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|Area||5.5 square miles|
|Focus Areas||Comprehensive plan, downtown planning, regionalism|
|Project Website||Heart & Soul Cortez|
This project will focus on transforming traditional planning by building a culture of collaboration and supporting partner organizations to better serve the needs of the community. Through robust youth engagement, Cortez hopes to provide leadership, enrichment and career opportunities for the next generation.
Cortez will identify the City’s shared values using innovative methods of gathering opinions and ideas from a broad cross-section of the community. They will use these values as the foundation for updating their comprehensive plan and to inform the creation of a new land use code.
Located in the southwest corner of Colorado, Cortez is considered by many to be the archaeological heartland of the United States. The entrance to Mesa Verde National Park, a world heritage site, is only 9 miles from downtown. The year-round population is approximately 8,500 people, which includes an economically and ethnically diverse demographic of Ute, Mountain Ute, Navajo, Hispanic and Euro-Americans.
Cortez is challenged by the desire to maintain their small-town feel while strengthening their economic viability and employment opportunities. The Main Street, with its many historic structures, also serves as a State Highway. Despite the City’s challenges, Cortez is rich in caring and compassionate community members and locally grown leaders.
In the words of the City Manager, “I see the Orton process as much more than a resource to help the City shape development around community values; I see this process as a way for the City to change its approach to decision-making forever.”
With a home rule form of government, the City of Cortez is governed by a council-elected City Manager. The City also has a Department for Grants & Special Projects, Parks and Recreation, Planning and Building and Public Works.
Empowering residents of Montezuma county to live healthy lives, LiveWell Montezuma, in collaboration with community organizations and stakeholders, aims to increase access to good nutrition and active lifestyles.
Montezuma County Economic Development Association, a public/private partnership between citizens, stakeholders and governmental entities, works to provide support and opportunities to local businesses throughout Montezuma county.
The Montezuma and Dolores County community radio, KSJD Radio, almost entirely volunteer-based, operates under a non-commercial broadcasting model that celebrates the diverse voices of Southwestern Colorado.
Southwest Open High School gives students an experiential education tailored to individual abilities and interests, utilizing resources outside of the classroom to cultivate high academic and personal standards and inspire lifelong learning.
The Montelores Non-Profit Council creates opportunities for local organizations to effectively collaborate and to grow their capacities to better achieve their missions.
Housing Solutions for the Southwest provides assistance and resources to low-to-moderate income families and individuals, focusing on the elderly, disabled and special-needs populations of Southwest Colorado.
Providing leadership training to people of diverse backgrounds, Southwest Community Leadership Collaborative enhances the quality of local leadership in both schools and communities of Montezuma County.
The School Community Youth Coalition addresses issues of substance abuse and violence among youth in Montezuma and Dolores counties providing treatment, programming, education and prevention.
The Montezuma-Cortez School District, RE-1 School District, is dedicated to providing students with the skills to succeed, taking advantage of the unique surrounding community and its tradition, family values and Western history.