The City of Montrose, Colorado, has announced that funding for the first stage of river restoration improvements on the Uncompahgre River has been approved after the Montrose Urban Renewal Authority (MURA) board moved to match grant funds for the project.
During its regularly scheduled meeting on March 6, the MURA board approved a $1.1 million tax increment funding loan to go along with a $400,000 Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) grant awarded in January.
“We are very thankful to the CWCB for believing in the Montrose community and for believing in this important project,” Montrose City Manager Bill Bell said.
“For many years, our community has turned its back on the river corridor and we have been working diligently over the past several years to repurpose the Uncompahgre, with efforts to increase not only recreational use of the river but also to increase the long-term economic vitality of our river corridor. We could not have made this happen without the support of our River Restoration Committee volunteers and the CWCB.”
The project will reestablish a resilient channel, connect the river to its floodplain, create a stable riparian zone, improve fish and other aquatic habitats, stabilize the riverbanks, and provide river access to the public.
Members of City Council will be reviewing construction plans later this summer. The City of Montrose loan to MURA will be repaid through property and sales taxes generated within the MURA boundary.
The loan carries a 4 percent per annum interest rate until such time that the loan amount is paid in full.