider all of the information in coming up with a plan.

The group’s “Action Plan” will be presented to the public at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Civic Center, 325 E. Aspen Ave., before the City Council’s regularly scheduled meeting. There also will be an opportunity for residents to provide feedback after the plan is announced.

Raugh said the group will be particularly interested in hearing answers to: What needs to happen downtown? Is there a problem that city staff can solve? What are the strengths of downtown, and how can the city maximize those strengths?

Offering an invitation to the consultant group is part of a larger effort by the city to join the Main Street Program, which is managed by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and funded largely by the State Historical Fund. Grand Junction was an active participant in the program in the 1970s, and “we want Fruita downtown to be a destination like a lot of people view downtown Grand Junction these days,” Raugh said.

She also pointed to the Downtown Development Authority in Grand Junction as an example of something that could work in Fruita — a group with a singular focus of being a champion for the downtown area.

Raugh would like to know if that’s something citizens would support, too, as well as any other ideas they might have for revitalizing the city’s commercial area downtown.


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