Sharon Sullivan
Grand Junction Free Press
Staff Writer

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March 15, 2012
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Question for County Commissioner candidates: Week #6

Jana Gerow:

Yes. The Riverfront trail system has been in the planning by various agencies since the 1970s or before. The city of Grand Junction, Fruita, and Palisade have all stepped up for their portion of the trail. It is time for Mesa county, working with other state agencies, to support their portion - if the money is in the budget! I believe a good trail system for a community the size of Mesa County is a strong asset! A well planned trail system allows safer options for pedestrian and bikes, public enjoyment, exercise and scenic observation. If well planned the interference with other uses can be minimized and land can be set aside one stretch at a time by willing donors.


Ed Stephens:

Continued funding and building along the Riverfront Trail is now and has always been dependent on availability of Mesa County budget funds. Even with GOCO (Great Outdoors Colorado) funding the county shares in financial responsibility. There may be times when our county will be forced to turn away GOCO funding due to the unavailability of the matching part.


Rose Pugliese:

While I support the Riverfront Trail, I do not believe it should be completed at the expense of necessary, core county services. The Riverfront Trail's priority in future budgets will depend on our ability to first fund these necessary services, such as public safety.


Christi Flynn:

No, the Riverfront Trail is a great project but it shouldn't be a top priority when we need sidewalks and roads repaired.


John Leane:

This relates to expenses that are not required by the State of Colorado. Good programs also include: The Museum of Western Colorado, Grand Valley Transit and Kids Voting, for example. Again all of these are good programs, that is not the question.

I would propose this: A thorough examination of just what the county is obligated to do by state law, program by program. Then look at what functions a county has to have in order to perform those mandated ones. Total up the costs of what must be done and then see what, and if, other good programs can and should be funded. Are the benefits of these good programs generally available to the majority of citizens? Are there others that should be considered?


Ken Henry:

I am co-chair of the Riverfront Commission and am a strong supporter of the completion of the Colorado River Trail from Palisade to Loma and the connection with the Kokopelli Trail. When completed the Riverfront Trail will provide the backbone for connecting existing paths and trails within the valley and connecting to trails in the Colorado National Monument and the BLM lands that surround the valley.

In addition I support the redevelopment of the Old Spanish Trail to Delta and the development of the old toll road that traversed through DeBeque Canyon.

I can envision the eventual connection of trails from Grand Junction to Glenwood to the east and to Montrose and even Ouray to the south.


Wes D 'Aponti:

The Riverfront Trail project has been prioritized by the commissioners and has the support of the community as well as the granting of land by property owners to develop the trail project. I would continue to support this project through the completion of its anticipated five-year development and the continued support to maintain the established completed project.


Woody Walcher:

I am a huge supporter of the Riverfront Trail. I donated part of the land along the Colorado River to further its construction. We need to continue that course with the current plan, seeking donations and grant money, rather than taxpayer dollars.


Paul Nelson:

I was a member of the GJ City Council that helped create the Riverfront Commission 25 years ago. Our goal was and is to make a trail from the Utah border to the confluence of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers and on to Garfield and Delta counties, respectively.

The progress of trail construction has been remarkable and I would heartily support the continuation of trail building especially between Fruita and Palisade. The riverfront is a marvelous gift we have given not only to ourselves, but to future generations as well!


John Justman:

I will continue the support for the Riverfront Trail as long as the property owners are fairly compensated for their property. Last year the high water took out some of the trail and where does the money to rebuild and maintain this trail come from? The trail should be built out of the flood plain! I often wonder about the public's safety on the trail.

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The Post Independent Updated Mar 15, 2012 09:33PM Published Mar 15, 2012 09:31PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.