Members of the Palisade Park and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) met Thursday, October 23, at the Civic Center meeting room. Trustee Cody Butters chaired the meeting attended by town Recreation Director and Events Coordinator Sarah Brooks, and members Ashley Cholas, Janet Prager, Carol Pellowski, Charlotte Wheeler, Marian Brosig, Desa Loughman, and interested citizen, Bill Hoffmann.
Trustee Butters began with a recap of the previous trustee’s meeting, where trustees were presented with a check for $10,500 from the Palisade Lions Club toward repair and eventual replacement of the skatepark. There is talk of a cooperative effort with the Grand Junction Park and Rec Department since they are also interested in building a new skatepark. If the towns could work together, they could probably get better prices from designers and builders. There is almost enough money put aside now to apply for a design grant.
Brooks then explained the economics of hiring a part-time intern to help with recreation programming and special events like the Sunday Market and the Bluegrass Festival. The new intern, Mary Brennan, will be starting in January and will officially report to Lindsey Chitwood, the town clerk. The intern will be paid out of the Recreation Department budget. Brennan is a CMU tennis player and will be a good racquet sports resource for the rec programs. Pickleball, anyone???
Brooks also informed the committee on plans for renovation of the building at 209 Main Street. The former studio space will be converted to public restrooms, with the design features of an old livery stable.
Safer school route
Board members also discussed the recent purchase, annexation and rezoning of the property at 3761 G Road, next to the old Packing Shed Restaurant. The intent of the acquisition was to create a safer route to school for Taylor Elementary students, and discussion is underway with District 51 on how to best achieve it. Also, the crosswalk, currently located slightly off the corner, in between the two convenience stores on Eighth Street, will be relocated further west on Eighth Street.
In addition, it was reported that Taylor Elementary has applied for a grant for an Outdoor Classroom, to include new playground equipment. The town will write a letter of support for the grant application.
There is currently $6,000 in the budget for a Bike Skills Park proposed for the area east of the waste water lagoon ponds near Riverbend Park. Construction should be able to begin in the spring.
PRAC member Janet Prager updated the committee on the results so far of her research into an outdoor amphitheater for either Memorial Park or Riverbend. Prager had met with a consultant regarding possible locations for a permanent outdoor performing arts facility.
It was hoped that the rotunda on the front of the Veterans Memorial Building could be modified, but the consultant did not see that as a viable option. The consultant believes that too much work would have to be done to build a stage, also there is not enough vertical space overhead for lighting, speakers and other hardware necessary to a performance venue. Parking considerations are also a factor in the Memorial Park decision. Prager and the consultant will continue to explore locations in Riverbend Park and she will update again at a later date.
Plenty of volunteer opportunities are coming up for anyone interested. There will be an autumn cleanup of the Community Garden, putting it to bed for the winter. Additionally, donations are being accepted at Town Hall for the PRAC Christmas Basket project, already under way for this holiday.
The next meeting of the PRAC will be Thursday, November 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Civic Center meeting room at 341 7th Street in Palisade.
Just to clarify, the intern will be responsible for recreation and will report to Frank Watt and Sarah Brooks, while the part time position will report to Lindsay Chitwood, and will help with office and Sunday Market work.