GJ City Council will take bids on parcel lease

Grand Junction City Council members likely will open a bidding process for farming on acreage near Matchett Park, with the contract for the current lease nearly up.

Council members gave the nod to seek new lessees for the 113-acre parcel off Patterson Road during a workshop Monday.

The city purchased the property in 1996 with the help of The Trust for Public Lands and the Matchett family. The current lease, held by a farmer, Terry Sweet, since 2007, expires March 31. The lessee from 2000 to 2007 was Frank Fisher.

The current rent is $5,000 a year.

Council member Laura Luke said some problems with flooding in nearby neighborhoods may have been caused by excessive watering on the site. Ditches on the property had become overgrown with vegetation, and water wasn’t allowed to flow properly. Luke said water was left on 24 hours a day because the ditches were unusable.

“The theory is the water worked its way into the neighborhoods below,” she said. “The better the lessee, the better for Rob Schoeber (director of Parks and Recreation). Then we won’t hear from residents who lost a garden or can’t park their RV in the back because the ground is too wet.”


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