Exciting news for the Palisade community was announced at the monthly Chamber of Commerce ‘Business-After-Hours’ mixer on Wednesday evening, January 20. Hosted by the Town of Palisade and featuring delicious bite-sized cupcakes from Pattie’s Tiny Cakes, the mixer was held in the Public Meeting Room of the Civic Center at 341 W. 7th Street in Palisade.

Mayor Roger Granat announced the completion of one of the land deals, as well as the anticipated completion of the other very soon, for the sport shooting complex property at Cameo, near Palisade. The next phase, design and engineering, should begin as soon as the land purchase is finalized. Colorado Parks and Wildlife will take the lead in the design and building of the facility, as well as its ongoing operation. The complex will be built to standards that will enable it to host national and international shooting and archery competitions, bring much needed business to this end of the valley.

Town Administrator Rich Sales announced the choice of the Riverfront Trail (incomplete sections) as a winner of Governor Hickenlooper’s “16 in 2016” program. Being chosen as one of the sixteen will help ensure the completion of the remaining sections of the Riverfront Trail, eventually joining Palisade to Fruita, and the trails beyond, currently extending as far west as Moab. Being chosen for this program should make it easier to navigate the hurdles that have prevented the completion of the trail sections thus far.

Along with the sport shooting complex, the trail completion will add to the attractive recreational opportunities Palisade will be able to offer. The proposed Palisade Plunge was also on the list of “16”, but no details are available yet on the Plunge.

New business venture

Palisade Chamber of Commerce Director Juliann Adams then congratulated Tim Huff of Colorado CLEAR, one of Palisade’s most exciting new business ventures. The former high school chemistry teacher has come up with a water delivery system using biodegradable plastic containers known as “amphora” to deal with individually packaged water in an environmentally friendly way.

Huff is Colorado’s first recipient in the new Rural Jump-Start Zone Tax Credit Program, designed to aid rural economic growth through development of businesses that will create at least five net new jobs in their county of location. The core function of the business cannot compete with any existing businesses in the state. This means that the business idea would necessarily be something ‘new and different’. There is also a requirement that the winning businesses establish a relationship with an institute of higher learning; in Huff’s case, Colorado Mesa University.

Currently operating out of the Palisade Produce’s building, 756 37 8/10 Rd., Huff will be bottling pure Palisade water from the Rapid Creek area watershed. He has developed a container that is freezable, with a 10-year shelf life, that will biodegrade in a matter of months in a landfill. The secret to the container is that it blocks ultraviolet light and remains intact while the product is on the shelf. Buried in the landfill, however, the higher temperatures and lack of light allow the container to break down into trace amounts of methane gas in less than three years. In comparison, it is estimated that a plastic water bottle could take up to 700 years to decompose.