At the request of this thread, the Downtown River Enhancement VOLUNTEER committee would like to update everyone. Believe me, we are all frustrated too.
First of all, I would like to encourage Mr Cohen to contact me personally with questions regarding the whitewater park effort! I take it personally that he's called our integrity into question. I've worked my ass of for years on this project, so I really don't want to hear it. Most people would have given up years ago. I'm too damn stubborn. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
--where I can give you my phone #. I've been very free with information on the fundraising always. Don't know where mr cohen gets off.
So, let's set the record straight.
First of all, I've never guaranteed a timeline. The timeline was created as a hopeful outcome based on the reception of a GOCO grant, which did not come through. That, and timelines rarely come true in our great city.
There is nearly $24K sitting in the Friends of the Poudre bank account waiting for the city to tell us how to present the money to them, and waiting for them to take the project for the design phase. There is lots of liability at stake, and none of us want liability for a city paddle park! Ther is also a city process to follow--and a highly regulated design process.
There is roughly a total of $65K in committed money and in-kind donations lined up for the park project, but we will need about another $60K due to higher than anticipated design costs, and the extensive modeling process. So, we continue the attempt to raise funds, and with the help of Michael Duncan, our new executive fundraising director, we are targeting the Bohemian Foundation, and other grant opportunities, including the city's funding for special projects. We just need one more big check.
Our effort has taken actually about 8 YEARS now. Fort Collins just hasn't moved like other cities have in getting a whitewater park. Now they seem to be. They realize that competition exists for a residents and tax base in northern colorado. If you want to do some good, visit with your mayor, city council, and/or city manager and tell them how much we need the project. They seem to have some energy, but they are driven by public input--beyond just Friends of the Poudre. Write letters to the editor of the local media, and get involved with vocal support.
Yes, the RICD bill is a problem--but mainly in drought years. But the Fort Collins park is set up with a control structure at its head, which meets the requirement levied in the current bill. It could certainly limit flows, but if designed right, the park could work well. And, it hasn't been passed yet, which means the sooner we build it, the more protected our water is. And, unless you want to have no river in Fort Collin in the future, we can never give up the fight to get a better RICD.
THE REAL PROBLEM may be the proposed Glade Reservoir, which could siphon 10% of the river off during peak flows. So spend your time fighting mega dams, instead of wasting your breath on something you seem to not have the facts on.
I'll try to keep everyone better informed from here on out. My time is very short with two businesses, a young family, Friends of the Poudre, the river project, and other things--not including much recreation at this point. I'll bet mr cohen still has time to recreate!
Downtown River Enhancement Committee