Council seeks amphitheater grant financing

By Amy Hamilton

Monday, October 19, 2015

Though a few of Grand Junctions city councilors still werent happy with not having monetary dedications firmly in hand, a bulk of the council offered a nod to city personnel to move forward on a strategya prepare for a $3.5 million amphitheater at Las Colonias Park.

Getting the green light during yet another conference on the matter Monday night means city staff can use for a $2 million matching grant from the Colorado Department of Resident Affairs.

Personnel have a rapidly approaching due date Dec. 1 to submit a grant proposition to be considered for the financing. City personnel have said the city has a great shot at securing the funding since the city is not using for other contending grants throughout this specific cycle.

A choice to move forward after months of back-and-forth argument drew applause from an audience of about 2 dozen people, manya number of whom are members of the Grand Junction Lions Club.

The club has pledged $300,000 over several years to assistto assist pay for the amphitheater and has actually been an early investor in the 100-acre park in Grand Junctions south downtown.

Councilors have actually disputed whether the city can pay for the place and its continuous operating expenses. They have actually wondered aloud whether the city must focus dollars on other city tasks or other stages of the park. Councilors have asked the Downtown Development Authority for $500,000 in financing and other agencies have actually promised $150,000, but councilors have not gotten last reports on whether those funds will emerge.

Councilors Marty Chazen and Mayor Phyllis Norris were not in support of constructing an amphitheater at this time.

Councilors Chris Kennedy, Rick Taggart, Duncan McArthur and Bennett Boeschenstein remained in support, and Councilor Barbara Traylor Smith was missing Monday night.

The only way were going to understand if were going forward is if we decide to move forward, Councilor Chris Kennedy said. Thats our dilemma.

I think weve got much betterimproved things to do with our cash today, Chazen stated, citing capital jobs for city water and other operating expenses.