Denver council signs off on contracts for controversial drainage project at City Park Golf Course

Project is at the center of an ongoing lawsuit

DENVER -- A project involving a controversial stormwater drainage area inside City Park Golf Course will move forward. Denver City Council approved three contracts involving the project Monday night. The contracts passed with a 10-3 vote.

The project, officially named Platte to Park Hill, is at the center of an ongoing lawsuit. A trial is set for August 21. Opponents argue the project is tied to the Interstate 70 expansion and not in the best interest of the city.

Council signed off on a nearly $45 million contract with Saunders Construction for golf course improvements and renovations. Another contract worth around $7.6 million is related to stormwater work, and a third contract includes additional drainage improvements.

"I do support these projects. They will protect our city and our neighborhoods," said Councilwoman Kendra Black.

Just last week, residents voiced concerns over the contracts being approved before the case headed to trial. They feared the contractors would begin doing work on the course and cutting down trees.

Resident Nancy Francis previously told Denver7, "They should wait because the citizens who have filed this suit believe that it’s the right thing to do."

The vote was initially delayed by a week at the request of Councilman Rafael Espinoza. He has been a vocal opponent of the project and its ties the to I-70 expansion. At the council meeting, he said the city is putting the priorities of the Colorado Department of Transportation over the people of Denver.

In all, the Platte to Park Hill project is said to cost nearly $300 million, according to a council member familiar with the matter.

"I’m not sure we’ve seen the end of the costs just yet," said Councilwoman Debbie Ortega.

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