Mesa County seeks $1M grant for Riverfront Trail

Mesa County is applying for a $1 million grant from Great Outdoors Colorado to acquire 100 acres of land that would add nearly nine miles to the Colorado Riverfront Trail system.

County commissioners signed off on the grant application Monday. The county will kick in $534,000, while the city of Fruita and the Colorado Riverfront Foundation have each pledged $100,000.

The money would be used to purchase privately owned properties in four areas stretching between Fruita and Palisade:

The Compton property, with a total of 13.29 acres, is located north of the Fruita section of the James M. Robb State Park and straddles Interstate 70. A total of 5.2 miles of trail built here would connect the state park with the Kokopelli Trail, which runs to Moab, Utah. The anticipated purchase price is $335,000.

The Skinner and Bennett properties, with a total of 34.16 acres, are located near Las Colonias Park in south downtown Grand Junction. A little more than 1.8 miles of trail built here would connect Las Colonias Park and 29 Road. The anticipated combined purchase price is $599,000.

The Pike property, with a total of 53.25 acres, is located near 33 1/2 and D 1/2 roads south of the Clifton Water District. A little more than 1.5 miles of trail built here eventually would connect to Riverbend Park in Palisade.

The trails in those areas are scheduled to be built in 2012 and would add to the 18 miles of trails that already have been constructed. Officials hope to complete the Riverfront Trail between Fruita and Palisade by 2013.

Commission Chairman Steve Acquafresca asked Regional Services Director Tom Fisher what the county and other funding partners could do with the portions of the properties not needed for the trails. Fisher said the county has some flexibility as to what the balance of that land can be used for.


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