Caitlin Row

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March 21, 2013
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Fruita eyes park redesign, better connection to downtown

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - As part of Fruita's overarching goal to develop the full potential of its downtown area, public comment is being sought on a proposed redesign of the Fruita Civic Center Memorial Park.

"We are going through a planning process where we're asking the community what they'd like to see in the park," said Fruita Parks and Recreation Director Ture Nycum. "We could move the stage, add playground shelters and bike cleaning stations, do anything and everything the community wants to throw out there. We need community dialogue."

According to City of Fruita Community Development Director Dahna Raugh, the city hopes to specifically replace the band shell at Fruita Civic Center Memorial Park for better weather protection.

"Then concerts won't need to stop when it rains," Raugh said. "The stage should (also) be repositioned to be more inclusive of the downtown."

To promote and better learn how to breathe new life into Fruita, the city additionally created a 12-person "Downtown Advisory Board" in 2012.

"The downtown group is also looking at improving the downtown area to make it more usable, attractive and user friendly," Nycum said. "Let's look at how the downtown interacts with the park. There could be room for partnership. There's still some decisions that need to be made on direction."

There's currently $50,000 in the city budget for park improvements in 2013, and the City of Fruita also has $100,000 set aside as part of a downtown effort to create a comprehensive look for the town.

Raugh noted that while redesign efforts are currently in the infant stage, it's still likely the money will be spent on creating an improved look to downtown Fruita this year.

That said, Nycum noted: "We don't want to make improvements without a good idea of what we want to accomplish long-term."

At a public open house last week, three park redesign concepts were displayed with approximately 10 people in attendance.

"We're not leaning toward any one concept at this point," Nycum said. "We could move the stage to the east side to park. Some said the north side. If people still want to comment, call me."

Nycum can be reached at 970-858-0360, ext. 10.

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The Post Independent Updated Mar 21, 2013 03:50PM Published Mar 21, 2013 03:49PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.