Grand Lake board nixes ‘greenway’ statues |

Grand Lake board nixes ‘greenway’ statues

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi News
Grand County, CO Colorado

Karen Norberg, owner of the new Rocky Mountain High Gallery on Grand Lake, didn’t know she needed a permit to place metal-alloy colt and bear statues in front of her store in the town’s “greenway” area on Grand Avenue.

At last Monday’s town board meeting, town trustees told Norberg in so many words that even if she did apply for a permit, one probably wouldn’t be granted for safety and aesthetic purposes.

In code, the town board has the ability to rule on statues placed on town properties, and during the town workshop on Monday, several trustees stated they didn’t like the quality of the statues.

“The unfortunate thing is the village of Grand Lake didn’t see them as an asset to the community,” said Norberg, who enlisted friends to help move the statues back to her Park Avenue property by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, per the town’s instruction.

People walking on the boardwalk would often stop to have their children sit and pose for photos on the statues, Norberg said.

“It got people to pause a minute, have a little fun,” she said. “To me it’s better than a flowerbed with weeds in it.”

Grand Lake Code Enforcement Officer Dan Korkowski said when a private enterprise places something like that on town property, there must be an indemnification agreement and insurance that lists the town as additionally insured.

And town stewards thought the colt statue was wobbly and unsafe, he said.

“Certain items have to go to board for approval, statues are one of them,” Korkowski said, adding that items such as benches and picnic tables generally can be allowed with a sign-off by the town manager. Placing flowers in the flowerbeds does not need town permission.

For longer than two decades, the Town of Grand Lake has had an arrangement with town businesses concerning town boardwalks and greenway spaces. The 1985 law states that town property owners along the boardwalks must maintain boardwalks and care for greenway spaces, but the town ultimately has control and ownership.

The gallery owner who sells art supplies and art said she is “disappointed” the greenway in front of her store will now be bare. She has no plans to plant flowers in the flowerbeds, preferring other types of artistic expression instead.

“We had put (the statues) out there because we’re sort of artsy-fartsy, I guess,” she said.

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