The Palisade Recreation Advisory Committee at its meeting on July 22 discussed plans for the community garden, preliminary topics for the 2015 budget, and locations for a downtown community information “marquee.”

Also, Sarah Brooks, town recreation director and events coordinator, reported that an information kiosk will be placed at the Palisade Rim Trail trailhead.

Update:  The Fruit and Wine Byway, with the cooperation of the Town of Palisade, the Palisade Chamber of Commerce, and Frank DeSantis of PNCI, will place a visitor kiosk on Hwy 6 in the parking lot at the trailhead of the Palisade Rim Trail, Juliann Adams, Palisade Chamber of Commerce director, reported on July 31. The kiosk was designed by the late John Galloway and will be dedicated to his memory after completion.

The hour and 15 minute recreation committee meeting followed a one hour work and planning session with the town trustees.  See a separate story on the website about the work session.

At its meeting, the recreation committee learned there would be a dedication of the community garden on Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 6 p.m.  It will be a cooperative effort by the town, the Palisade Chamber of Commerce, and the Honey Bee Committee.

The committee discussed improvements to be sought for the garden.  They included a shade structure, a water fountain, and a portable toilet.  The board also discussed finishing gating off the garden and possibly raising funds by awarding annual plaques to businesses.

Committee member Charlotte Wheeler suggested that the gazebo now located next to Foodtown might be used as a shade structure at the garden. Brooks said it belongs to the Palisade Lions Club, and Wheeler said she would contact the club.

In other discussion, the committee expressed appreciation to volunteers, donors, and the town for improvements to the Palisade Skate Park, which reopened recently.

2015 budget

Discussing potential budget items for 2015, the committee pursued plans to design and build a bike skills park on a parcel of land east of the wastewater lagoons and Riverbend Park.

Brooks said the town expects to install a fence around the lagoons by the end of September and to start cleaning up the proposed bike skills area.  Brooks said preliminary work could be started later on a perimeter trail and track.

Work on the bike skills course might start in the spring, she said.

Other budget topics for next year included funding for a summer intern, pool expenses, shade structures for the plaza, general equipment, and the idea of moving the basketball court to Peach Bowl Park if the skate park is expanded at Memorial Park.  Topics for 2016 would include exercise equipment and improvement of the skate park.

Commercial use of parks, facilities

Recreation Director Brooks reported that Palisade Recreation has received requests to hold fitness or dance classes in town parks or at the Community Center.  “Given that the (private) instructors are making money on town property, many cities are starting to charge fees,” she explained in a memo to the board.  “It hit Grand Junction quick,” she noted at the meeting.

Brooks said Grand Junction now requires private instructors to complete an application and pay a fee based on the number of class participants, either daily or annually.

Committee member Dessa Loughman said it makes sense to assess a fee, as long as it is reasonable.  Brooks in a memo listed some questions to consider if the town moves toward a fee.

Taylor Elementary early release day

Brooks reported that Taylor Elementary School has switched to “early release” of students on Wednesdays afternoons.  Taylor has asked the town to help provide programming.

Brooks said a three-way partnership may provide programming for students that afternoon—Palisade Rec will offer a monthly field trip on Wednesdays, Taylor Elementary will offer an after school program on days when Palisade does not, and Noah’s Arc is interested in renting the town gym to offer active programs on Wednesdays.

The committee discussed the need for the town to provide more electric power for events at Riverbend Park.  An electric failure during the Bluegrass Festival was expensive, Brooks noted.

Committee members liked the idea of locating the downtown information marque on the side of the small building on Main Street near the railroad tracks.  The town plans to install public restrooms in the building.

Brooks reported that the fall 2014 recreation program activities guide will be available the third week of August.  Programs will include Rookie Rugby, tutoring, math/science camps, fall hiking, group trips, fitness classes, art classes for youth, gymnastics, as well as tech classes, she announced.

The recreation committee meetings are normally held on the fourth Thursday of the month, 6:30 p.m., at the civic center.