City of Rifle receives million dollar grant
The city of Rifle announced last Friday they have received a $1 million grant from the state Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance fund distributed through the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), to go toward the completion of the Downtown Street Improvements Project.
“This was big. This helps us get our heads wrapped around what’s possible now that we have this,” Planning Director and Assistant City Manager Nathan Lindquist said. “We were worried with the times being the way they are and the state budget being challenged, it was really exciting to get it in this COVID budgeting era.”
The grant will go toward the approximately $5 million project, which will include replacing streets, sidewalks, landscaping and outdoor dining areas along Railroad Avenue and Third Street downtown. The city has been working on the design, and through extensive public feedback they have came up with a design that will be completed in phases.
In a letter to Rifle Mayor Barbara Clifton, DOLA Executive Director Rick Garcia said, “Projects are reviewed based on a variety of factors such as its connection to energy impact, degree of need, measurable outcomes, amount of request, relationship to community goals, level of local match and community support, management capacity and readiness to go.”
The Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance fund consists of revenues that are derived from oil, gas, carbon dioxide, coal and metals extracted in Colorado.
Lindquist said that the DOLA grant would go toward the Railroad Avenue part of the project, which has the most traffic and 1960s storm drainage system issues. They will focus on the Third to Fifth Street section in the core of downtown Rifle.
The city is currently pursuing other grants including an FMLD grant to help expand Phase 1 of construction as far as possible.
Lindquist was excited to learn that Rifle would be receiving the money.
“We will at least do something next year. The whole project was $5 million; we probably won’t be able to do all of that, we could do a lot of it assuming we’re successful on the other grants,” Lindquist said. “This is a huge step towards constructing the downtown project in 2021.”
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