MONTROSE – With the help of lottery money, the City of Montrose has just completed the final draft of its Uncompahgre River Corridor Master Plan, and wants everyone to come have a look.
Copies of the 80-page plan, complete with maps and foldouts, are available for viewing at the Montrose library and the Elks Civic Building as well as online at www.cityofmontrose.org.
The city has also invited the public to an open house on the proposed master plan on March 22 from 3-6 p.m. at the Elks Civic Building, 107 S. Cascade Ave., where questions and feedback are encouraged.
This will be final meeting on the draft master plan, said city project manager Dennis Erickson. Meetings were also held last year.
The proposed plan will go to the Montrose City Planning Commission on March 23, and then go before the Montrose City Council sometime in April, Erickson said.
“This was a component of our last comprehensive plan – to do a river master plan – and we’re hoping the planning commission approves it and city council adopts it,” he said.
The new river plan presents the Uncompahgre River as a vital force for the city, not only in developing more parks and trails, but also with more commercial and recreational uses. The plan also looks at the best ways to preserve the river corridor as an ecosystem.
Funding for the river corridor master plan came from lottery money, Erickson said, with Great Outdoors Colorado contributing $75,000. The city matched that with $50,000 of its own Colorado lottery funds, along with other local contributors, including $3,000 from the Montrose Recreation District, $2,500 from the Montrose Community Foundation, and $1,500 from Friends of the River Uncompahgre.
“These partnerships are critical, but basically the lottery dollars are funding this,” Erickson said.
The plan covers 10 miles of the Uncompahgre River corridor, from Racine Road to the south to LaSalle Road to the north.
The plan looks at a lot, from existing concrete trails to proposed land acquisition. Color-coded maps also show proposed pedestrian crossings, river access, trail connections, existing parks in the corridor and more.
One goal of the plan is to find a way to connect the river at Cerise Park to the downtown area. The city is currently landscaping a parking area on West Main Street that connects to walking trails at Cerise Park that lead to other city trails and parks, Erickson said.
“We will also allow RV parking there overnight,” he said. “We’ll only have nine spaces, and the signs are not up yet.”
Lottery money will keep helping the city improve the river corridor, Erickson said.
“Once the plan is done and areas identified for acquisition and trails, GOCO will help fund improvements for those down the road,” Erickson said.
Those improvements will help with land values, he said, and provide more recreational opportunities such as fishing and kayaking.
Anyone with questions about the river corridor plan can call Erickson at 240-1481 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.