Enochs Lake will be up for sale in October

While Enochs Lake is beautiful and cherished, the City of Fruita says they’ve spent decades trying to free themselves from ownership.
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 10:25 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - After several months of this hot topic debate, the Fruita City Council made its decision unanimously to list the Enochs Lake property up for sale this October. The area is not up for grabs for just anyone; the city is making a preference that the lake must remain open for public use.

You may remember the Fruita City Council backing out of the $500,000 offer a private buyer made to the city for the lake. That occurred at the end of August 2023. The city’s rejection came from an overwhelming opinion from the public to keep access to the lake open.

While Enochs Lake is beautiful and cherished, the City of Fruita says they’ve spent decades trying to free themselves from ownership. “The council has been working since 1983, when we couldn’t use the water, looking at selling that property,” said Fruita Mayor Joel Kincaid. It became a burden when Fruita no longer needed to use the lake as a supply for domestic water in the 1980s. After refusing the latest offer for the lake, council devised a plan to place Enochs Lake on the market starting early October. The property listing will be up for 40 days or at least until November 8th. In order to provide an equal opportunity for anyone that wants to put a bid on the property.

The city has a preference of keeping the lake public after sale. Kincaid says the city is open to offers coming below the market value of $420,000. He says, “The council will review everything and look at which ones we’d like to pursue,”.

Friends of Enochs Lake, a grassroots organization who demanded the city keep the lake open, is finalizing the process of becoming a non profit. However, the City of Fruita is having all volunteers pause work, until the FEL has liability insurance.

“They don’t want us up there without some sort of liability in place, which we don’t have. We’re working on putting our liability for our volunteers in place,” said Jim Cook, President of Friends of Enochs Lake. Cook says people will still check in on the lake on a daily basis. He says they’ve run into no issues so far. The FEL is in the process of discussing purchase deals with larger entities like Mesa County, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Cook will meet with Mesa County Commissioners on September 28 to propose purchasing the lake.

Cook estimates about one hundred volunteers are ready to start work on the property, but he anticipates they won’t be able to get their insurance before snow starts falling. He thinks his people won’t be able to start work till next spring. Or at least till the winter snow melts away mostly.