Horizon Drive District Loses City Funding for Improvements

The Horizon Drive District, a business park in Grand Junction, Colorado, has been working on a plan to revamp its infrastructure and appearance for the past few years. The district, which hosts hotels, restaurants, and other businesses, wanted to make the area more attractive and accessible for visitors and locals alike. However, the district’s hopes were dashed when the city of Grand Junction decided to back out of a deal that would have provided $3 million for the project.

City Cites Budget Constraints and Priorities

The city of Grand Junction had initially agreed to contribute $3 million to the Horizon Drive District’s improvement plan, which had a total budget of $12 million. The plan included adding sidewalks, bike lanes, landscaping, lighting, signage, and other features to the district, which is located near the Grand Junction Regional Airport and the Colorado National Monument. The city’s funding was supposed to come from a special sales tax that was approved by voters in 2019.

However, in December 2023, the city informed the district that it was withdrawing its support, citing budget constraints and competing priorities. The city said that it had to deal with rising costs of public safety, transportation, and other essential services, and that it could not afford to spend money on a non-essential project. The city also said that it had other obligations to fulfill, such as the completion of the Las Colonias Park and the Riverside Parkway Extension.

District Expresses Disappointment and Frustration

The Horizon Drive District was shocked and disappointed by the city’s decision, which it said was made without any consultation or communication. The district said that it had invested a lot of time, money, and effort into developing the improvement plan, which it believed would benefit not only the district, but also the city and the region. The district said that the plan would have enhanced the district’s image, increased its economic activity, and improved its safety and accessibility.

Horizon Drive District Loses City

The district also said that the city’s decision was unfair and inconsistent, as the city had previously supported similar projects in other areas, such as the North Avenue Corridor and the Downtown Development Authority. The district said that it felt betrayed and abandoned by the city, and that it was considering legal action to challenge the city’s decision.

District Looks for Alternative Funding Sources

Despite the setback, the Horizon Drive District said that it was not giving up on its improvement plan, and that it was looking for other ways to fund it. The district said that it had already secured $6 million from the Colorado Department of Transportation, and that it was applying for grants from other sources, such as the Federal Aviation Administration and the Colorado Tourism Office. The district also said that it was exploring the possibility of creating a business improvement district, which would allow it to collect additional taxes from its members to pay for the project.

The district said that it was determined to make the Horizon Drive District a better place for its businesses, customers, and visitors, and that it hoped that the city would reconsider its decision and support the project in the future.

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