Matchett Park neighbor says park not right for community center

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- Grand Junction voters are going to see a possible sales tax increase to fund the new Grand Junction community center on their ballots this April, but as you might expect, not everyone is happy about it.

Floyd Carpenter has lived behind Matchett Park for decades -- that's the park where the new community center is slated to go -- and he's concerned about accessibility and safety.

"My biggest concern is the safety getting off and on the road down here," Carpenter said. "This road at various times of the day is just, you can't cross the road, you can't get out on the road hardly."

He also wishes the city would pick a location closer to town.

"I would really rather see it go at a more central place," Carpenter said. "I think it ought to be like, say for instance, behind the old Kmart.

The Grand Junction Community Center campaign says these concerns are things they've addressed in their master plan.

"They really have built into this master plan lots of space for driving in and out of the community center," Jeriel Brammeier, campaign manager for Grand Junction Community Center campaign, said. "They've actually backed it off of the road a little bit and there's going to be a lot of space for parking."

In a feasibility study, residents overwhelmingly decided Matchett Park was the best place for the community center to be.

"We continue to see really good results in the Valley in terms of support for the community center," Brammeier said.

In the end, Carpenter says he will live with the public's decision, but he hopes the city will consider the future of those living nearby.

"It's only going to get rougher in the next ten years and I hope to heck that they start thinking about ten years or 20 years, rather than right today," Carpenter said.

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