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Cortez Parks and Recreation board appoints new members

Advisory group approaches nine-member goal
Cortez Parks and Recreation Director Dean Palmquist, left, plays pickleball along with board member Bob Archibeque at the site of the Centennial Park pickleball courts in August.

After appointing two new members on Friday, the Cortez Parks, Recreation and Forestry Advisory Board is close to being fully staffed for the first time in more than a year.

Parks and Recreation, the largest of the city’s advisory boards, is supposed to have nine members, including two high school students. But it has been more than a year since the board was fully staffed at a meeting, and chairman Paul Adams’ departure last month has left it even more shorthanded. During their Friday meeting, the board members voted to appoint Tim Kline and Kevin Mullikin to two of the vacant spots, leaving two still to be filled.

Mullikin has served on the Parks and Recreation board in the past, along with several other boards around town. He said he wanted to return because of how important he believes it is to maintain the city’s parks.

“I really think that parks and rec is a vital economic power, if you will, for the city of Cortez,” he said. “The better our parks are, and our facilities, the more we can attract people to relocate here.”

He helps to organize the Burst Triathlon every year, and he said he is working on other combination races in partnership with other towns.

Kline is a former member of the Planning and Zoning Commission who said he couldn’t stay away from government after resigning last year. He said he hopes to help foster improvements in the city’s softball fields and fishing lakes by serving on the Parks and Recreation board.

“I like being involved in things,” he said. “I believe in taking care of what we have.”

Parks and Recreation Director Dean Palmquist said he supports the new appointees because he believes they will bring new perspectives to the advisory board.

“I really like when we get our advisory team together that we have people representing different facets of the community,” he said.

The appointments will go before the Cortez City Council at its next meeting for final approval.

Before appointing the new members, the board voted to make current member Rachel Medina the new chairwoman. Palmquist said he will continue to search for people to fill the two remaining vacancies.

As part of the new members’ first meeting, Palmquist presented a progress update on the Parks and Recreation Department’s 10-year master plan, established in 2016. The plan includes 16 projects the department hoped to complete by 2026, prioritized in order of urgency and public demand.

Palmquist said a few of the projects, like new restrooms and pickleball courts at Centennial Park, have already been completed. Others, like the new park planned for the old Montezuma-Cortez High School site, will likely take a few more years to finish. In the meantime, Palmquist mentioned that a few other construction projects have come up, like the expansion of the community garden outside the Cortez Recreation Center.

Common Ground Cortez Community Gardens, the volunteer group that will work with the city on the expansion, plans to announce the winners of a drawing for 10 new plots in the garden on Monday.

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