Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Palisade whitewater park on hold

A plan for a whitewater park on the Colorado River near Grand Junction has stalled. An old diversion dam above Palisade is getting retrofitted to allow two endangered native fish (the Colorado Pikeminnow and Razorback Sucker) to pass up and down stream. Paddlers pointed out the new fish ladder could easily be designed to also be a whitewater park.

It's particularly attractive to boaters because the mild climate of the area would make boating possible almost year-round.

But... there are problems. Who is going to pay for the extra cost of making the park? The $650,000 the community has raised is not enough. On top of that, the city of Palisade has refused a construction easement until it can find away to ensure it won't be held liable in case of injuries. It doesn't look too good.

If boaters keep the pressure on, they may still be able to pull something off. Colorado has built several parks, often with similar contentious issues, and I have yet to visit a community where the people regretted the addition.
We'll see what happens.

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