What stories will you take away from 2021? What do you think about when you consider the last year in Montrose news?
The Montrose Daily Press has reposted and recapped the top stories from 2021 to ring in the new year, and I wanted to share some sneak peaks into each one.
- Vaccines dominated conversations. From COVID spikes to vaccine mandates to protests over vaccine mandates, the COVID-19 vaccines were a key topic of conversation in Montrose and on NABUR for this year.
- COVID-19 stress tests public entities. The thrust of this story surrounds the pandemic’s impact on Montrose Regional Health, including a lack of hospital beds during peaks of COVID-19 cases.
- Little Blue Canyon Creek gets highway upgrades.The project, affectionately known as “Little Blue,” began construction with plans for realignment, widening the highway to two 12-foot travel lanes with the addition of wide-paved shoulders, guardrail replacement, additional rockfall catchment area, new signage and striping. Little Blue’s project team planned out two “seasons” for construction. The first season wrapped up on Dec. 23, with work hitting pause until spring arrives.
- Mobile home parks in Montrose left behind. Residents have waited years for problems to be addressed in Montrose mobile home parks, including dilapidated homes, overgrown trees and a sparsity of reliable water and sewer lines. With private ownership of these parks, there was little the city could do, but the city has now committed money towards the developer building new homes, on the condition that certain improvements be made to the parks.
- Support for Latino communities. Colorado legislators this past year championed to further the rights of Latinos. It led to more than a dozen pro-immigrant bills passing in the 2021 legislative session. On the local level, the Hispanic Affairs Project played a role this year in the Welcoming Colorado initiative, as well as the introduction of an Immigrant Heritage Month Proclamation in Montrose.
- Local entrepreneurs dive in. Main Street saw the opening of San Juan Brews, Reign A Beauty Collective and recently, The Flower Shoppe. In June, VCM Global Asset Management and Benezet Realty Partners announced the acquisition of the Russell Stover manufacturing facility and revealed plans to turn it into the Western Slope Food and Innovation Center. Other Montrose businesses expanded, furthering growth by relocating, such as Chow Down and Adrenaline Vans. Colorado Yurt Company is building a new facility within Colorado Outdoors, and Montrose Anglers announced plans to relocate into the Flex Buildings within Colorado Outdoors. There’s plenty more examples of investment in Montrose, so be sure to check out this story for the full details.
- Housing market in Montrose changes. Home prices skyrocketed to astronomical levels in Montrose this year all while inventory largely remained stagnant or declined. It left first-time home buyers scrambling. Local developers like Matt Miles and Brad Yeagar have been building homes this year, but most lots are purchased right away.
- Montrose mascots must change. As we all know, the passage of the Prohibit American Indian Mascots bill at the state level means that Montrose High and Centennial Middle will be changing their mascots come June. If you haven’t already, make sure to vote on our poll for the mascot shortlist.
- Olathe officer fired for inappropriate behavior. An Olathe Police Department officer was fired for unspecified policy violations in 2021 after allegations that he had inappropriately touched a dispatcher and a fellow officer despite prior warnings about how he behaved at the dispatch center.
What story will you remember the most from 2021? (It doesn’t have to be one of these, or even an MDP story). Are there any that you think we missed?
Also, I just want to give a huge shoutout to reporters @Josue Perez @Anna Lynn Winfrey @Katharhynn Heidelberg @Cassie Knust for their beyond hard work this year on putting these stories and more together, and of course managing editor @Justin Tubbs for making it all happen.