Stimulus Money Headed for Monument

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

The Colorado National Monument announced it will be getting more than $50,000 for improvements.

More than 160,000 people will hike the trails in the Colorado National Monument this year. And even though the trails are mostly dirt and rock the constant hiking does take a toll.

Joan Anzelmo, Superintendent for the Colorado National Monument says, "We're not funded to do the kind of major rock work and rehabilitation that we need to do." $58,000 in stimulus funds coming to the Monument will change that.

"It's the difference between doing trail improvement work or not having the trails maintained," says, Anzelmo.

County Commissioner Janet Roland says this is just a small amount of stimulus money that needs to come back to the area. "We are trying to get as much as we can of the stimulus dollars," says, Roland.

Roland says its unclear as to how much the stimulus will cost tax payers locally. But she would like to make sure it stays as little as possible. "The same amount that the federal government takes out of Mesa County for this stimulus plan of theirs, that same amount of money should come back to Mesa County. That's my goal."

Some of the stimulus that has already made its way back to the Valley includes $91,000 for the Community Development Block Grants for the City of Grand Junction. And $230,000 for the Energy and Conservation Block Grants, something shared between the city and county.

Roland says, "Do I agree that most of the things we are applying for are creating jobs and stimulating the economy? Absolutely, not. But I do want to make sure that we get as much of that as we can, its our money."

Anzelmo says the money coming to the Monument has already created jobs. "And we have already recruited for those positions and we did recruit locally in the Grand Valley for those jobs."

The Colorado National Monument could also get more funding from within the National Parks Service to help with trail renovations as well.

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