Mesa County receives pair of GOCO grants worth $250,000

Mesa County has received more than $250,000 in Great Outdoors Colorado grants that will help pay for the design of an additional section of the Colorado Riverfront Trail and improvements to the Mesa Community Center.

County commissioners on Monday accepted a $182,000 grant to complete a series of recreational and infrastructure improvements at the community center and a $75,000 grant to create a blueprint for an eight-mile stretch of the Riverfront Trail between 24 Road and the Colorado Welcome Center in Fruita.

The community center grant will be used to build an outdoor restroom, a pavilion, new playground equipment, outdoor handball and basketball courts, and a new irrigation system. The money also will go toward the replacement of about 300 feet of deteriorated sidewalk.

The county owns the community center and leases it to the Mesa Community Club, a nonprofit organization that runs the center.

County Parks and Landscape Manager Greg Linza said the additions will revitalize the community center and make for easier access to amenities. Currently, for example, if a group of kids wants to play a pickup basketball game, a member of the community center’s board of directors has to unlock the building and stay there until the group is done.

Outdoors facilities will be available without the need for oversight.

Linza said he installed the playground at the community center in 1991, and it’s been well-used and is due for replacement.

The total project cost is $265,000, with $75,000 coming from the Mesa Community Center Public Improvement District and $7,500 from the Mesa Community Club.

The other GOCO grant will be paired with $140,000 in county money to design a section of the Riverfront Trail that will effectively connect Grand Junction and Fruita.

Linza said the trail design should be completed this year, with construction beginning in 2011.

County officials say the grant will enhance their goal of linking Fruita and Palisade via the Riverfront Trail in the next four years.

In other business, Commissioner Craig Meis was appointed commission chairman for the year. Commissioner Steve Acquafresca served as the chairman last year.


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