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3rd annual Taste of OCC April 26; foundation moves forward on Bancroft plan


The Bancroft Park bandshell is shown after an early-March snow. The reddish-orange door on the side is the entrance to the park's men's room (the women's is on the other side). Both are downstairs, requiring stairs for access. The Old Colorado City Foundation (OCCF) is working to fund new, handicapped-accessible restrooms that would be built into the back of the bandshell. The next fundraiser for the project will be OCCF's third annual Taste of OCC April 26 in the park.
Westside Pioneer photo
The third annual Taste of OCC is scheduled Sunday, April 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. in Bancroft Park.
       As in the past, the event will feature a live band, plein air artists creating works to be auctioned later in the day and samples of prepared food and drink from area restaurants and liquor distributors.
       Sponsored by the Old Colorado City Foundation (OCCF), the event is a fundraiser for improvements in the historic district around Colorado Avenue between 24th and 27th streets. Tickets are $30 in advance at TasteofOCC.com and $35 at the gate (if available).
       Earnings from “Taste” events in April 2013 and 2014, plus the similar “Harvest in the Park' in September 2013 have raised close to $30,000 toward improvements, according to Dave Van Ness, who is executive director of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group and founder of the OCCF.
       The initial OCCF focus is to build public, handicapped-accessible restrooms in the back of the Bancroft bandshell. Towards that end, the OCCF recently agreed to a $2,000 contract with local architect Sharon Allen (affiliated with the CDG Group downtown) to produce preliminary drawings. Van Ness said he hopes that she can have renderings ready to have on display at Taste of OCC.
       Completion of the drawings will also allow a local contractor to use them to price the work, Van Ness explained.
       The working estimate to build new restrooms has been $150,000 or more.
       No construction funding is available from the city, but the OCCF is working on three grant applications, Van Ness said.
       Currently, the city park's only restrooms are down the stairs on either side of the bandshell. Not only are they not handicapped-accessible, they aren't always open.
       The city has agreed to take over maintenance of the planned restrooms, he said.
       The foundation formed in 2013 as a charitable nonprofit. The OCCF's volunteer board consists of local business and neighborhood leaders.

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