City Response Efforts to COVID-19

The crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the Grand Junction community in many ways. To help mitigate the effects of the crisis, the City of Grand Junction has worked with agency partners and developed several strategies for continuity of services and economic support.

Here’s a recap of what measures the City has taken to respond to the pandemic crisis:

Economic Strategies – The City used a variety of economic strategies to help the community through the crisis:

  1. Sales, Use and Lodging Tax Deferral – The focus of this strategy was to support cash flow to businesses. In total 59 businesses, with a reported 890 employees took advantage of the deferral program for a total of $245,000, ($159,000 in sales and use tax and $86,000 in lodging tax). Seven of those businesses have already paid their balances off for approximately $10,000 in sales tax and the current outstanding is $235,000 for 52 businesses.
  2. #GJStrongAppetite Campaign – The focus of this strategy was to support local restaurants who were impacted during the onset of the pandemic crisis by the restrictions put in place by public health orders. City employees put $81,449.20 into the local economy through this program with the City’s investing $44,873.50 as a part of it. The number of City employees who participated was 358.
  3. #GJStrong Fund – The focus of this strategy was to support community members in need of food and shelter. The City provided $500,000 to non-profits for food and shelter support.
  4. Support for Business Fixed Costs – The focus of this strategy was to help businesses with fixed costs by filling a gap in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) included in Federal stimulus. The City provided $500,000 to support businesses for rent, mortgage, and other fixed costs.
  5. Temporary Changes to Charge Structure – The focus of this strategy was to provide temporary relief to local businesses and residents that were negatively impacted by the pandemic. Charges were amended or allowed to be deferred as a part of this strategy.

Fiscal Responsibility – Through modeling of economic activity, the City projects a loss in revenue of approximately $16M, which is a 25% reduction on an annualized bases (meaning one-quarter or 3-months at $0 sales). Staff has reduced expenses by approximately $7M, while minimizing the impact in service delivery to the community.  Additionally, some capital projects will be deferred to 2021.

Incident Command Systems (ICS) – The City of Grand Junction activated an Incident Command System (ICS) in March to coordinate an effective and efficient response to the COVID-19 pandemic. An ICS structure is typically used for emergent events and as the City transitions into long-term management of the pandemic, the ICS structure was deactivated. City departments now handle specific response actions as coordinated by the City Manager.

Intergovernmental Cooperation & Legislative Advocacy – The City worked closely with Mesa County Public Health to coordinate a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mesa County Public Health is leading the public health response and continues to keep the City informed of public health updates, best practices, and any new state public health orders that may affect the response of the City.

The City also worked with our Federal delegation to advocate for legislative that helps our residents and local governments. As a result of this work, several pieces of legislation have been introduced with provisions for specific aid to individuals and local governments.

Emergency Declaration – City Council declared a state of emergency from March 23rd through May 6th. The state of emergency was originally declared because of the risk to the personal health and economic welfare to the persons and businesses of the City and the Greater Grand Junction community.

Continuity of Operations Plan & Employee Policies – To protect the health of employees and to ensure continuity of services provided to the community, the City activated its Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP Plan) and developed pandemic policies early in the response. Policies provided guidelines for teleworking, pandemic leave, and best practices for public health such as hand washing. The City also provided all employees with a cloth mask to be worn while working for the purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19 within the organization and the community. The COOP Plan provided guidance for the organization to continue to provide uninterrupted service to the community.


Contact: Greg LeBlanc, Sr. Assistant to the City Manager 970-244-1557 or gregoryl@gjcity.org

Dos Rios Bike Playground Construction

Dos Rios Bike Park

The City of Grand Junction is pleased to announce the beginning of construction of the Dos Rios Bike Playground. The contractors, American Ramp Company and Single Track Trails are on site this week starting construction of the playground.

The Bike Playground is designed to be accessible to a wide variety of riders, from small children on strider bikes, to kids of all ages, to adults looking to build their skills and confidence. Four distinct lines will be offered: one beginner, one beginner/intermediate, and two adjacent intermediate that involve either tabletops or jumps. The concept is to help build biking skills that people of all ages can use to further their passion for biking, be it road biking and commuting, BMX or mountain biking at the nearby Lunch Loop Trail System.

With easy access to the Colorado Riverfront Trail and at the center of the continually improving River Corridor, the City expects high utilization. Construction is scheduled to proceed over the next two weeks, with a scheduled opening by Memorial Day weekend. The project budget is $120,000, which was funded by a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation as a part of a broader park improvement project which included a redesign of Riverside Park. The Riverside Park redesign project was a collaborative effort with brought about by input from members of the Riverside Neighborhood community.

As the community enjoys these new amenities, including those at Dos Rios, please remember that social distancing measures must still be observed, and group size needs to be kept within the allowable limit.


Contact: Greg LeBlanc, Sr. Assistant to the City Manager 970-244-1557 or gregoryl@gjcity.org

Projects Affecting Traffic for the Week of 5/18/20

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City of Grand Junction Projects with Travel Restrictions

31 Road between D ½ Road and E Road, Utility Construction

  • 31 Road closed to thru traffic
  • Access for residents will be provided
  • Detour route is in place
  • Anticipated completion – May

729 27 Road – New Fire Station Construction

  • Watch for trucks turning off and onto 27 Road

Non-City of Grand Junction Projects with Travel Restrictions

None this week


Contact: Greg LeBlanc, Sr. Assistant to the City Manager 970-244-1557 or gregoryl@gjcity.org

Las Colonias Facilities Update

River Park Las Colonias

The City of Grand Junction is excited to announce the completion of several new facility elements to Las Colonias Park! As the summer season approaches, these features will become available for the community to use. These features include:

  • The River Park at Las Colonias – The River Park at Las Colonias is open to the public. Construction of the new River Park has concluded, and the park is now open. The project features a lengthy and accessible lazy river, two standing wave water features, and beach and wading areas. These amenities are accessible to a wide range of ages, ability and experience levels. Over $600,000 in grant dollars were secured to enable this project, which is about half of the project cost. This includes funding from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the Colorado Basin Roundtable, One Riverfront and Colorado Mesa University. The City also enjoyed partnership on this project with Bonsai Designs, Army Corps of Engineers and the US Fish & Wildlife Service.
  • Restroom/Shelter/Concessions Building – Located on the east end of Las Colonias Park and south of the butterfly pond and nearest to the boat ramp, the restroom/shelter/concession building has opened for use. This building will support many activities at Las Colonias including the rental of river equipment. The City widely circulated a Request for Proposal (RFP) to collect proposals to forge another public-private partnership at the Las Colonias Business Park. Stand-Up Paddle Grand Junction (SUP GJ) was selected as the winning bidder. SUP GJ has a very similar relationship with Colorado Parks and Wildlife at Highline State Park. They are estimated to be operational and actively renting river equipment by the Memorial Day weekend.
  • Landscaping Work Continues – The City of Grand Junction asks that the public respect any area that has been newly landscaped and newly seeded. Temporary signs in these sensitive areas have been installed. In two of the three dog park areas, staff installed 40,000 Dog Tuff Plugs this week. This grass will be significantly more resistant to the major wear and tear experienced at dog parks. These two sections of the dog park will be closed until next season so this grass can establish.

As the community enjoys these new amenities, please remember that social distancing measures must still be observed, and group sizes needs to be kept within the allowable limit.


Contact: Greg LeBlanc, Sr. Assistant to the City Manager 970-244-1557 or gregoryl@gjcity.org

City Services Update for May 8, 2020

CityServicesUpdate5-8

The City of Grand Junction is developing a plan for reopening City Hall as the Grand Junction area starts to reopen. This plan will unfold over a period of time, allowing for a phased reintroduction of the general public into the facility. Starting on the week of May 18, City Hall will open by appointment only and previously scheduled Municipal Court cases will be heard on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The City Council workshop on May 18, the City Council meeting on May 20, and the Planning Commission meeting on May 26 will be open to public. Staff will create staging areas/rooms for members of the public to queue and the meetings will streamed in real time to these areas. If you are not feeling well, please do not come to City Hall. For a list of City services available online or over the phone, please visit our website.

As the City reopens, members of the community will see several additional safety measures in place to promote physical distancing. City employees will continue to wear masks when interacting with the public and we will continue the safety protocols currently in place. These safety measures help protect our employees and members of the community. Members of the public are encouraged to wear masks when visiting City Hall and other City facilities as they begin to open.

City Incident Command System (ICS) – The City of Grand Junction activated an Incident Command System (ICS) in March to coordinate an effective and efficient response to the COVID-19 pandemic. An ICS structure is typically used for emergent events and as the City transitions into long-term management of the pandemic, the ICS structure will be deactivated, and City departments will handle specific response actions.

The City will continue to partner with Mesa County Public Health for public health information, as this helps us develop plans to provide services to the community safely.

Emergency Declaration – The Emergency Declaration that was approved by City Council expired on May 6. The state of emergency was originally declared because of the risk to the personal health and economic welfare to the persons and businesses of the City and the Greater Grand Junction community, and in light of the ongoing risk to public health, safety and economic security.


Contact: Greg LeBlanc, Sr. Assistant to the City Manager 970-244-1557 or gregoryl@gjcity.org

Projects Affecting Traffic for the Week of 5/11/20

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City of Grand Junction Projects with Travel Restrictions

31 Road between D ½ Road and E Road, Utility Construction

  • 31 Road closed to thru traffic
  • Access for residents will be provided
  • Detour route is in place
  • Anticipated completion – May

729 27 Road – New Fire Station Construction

  • Watch for trucks turning off and onto 27 Road

Non-City of Grand Junction Projects with Travel Restrictions

North Avenue Sidewalk and ADA Ramp Improvement Project – CDOT

  • Expect sidewalk and lane closures, west bound North Avenue between 29 Road and 6th Street
  • Work hours will be sun-up to sun-down, Monday through Friday
  • Anticipated completion – May

3210 E Road – Utility Construction

  • E Road will be closed to thru traffic between 32 Road and 32 1/2 Road
  • Detour route will be in place
  • Anticipated completion – Friday, May 15th

Contact: Greg LeBlanc, Sr. Assistant to the City Manager 970-244-1557 or gregoryl@gjcity.org

City Kicks Off “Drinking Water Week”

DrinkingWater2During a regular meeting of City Council on the evening of May 6th, City Council proclaimed May 3-9, 2020 as Drinking Water Week.

The City of Grand Junction and the American Water Works Association (AWWA) will observe Drinking Water Week by recognizing the vital role tap water plays in daily life, the infrastructure that is required to carry it to and from homes and businesses, and the important work of water professionals “behind the scenes”.

“In 1911, the City of Grand Junction secured a pristine mountain water source. The Kannah Creek watershed covers 200 square miles on the top and west side of the Grand Mesa and, since we are the first users of this water, susceptibility to man-made contaminants is minimal,” said Grand Junction Utilities Director Randi Rim. “City water professionals maintain two 20-mile flow lines that convey water to the City’s water treatment plant and then distribute clean water to our customers’ taps for drinking water and hygienic needs.”

“Even during the coronavirus pandemic, City employees continue to work around the clock to flush and maintain pipelines, operate the treatment plant, and conduct water quality testing to ensure the health and safety of our community.”

To commemorate the week, water utilities, water organizations, government entities, environmental advocates, schools and other stakeholders throughout North America and beyond will encourage consumers to understand and appreciate their drinking water.

About Drinking Water Week – For more than 40 years, AWWA and its members have celebrated Drinking Water Week, a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to join together in recognizing the vital role water plays in daily lives. Free materials for download and additional information are available on the Drinking Water Week webpage.


Contact: Greg LeBlanc, Sr. Assistant to the City Manager 970-244-1557 or gregoryl@gjcity.org