The City of Cortez has built two new entrance signs and hopes to build two more in the future.
Crews completed two signs along U.S. Highway 491 at the northern and southern ends of town earlier in November.
Cortez City Manager Shane Hale says the designs are based on community input from the Heart and Soul long-range planning project. Hale explains the lizard design at the southern entrance came from suggestions from Ute Mountain Ute tribal leaders, who say lizards hold spiritual meaning in their culture. The wagon wheel at the northern entrance is intended to acknowledge the agricultural heritage of the region. Land for the signs came from a trade with the Cortez Fire Protection District and a purchase from local landowner Bill Teetzel.
The City is still working with property owners to find space for signs at the town’s eastern entrance along Highway 160 and northern entrance along Highway 145. The signs would include images of an ancient black-on-white pot and a mountain bike, respectively. Hale says negotiations are going slow, but the city will look at other options if they cannot find a seller. He did not give a timeline on the future construction.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that the City received land through a trade with local landowner Bill Teetzel. The City actually purchased the land.