Linear Park cost estimated at $4.36M, GWP seeking outside funding

The proposed linear park along the Gila River, connecting Safford and Thatcher, is projected to cost upward of $4.36 million. - Contributed Photo/GWP

SAFFORD — The Gila Watershed Partnership outlined for the Safford City Council its plans for the proposed linear park adjacent to the Gila River, including how much it could cost.

The 7.4-mile park, with multiple trails, would run through both Safford and Thatcher.

Don McGann, with McGann and Associates, told the council that the 4.2 miles in Safford is expected to cost $2.62 million, while the 3.2 miles in Thatcher would cost about $1.74 million.

But Melanie Tluczek, executive director for the GWP, said the the two communities may not have to worry about the cost.

“There’s quite a large pot of money for specifically this sort of thing,” Tluczek said,” and Michael Patrick, from Trust for Public Lands, has worked with this before and is starting to investigate that.”

She added that in addition to potential state funding, there are a number of other private groups that fund projects of this nature, “the areas where restoration and recreation intersect, which is exactly what this is.”

The presentation to the Safford City Council was for information purposes only and no action was taken.