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Cortez Parks and Rec Board celebrates capital projects

Board members tour new restrooms, pickleball courts
Cortez Parks and Recreation Director Dean Palmquist, left, plays pickleball along with board member Bob Archibeque at the site of the upcoming Centennial Park courts.

The Cortez Parks, Recreation and Forestry Advisory Board took its meeting outside on Friday.

Board members toured Centennial Park, where the city recently completed a $200,000 public restroom and soon will begin construction on a $200,000 pickleball court project. Parks and Recreation Director Dean Palmquist updated the board on those projects and talked about what he hoped to accomplish at nearby City Park this year. Representatives from GOCO are scheduled to tour the sites of several projects in Montezuma County in September as the last step in a joint grant application process from the local agencies, including Parks and Recreation, that make up the Inspire Coalition.

The restrooms in Centennial Park are now fully operational and open during business hours every day, but Palmquist said the department still needs to repair some of the roof gables and concrete near the parking lot, and install a handrail on the sloping path outside the building. Board member Rachel Medina also pointed out the restrooms don’t contain trash cans, and Palmquist said that would need to be resolved.

“I just thought we ended up with another quality restroom that matches our main park area,” he said. “The old one was starting to have a lot of issues.”

At the city council’s latest meeting, the board approved a $191,547 bid to Renner Sports Surfaces to build six pickleball courts on the current location of two of Centennial Park’s tennis courts. Palmquist said he expects construction to begin sometime in September, but because of the coming winter and the time it takes for new concrete to set, the courts may not be finished until next May.

“They’re supposed to have a completion date of Oct. 31, but there’s a caveat they put in there ... that if the weather is not conducive, that they will come back in the spring,” he said. “I’m anticipating that’s what’s going to happen.”

Some of the cost for that project will be covered by a $108,000 GOCO grant that was awarded to the city earlier this year. The Parks and Recreation board is hoping for another grant to replace the playground equipment at City Park, which is across the street from Centennial. If GOCO funds the project, Palmquist wants to replace the old slides and monkey bars with nature-themed climbing areas, tunnels and bridges. The sand will also be replaced with wood chips, which Palmquist said are considered safer for most playgrounds.

Representatives from GOCO will perform a site visit in Montezuma County on Sept. 21. Palmquist said he expected to find out whether the city will get the grant or not by November.

The board’s tour of the parks ended with a game of pickleball on the tennis courts.

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