Street repair, bleacher safety priorities

Reinstating a chip-sealing program, adding more safety features to Stocker Stadium bleachers, and building an annex and parking structure for police vehicles top the list.

At the bottom are paying for Horizon Drive improvements, developing the Los Colonias area into a park, and improving traffic infrastructure for a new City Market at the corner of 12th Street and Patterson Road.

Those are the funding priorities of the Grand Junction City Council after taking an informal poll during a meeting Monday.

Councilors took their first stab at considering how to invest capital improvement dollars in the coming three years as they begin to craft the 2013 budget.

Monday’s exercise included a list of more than 50 capital improvement projects labeled with their expected costs. Councilors were tasked with anonymously voting via electronic clickers that rated their support for a project.

Projects that earned the most points topped the list.

Voting did not indicate whether projects will come to fruition or even if the city has enough money to complete the projects, but the scores can help guide city staff on how to focus efforts, said City Manager Rich Englehart.

“Some of these will absolutely change with grants and other opportunities,” he told councilors. “Please don’t walk out of here thinking this is it.”

Projects that fell somewhere in the center of priorities included street improvements, such as a corridor along D Road from 30 Road to 31 Road, and money to build a roundabout at G and 26 1/2 roads.

Other topics considered included funding for Colorado Mesa University, the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens and Mesa Land Trust.

After covering its operating budget, debt payments, a more than $20 million reserve fund and other identified expenditures, the city is expected to have almost $19 million over the next three years to complete capital improvement projects.


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