The Palisade Plunge is one step closer to realization after a special work session Monday evening, February 29, between the Palisade Board of Trustees and representatives from the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA). The purpose of the special public meeting was to decide whether to submit a concept paper to Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) by the March 8 deadline for the current round of grant funding.

The main issue was choosing an entity to partner with, since the Town of Palisade does not have any funding available for the project itself. The GOCO grant available for such a project is called a reimbursable grant, meaning that the project needs to be paid for up front, with the grant funding then available to reimburse the payer. Trustees want to be able to partner with an entity that would be able to fund the project until the reimbursement funds became available.

Four different partnership options were outlined to the board by Town Administrator Rich Sales, including possible partnerships with Mesa County, COPMOBA, the Palisade Chamber of Commerce, Colorado National Bank of Palisade or any combination of the above.

After discussion with Scott Winans of COPMOBA, and talking out the various options, Trustees decided that their preferred option would be to partner with Mesa County, although whether Mesa County is interested is still to be discovered.

The Mesa County option would allow the town to take the lead and manage the project, since it is considered to be an economic driver for the Palisade area. Trustees want to be sure that riders experience a bit of Palisade with their ride, whether it involves the route itself, the parking areas, or shuttle service to the beginning of the bike trail on top of the Grand Mesa.

It was also decided to go for the current round of funding since only a concept paper needs to be supplied initially. Decisions will be made by GOCO during the first week in April as to whether the Town would then be invited to actually apply for the grant.

County Commissioner Rose Pugliese volunteered that the Mesa County Commissioners would agree to add the item to their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday morning, March 7, at 9 a.m., so Trustees will know whether their preferred option is actually possible prior to submitting the concept paper on March 8. Any interested parties are invited to attend the meeting, to be held at the Public Old Courthouse, 544 Rood Avenue in Grand Junction.