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Survey reveals community's vision for city parks, trails

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A survey targeting the city's open spaces, parks and trails yielded data about the most utilized facilities -- picnic areas and trails -- and a "wish list" for additional amenities that includes climbing features, outdoor water play areas and additional trails/connectivity.

The survey was mailed to city residents and made available online to anyone who wanted to offer input on the city's parks and recreation master plan. A total of 583 surveys were completed this summer. The survey was made available to city residents as well as other individuals who utilize city facilities.

The survey results were shared with a citizen advisory council, then the general public by the city's consultant, Logan Simpson. The master plan process continues through September, with the public's visions refined into a conceptual plan identifying project priorities and implementation strategies.

The draft master plan will be made available to the public in October. A third public meeting is scheduled Nov. 15 to take input on that plan, prior to final adoption by Delta City Council. Preliminary results are being made available to the council as the 2018 budget is developed.

Logan Simpson has already crunched the numbers. Currently, the city budgets $100,000 per year for capital maintenance and projects. In reality, the amount needed to maintain the existing system is $340,000. Basic enhancement projects are estimated at $360,000 annually, leaving a funding gap of $600,000.

In comparison to other communities, the consultant found Delta has more "high maintenance landscapes" such as parks and plazas. The amount of acreage maintained by staff members is also higher than Rifle, Cortez and Fruita. (Delta's paid parks staff is augmented by an inmate work crew from the Delta Correctional Center.)

Survey respondents recognized the importance of maintenance when asked how Delta should allocate the parks budget. For every $100, respondents said $27 should go to improve existing parks, $21 to construct trails, $16 to build sports fields and other recreational facilities, $15 to preserve open space/natural areas, $9 to build new parks and $12 for other.

The "other" could address deferred maintenance needs, which include playground replacements for safety and accessibility, ADA parking, restrooms, irrigation repairs, resurfacing of crushed gravel trails, rebuilding/resurfacing basketball and tennis courts, and reclamation at Riverbend Park.

Because there is a huge gap between funding and the city's wants/needs, the city will be applying for grants for future projects. It's critical to have project priorities identified for that process, said Wilma Erven, director of parks, recreation and golf.

The master plan process is funded by a GOCO grant, Erven added. "They expect us to come out of this process with a vision, goals and objectives for the next 10 years. They want to know where we're headed, and we can't determine that without public input."

Complete survey results will be posted to the city website soon. For details, call Erven at 874-0923.

MASTER PLAN: THE HOT TOPICS

Trails/connectivity - more trails, plus pave some

Maintenance, restrooms and playground upgrades

More festivals, concerts, cultural activities and events

Climbing, archery, bicycling and group camping

Confluence Park

• Trails, paved and unpaved

• Lake uses - swimming, water play,

water quality/management

• River access

Cleland Park

• Restrooms, playground

• Tennis courts repaired/replaced

• Garnet Mesa drainage issues

Cottonwood Park

• Restrooms, playground, irrigation improvements

• River access

• Trail access to park

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Delta
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parks, Trails
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