Austin Cope / KSJD

A divided Cortez City Council gave narrow approval Tuesday to an ordinance allowing outdoor drinking and dining on approved portions of city streets and sidewalks downtown. The 4 to 3 vote came after the council heard from three citizens concerned about safety and loss of parking. The ordinance was the result of a proposal by KSJD Radio and Sunflower Theatre Executive Director Jeff Pope. He told the council in June that he would like three parking spaces on Market Street near the theatre to become a temporary portable deck where people could enjoy refreshments before and after events.

City of Cortez

Downtown Cortez will look different this fall when construction begins on new medians on Main Street. Cortez City Manager Shane Hale and Cortez Public Works Director Phil Johnson joined KSJD’s Austin Cope on Morning Edition for more details about the project. 

Austin Cope / Cortez

Recent meetings with downtown Cortez business owners have helped to clear up some misconceptions about the installation of medians along several blocks of Main Street. The medians are intended to slow traffic and improve pedestrian safety. Officials say they will not reduce parking nor the number of traffic lanes, and will actually create a larger buffer zone for parallel parking. City Manager Shane Hale told the city council Tuesday the meetings allayed some concerns and the city is “getting a lot better buy-in” from people initially opposed to the plan.

Austin Cope / KSJD

A proposed ordinance intended to ban unauthorized entry onto the Cortez municipal golf course landed in the rough at Tuesday’s council meeting after a half-dozen concerned residents objected. City attorney Mike Green said the ordinance was designed to limit the number of access points and  reduce the ongoing problem of people entering the course from different places without checking in. But several golf-course neighbors argued it went overboard. Joyce Humiston said more rules are not needed but there is a need for access from the east side.

Austin Cope / KSJD

The Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo started Wednesday evening at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds. It will feature rodeo events on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, a parade through Cortez on Saturday afternoon, and a carnival all weekend.  Some of those events will include bull riding, which involves trying to stay on the back of a 1,200-pound animal for 8 seconds. Professional bull rider Ty Wallace and rodeo committee member (and former bull rider) Charlie Blackmer joined KSJD's Austin Cope on Morning Edition to talk more about bull riding and rodeos in general.