Land will provide access to river

Pedestrian access to trail in plans

The Durango City Council approved $225,000 to buy a third of an acre that would provide public access to the 43-acre Cameron-Sterk property, a future recreation and conservation area along the Animas River north of town.

Called the Sherman parcel, it would provide access from Animas View Drive and space for amenities such as restrooms and parking as well as minimize the development to the riverfront area.

“The area is out of the flood zone and closer to the road,” said Kevin Hall, the city’s director of natural lands, who stipulated that plans for the area still need to be finalized.

The City Council also has approved this space as a pedestrian-access point to a future extension of the Animas River Trail.

Councilor Paul Broderick suggested the city put in a swing set because the neighborhood lacks amenities.

Durango expects to close Sept. 27 on the Sherman and the Cameron-Sterk properties.

The area is about a mile north of 32nd Street.

The Open Space, Parks and Trails Fund, which is supported by a designated sales-tax approved by the voters, is funding the acquisition of the Sherman parcel. The fund had a balance of about $790,000 as of Sept. 13.

“It’s a smart purchase,” said Mayor Doug Lyon, calling it part of a coherent strategy for acquisition of public lands.

The council already has approved $1.2 million for the purchase of Cameron-Sterk, which would extend the Animas River Trail by 1.3 miles to the north and provide additional river access for anglers and nonmotorized boats.

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