In unanimous decisions, Palisade’s Board of Trustees quickly approved two resolutions on Tuesday evening, January 12, 2016, authorizing Mayor Roger Granat to enter into contracts on the Town’s behalf to purchase properties from Snowcap Coal Company and Public Service Company of Colorado at the Cameo I-70 exit. The properties include the site of the now demolished Xcel Energy power plant.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife proposes to develop a first class education and shooting complex on the properties, which adjoin each other. Palisade will be partnering with Colorado Parks and Wildlife in the venture.
The process, begun about four years ago, involved obtaining an economic development grant from the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) to cover land acquisition and development of the facility. The two parcels will take about $1.3 of the $2 million grant awarded by DOLA; $812,000 for the Snowcap property and $500,000 for the old Xcel Energy property. Remaining funds will be used for engineering and design of the facility, the next step in the development process.
The facilities are to be built to competition standards, making it possible to attract and host national and international competitive events. The economic development potential for Palisade is optimistic. It is currently planned that, in addition to shooting benches and backstops, the complex will eventually include indoor and outdoor facilities for archery, clay target shooting, hunter education, as well as pistol and rifle ranges. The varied terrain included in the land purchases will allow for challenging and scenic outdoor ranges as well.
J.T. Romatzke, Area Wildlife Manager with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, has been an important part of the discussions from the very beginning, informing the Town of a grant program for development of small rural shooting ranges. It was then discovered that the Department of Wildlife (now Colorado Parks and Wildlife) had already been studying sites on the Western Slope for a larger facility of that type, and with the closing of the Cameo power plant, it was timely for Palisade to jump in, requesting the DOLA grant for acquisition of the Cameo property for development by Parks and Wildlife.
Mayor Granat thanked Romatzke for his efforts so far in the process, and also thanked Kelly Flenniken from Xcel Energy and Tonya Hammond from Snowcap Coal Company for their efforts to get all the details of the land sales hammered out. All three were present at the meeting to see the results of their efforts. For background information, see http://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/Hunting/ShootingRanges/CameoSportShootingComplexProposal.pdf.
Crime Stoppers recognized
Trustee Bennett Price read aloud a proclamation, recognizing January as National Crime Stoppers Month in Palisade. The Mesa County organization exists to empower citizens of the county to take a stand against crime and actually aid in the solving of local crimes. Operating since 1983, Crime Stoppers has received over 18,000 tips, leading to over 1,700 arrests and nearly 1,600 cases cleared. $266,000 in rewards have been paid out to citizens and over $9 million in property and drugs have been recovered.
Ashman gave a short presentation to Trustees, explaining briefly how the Mesa County Crime Stopper program works, and thanked Palisade Police Chief Deb Funston for continuing to send an officer to the monthly board meetings as an advisor.
Crime Stoppers representatives Ashman, Shari Zen and Rich Parrish were present at the meeting to receive the presentation.
Changes to Peach Street Distillers
Community Development Director Ron Quarles presented a request from the owners of the Peach Street Distillery to amend their Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to enable them to consolidate their operation in four buildings, all located on Second Avenue between Peach and Kluge Streets.
The CUP amendment was heard by the Planning Commission on Monday, January 4, 2016. Commissioners voted 4 – 1 to recommend approval of the proposal to the Trustees. A detailed explanation of the changes and amendments to the CUP may be found in a separate story in Peach Town News summarizing the Planning Commission meeting.
In other business at the meeting, Mario LaCotta requested information on building of an RV park on property at 3663 Front Street, near Palisade High School. Town Administrator Rich Sales suggested that LaCotta come into Town Hall and meet with Community Development Director Ron Quarles to get specifics regarding zoning and building codes.
Trustee Thea Chase was absent from the meeting. The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be Tuesday, January 26, 2016, in the meeting room of the Civic Center at 341 West 7th Street at 6:00 p.m. All meetings are open to the public. Sign up for agendas by email at the town website.