New Castle’s river park to be completed this spring
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
NEW CASTLE, Colorado – The Town of New Castle is gearing up to complete construction of the New Castle River Park on the Colorado River this spring.
According to a the town’s Public Works Director John Wenzel, the town received nearly $200,000 in state lottery funds through Great Outdoors Colorado for Phase II development of the river park.
The 10-acre park is located along the south bank of the Colorado River at the New Castle Interstate 70 exit, near the River Park Condos.
The New Castle River Park will offer public access to a 3,340-foot length of the Colorado River, with a host of other outdoor recreation opportunities.
Phase I of the river park was completed in the fall of 2009 and included a soccer field, a children’s playground, and trails. An existing pond was also expanded in an attempt to improve habitat for the Northern Leopard Frog, which is a species of concern for the Colorado Department of Wildlife.
Many aspects of the first phase had to be cut from the plan because the city didn’t have the funds to pay for them all, according to Public Works Director John Wenzel.
“The initial scope of the work was eliminated because there was a lack of funding,” Wenzel said. “The [GOCO] grant has allowed us to bring those elements back into the park.”
Wenzel estimated that the approximate costs for Phase I were around $850,000. A portion of this funding came from an existing half-cent park sales tax, while the remainder came from a $300,000 contribution from the River Park Condos developer.
Work included development of the 10-acre park, which is intended to have both active and passive recreation amenities for residents and visitors.
Phase II includes constructing a river beach access area, a picnic shelter, a wetland observation shelter, restroom facility, and walkways throughout the park. Costs will be covered by the GOCO grant.
Construction could begin as early as Monday, March 8, Wenzel said, with completion scheduled sometime around the end of May or early June.
“We met with the contractor this morning and they may be doing some dirt work by week’s end,” Wenzel said.
Statewide, the GOCO Board awarded $4.5 million, for 44 projects. Great Outdoors Colorado was created after a citizens’ initiative passed by Colorado voters in 1992. The program receives approximately $54 million annually from lottery proceeds, and directs funds to projects that protect and enhance Colorado’s parks, wildlife, trails, rivers and open space.
Since, 1994 Garfield County has received more than $5.4 million in GOCO grants.
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The family of Rosie Ferrin has worked to clean up and make safe again the old schoolhouse in downtown New Castle. Ferrin died this summer and had owned the building that included classrooms turned into apartments for years.